Suitability of Passive Sampling for Compound-Specific Isotope Analysis of Micropollutants in Aquatic Environments

Compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) offers an important approach to track the biodegradation history of micropollutants, in aquatic environments through measurement of significant changes in isotopic ratios (e.g. 13C/12C and 15N/14N) inside the molecule. The low occurrence of these micropollutants (i.e. ng/L range) combined with the limited sensitivity of gas chromatography hyphenated to isotope ratio mass spectrometers (GC-IRMS) render sampling of water a great challenge for CSIA, where usually hundreds of Liters of water have to be extracted. In contrast, passive sampling offers a promising alternative approach to extract atrazine directly in the field alleviating thereby the tediousness of transporting and handling gigantic volumes of samples.

The aim of this project is to explore the possibilities and limitations of passive sampling for CSIA using a Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Sampler (POCIS) and atrazine as a model compound.


Since 12/2021
Ph.D. thesis in Analytical Chemistry with Prof. Dr. Martin Elsner & Dr. Rani Bakkour.
Institute of Hydrochemistry, Chair of Analytical Chemistry and Water Chemistry, Technical University of Munich

10/2015 – 07/2017
Master’s degree in Chemistry at the University of Tirana, Albania.  
Master Thesis Determination of organic pollutants in drinkable water of some oil fields in Fier, Albania

Chemistry Department, Chair of Environmental and Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Tirana, Albania

10/2012 – 07/2015
Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at the University of Tirana.
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Tirana.

Research Experience:

04/2018 – 11/2021
Teaching and Research Assistant at the Science Department, College of Engineering and Technology, at the American University of the Middle East, Kuwait.


  • A. Tafa, I. Kertusha, A. Xhafka. Occurrence and Distribution of Hexachlorohexane (HCH) concentration in Agricultural soils in Albania using Gas Chromatography. International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 175-180, 2021.
  • A. Tafa, Impact of floods on concentration of persistent organic pollutants in Aoös River, Albania. International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, 2021. DOI:10.1080/03067319.2020.1756280
  • M. Cipa, A. Tafa, A. Nuro, E. Marku, Determination of hydrocarbons and PCBs in drinkable water in Patos-Marinze, Ballsh and Zharrez, Research Bulletin, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Tirana University 25th Edition, June 2018, Pages 162-172.