Sara Karolak

Position: Lecturer
Detailed position: Lecturer – HDR

Team: Ecological Processes and human Impact

Contact details:
Laboratoire Écologie, Systématique et Évolution – IDEEV
Université Paris Saclay
Bât. 680 – 12, route 128
91190 Gif Sur Yvette



Email: sara.karolak (at)

Laboratoire Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution

Research interests

– Quantitative analysis of residues of organic molecules (medicines, drugs, pesticides) in wastewater and surface water by coupling high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry.

– Estimation of illicit drug consumption in a population based on the analysis of wastewater, a method known as “wastewater epidemiology”. Participation in the European SCORE program until 2021:

– Test of adaptation of the “epidemiology of wastewater” method to the estimation of population exposure to pesticides.

– Qualitative characterization of drug consumption through the analysis of residues in used syringes. Participation in the European ESCAPE program,

Laboratoire Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution


Analytical chemistry, statistics, validation of methods and processes.

Pharmaceutical studies course, master’s degree in “Drug and Health Products Sciences”; professional license “Quality of Production of Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Products”.

Laboratoire Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution


– Thomas Néfau, (2010-2014) : Study of the fate and approach to analyzing the risks linked to illicit drug residues in wastewater (Co-supervision 50%). Supported on January 16, 2014.

– Emilie Bailly, Doctorat d’Université (2009-2013): Applicability of POCIS-type passive integrative sampling systems to the monitoring of drug residues in hospital discharges and urban wastewater (Co-supervision 50%). Supported on April 8, 2013.

– Jean-Ulrich Mullot,  Doctorat d’Université (2005-2009): Modeling drug flows in hospital effluents (Co-supervision 30%). Supported on November 23, 2009.

Laboratoire Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution


– Substances detected in used syringes of injecting drug users across 7 cities in Europe in 2017 and 2018: The European Syringe Collection and Analysis Project Enterprise (ESCAPE). Tibor M. et al. ; International Journal of Drug Policy (2021), vol.95, 103130 ;

– Impact of peri-urban landscape on the organic and mineral contamination of pond waters and related risk assessment. S. Nélieu, I. Lamy, S. Karolak, G. Delarue, O. Crouzet, C. Barraud, M. Bimbot, F. Allaoui, C. Hanot, A. Delorme, Y. Lévi, F D. Hulot, E. Baudry ; Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2021) 28:59256–59267 ;

– The effect of the Music Day event on community drug use.  D. A. Devault et al. ; Forensic Science International (2020), 309:110226 ;

– Wastewater-based epidemiology approach to assess population exposure to pesticides: a review of a pesticide pharmacokinetic dataset. D. A. Devault et al.; ESPR published online 7 January 2020

– Spatio-temporal assessment of illicit drug use at large scale: evidence from 7 years of international wastewater monitoring. González-Mariño I. et al.; Addiction (2019), 115:109–120 – doi:10.1111/add.14767

– Exposure of an urban population to pesticides assessed by wastewater-based epidemiology in a Caribbean island. D. A. Devault et al. ; STOTEN (2018) 644, 129-136 ;

– Multi-year inter-laboratory exercises for the analysis of illicit drugs and metabolites in wastewater: Development of a quality control system. A L.N. van Nuijs et al. ; TRAC (2018) 103 :34-43 ;

– Theory versus practice, bacteriological efficiency versus personal habits: A bacteriological and user acceptability evaluation of filtering tools for people who inject drugs. Jauffret-Roustide M, Chollet A, Santos A, Benoit Trs, Péchiné S, Duplessy C, Bara J-L, Lévi Y, Karolak S, Néfau T ; Drug and Alcohol Review (2018) 37:106-115 ; DOI: 10.1111/dar.12564

– Applying sewage epidemiology approach to estimate illicit drug consumption in a tropical context: Bias related to sewage temperature and pH. D.A. Devault, Y. Lévi, S. Karolak ; Science of The Total Environment (2017) 584–585:252-258 ;

– Used syringes analysis: A new approach to better-know what is injected; T. Nefau, S. Karolak, Y. Levi, V. Thibault, C. Duplessy-Garcon, J-L. Bara; Drug and Alcohol Dependence  (2017), 171:151

– Validation of an ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method to quantify illicit drug and pharmaceutical residues in wastewater using accuracy profile. C. Hubert, M. Roosen, Y. Levi, S. Karolak ; Journal of Chromatography A (2017) 1500, 2: 136-144 ;

– The removal of illicit drugs and morphine in two waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) under tropical conditions . D. A. Devault, T. Néfau, Y. Levi, S. Karolak ; Environmental Science Pollution Research (2016) DOI 10.1007/s11356-015-6032-z – Published on-line janvier 2016.

– Drug analysis of residual content of used syringes: A new approach for improving knowledge of injected drugs and drug user practices. T. Néfau, E. Charpentier, N. Elyasmino, C. Duplessy-Garson, Y. Levi, S. Karolak . International Journal of Drug Policy (2015), 26:412–419 ;

– First evaluation of illicit and licit drug consumption based on wastewater analysis in Fort de France urban area (Martinique, Caribbean), a transit area for drug smuggling. D. Devault, T. Néfau, H. Pascaline, S. Karolak, Y. Levi – Science of the Total Environment (2014) 90:970–978 ;

– Presence of illicit drugs and metabolites in influents and effluents of 25 sewage water treatment plants and map of drug consumption in France. T. Nefau, S. Karolak, L. Castillo, V. Boireau, Y. Lévi – Science of the Total Environment (2013) 461–462:712–722 ; et

– Calibration and field evaluation of polar organic chemical integrative sample (POCIS) for monitoring pharmaceuticals in hospital wastewater. E. Bailly, Y. Lévi, S. Karolak ; Environmental Pollution (2013) 174:100-105 ;

– Comparing illicit drug use in 19 European cities through standardized sewage analysis. K. V. Thomas, L. Bijlsma, S. Castiglioni, A. Covaci, E. Emke, R. Grabic, F. Hernández, S. Karolak, B. Kasprzyk-Hordern, R. H. Lindberg, M. Lopez de Alba, A. Meierjohann, C. Ort, Y. Pico, J. B. Quintana, M. Reid, J. Rieckermann, S. Terzic, A. L.N. van Nuijs, P. de Voogt – Science of Total Environment (2012) 432:432-439 ; doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.06.069

– Modeling of hospital wastewater pollution by pharmaceuticals: First results of Mediflux study carried out in three French hospitals. J.-U. Mullot, S. Karolak, A. Fontova and Y. Lévi ; Water Science Technology (2010) 62/12:2912-2919. DOI:10.2166/wst.2010.986

– Estimation of illicit drug consumption by wastewater analysis in Paris area (France). S. Karolak, T. Nefau, E. Bailly, A. Solgadi, Y. Lévi ; Forensic Science International (2010) 200 : 153-160 ; doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2010.04.007.

– Development and validation of a sensitive and selective method using GC/MS-MS for quantification of 5-fluorouracil in hospital wastewater. J.-U. Mullot, S. Karolak, A. Fontova, B. Huart, Y. Lévi – Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (2009) 394/8:2203-2212. DOI: 10.1007/s00216-009-2902-x

– Evaluation of estrogenic disrupting potency in aquatic environments and urban wasterwaters by combining chemical and biological analysis. C. Miège, S. Karolak, V. Gabet, M.-L. Jugan, L. Oziol, M. Chevreuil, Y. Lévi, M. Coquery ; Trends in Analytical Chemistry (2009) 28/2:186-195.

– In vitro assessment of thyroid and estrogenic endocrine disruptors in wasterwater treatment plants, rivers and drinking water supplies in the great Paris area (France). M.L. Jugan, L. Oziol, M. Bimbot, V. Huteau, S. Tamisier-Karolak, J.P. Blondeau, Y. Lévi ; Science of the Total Environment (2009) 407/11:3579-3587. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.01.027

– A new bioluminescent cellular assay to measure the transcriptional effects of chemicals that modulate the alpha-1 thyroid hormone receptor. M.L. Jugan, M. Lévy-Bimbot, M. Pomérance, S. Tamisier-Karolak, J.P. Blondeau, Y. Lévi ; Toxicology in Vitro (2007) 21/6: 1197-1205. DOI: 10.1016/j.tiv.2007.03.020

– Assesment of river contamination by estrogenic compounds in Paris area (France). M. Cargouët, D. Perdiz, A. Mouatassim-Souali, S. Tamisier-Karolak, Y. Lévi ; Science of the Total Environment (2004) 324/1-3 : 55-66 ; doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2003.10.035.

– Chromatographic separation and identification of a water-soluble dendritic methano[60]fullerene octadecaacid. N. Gharbi, S. Burghardt, M. Brertteich, C. Herrenknecht, S. Tamisier-Karolak; R.V. Bensasson, H. Swarc, A. Hirsch, S.R. Wilson and F. Moussa ; Analytical Chemistry (2003) 75: 4217-4222. DOI: 10.1021/ac026419k

– Validation of a quantitative assay using GC-MS for trace determination of free and conjugates estrogens in environmental water samples.  A. Mouatassim-Souali, S. Tamisier-Karolak, D. Perdiz, M. Cargouët, Y. Lévi ; Journal of Separation Science (2003) 26 : 105-111. DOI:10.1002/jssc.200390000

– Determination of styrene oxide adducts in mononucleotide dAMP and dDNA by capillary zone electrophoresis with UV detection. S. Tamisier-Karolak, N. Bouaïcha, I. Maatoouk ; S. Bourgeault, Y. Lévi, E. Guernet-Nivaud ; Journal of Separation Science (2001) 24 : 757-765. DOI:10.1002/1615-9314(20010901)24:93.3.CO;2-U

– Electrophoretic behavior of a highly water-soluble dendro[60]fulleren. S. Tamisier-Karolak, S. Pagniarusco, C. Herrenknecht, M. Bretteich, A. Hirsch, R. Céolin, R.V. Bensasson, H. Swarc, F. Moussa ; Electrophoresis (2001= 22: 4341-4346. DOI: 10.1002/1522-2683(200112)22:20<4341::AID-ELPS4341>3.0.CO;2-I

– Enantioseparation of -blockers with two chiral centers by capillary electrophoresis using sulphated b-cyclodextrins. S.L. Tamisier-Karolak, M-A. Stenger, A. Bommart ; Electrophoresis (1999) 20:2656-2663. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1522-2683(19990901)20:13<2656::AID-ELPS2656>3.0.CO;2-6

– Analysis of anions in aqueous samples by ion chromatography and capillary electrophoresis : A comparative study of peak modeling and validation criteria. S.L. Tamisier-Karolak, I. Le Potier, O. Barlet, M. Czok ; Journal of Chromatography A (1999) 852:487-498.

– Comparison of native, alkylated and charged cyclodextrins for the separation of labetalol stereoisomers by capillary electrophoresis. I. Le Potier, S.L. Tamisier-Karolak, P. Morin, F. Megel, M. Taverna ; Journal of Chromatography A (1998) 829:341-348. DOI: 10.1002/elps.200305465

– Analysis of anions in rain water by capillary electrophoresis. HMyL Nguyen, S.L. Tamisier-Karolak, M. Czok, R. Laugier, P. Cardot ; Analusis (1995) 23: 82-87. DOI: 10.1016/0021-9673(95)00769-5

– Daily validation procedure of chromatographic assay modeling using gaussoexponential modelling. S.L. Tamisier-Karolak, M. Tod, P. Bonnardel, M. Czok, P. Cardot ; Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis (1995) 13:959-970.

– Method development and validation procedure for the chromatographic assay of cocaine and its metabolites in pharmacokinetics studies. S.L. Tamisier-Karolak, M. Tod, O. Petitjean, P. Cardot ; Chromatographia (1993) 36: 368-372.

– Influence of Lansoprazole treatment on diazepam plasma concentrations. R.A. Lefebvre, B. Flouvat, S. Karolak-Tamisier, E. Moerman, E. Van Ganse ; Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (1992) 52/5:458-463. DOI: 10.1038/clpt.1992.172

– In vitro kinetics of 8-methoxypsoralen penetration into human lymphoid cells. L. Karolak, M. Tod, A. Leon, A.M. Heudes, O. Petitjean, L. Laroche ; Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, Photomedecine (1992) 9:58-60. PMID: 1489716

– Plasma assay of salbutamol by means of high-performance liquid chromatography with amperometric determination using a loop column for the injection of plasma extracts: application to the evaluation of subcutaneous administration of salbutamol. S.L. Tamisier-Karolak, B. Delhotal-Landes, P. Jolliet-Riant, J. Milliez, D. Jannet, J. Barre, B. Flouvat ; Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (1992) 14:243-248. DOI: 10.1097/00007691-199206000-00011