akram el kateb


Phone: +41 26 300 89 44 

E-mail: akram.elkateb(at)unifr.ch

Office: 4.311

Personal Info

Benthic foraminifera are unicellular micro-organisms occurring with high density in the marine environment. Their short life cycle and their sensitivity to environmental stress and eutrophication make them excellent biomonitoring tools.

My research topic is biomonitoring based on benthic foraminifera coupled with geochemical investigations. My research area is the Gulf of Gabes located in the South part of Tunisia, which is severely affected by phosphate pollution. Tunisia is the fifth world phosphate producer with about 8 million tons per year, with the 80% of the natural phosphate treated in three main industries (Sfax, Skhira and Gabes). These industries produce phosphoric acid and/or mineral fertilizer accumulating a relevant amount of wastes. The waste product of phosphate treatment is composed essentially of phophogypsum, which contains heavy metals and other polluting elements, which are directly discharge in the sea or are stored along the marine coast.

Target of my project is to identify changes in benthic foraminiferal assemblages in pre- anthropogenic impact times in the Gulf of Gabes, to compare living and fossils assemblages and to investigate their response to phosphogypsum pollution in this region.

This project will apply the FOBIMO protocol and, therefore it will contribute, as a case study, to the FOBIMO Initiative in providing relevant data


  • Micropaleontology


Unit of Earth Sciences - Chemin du Musée 6 - 1700 Fribourg - Tel +41 26 / 300 89 70
nicole.bruegger[at]unifr.ch - Swiss University