Heather Richard

Heather Richard

May 08, 2015

Group 6 Copy 56
1
Please wait...

About This Project

I want to know how ocean bacteria and algae that live on plastic debris influence the toxins plastic picks up.

Plastic debris picks up chemical pollution like heavy metals, pesticides and flame retardants from the water. These are toxins which then could be transferred to marine life, and possibly the seafood we eat.

Plastic is colonized by bacteria and algae the minute it gets into the water, and these cells form a mucus film, similar to plaque on our teeth, called a biofilm. We know biofilms alter the way chemicals stick to sediment particles, but exactly how these organisms alter the way plastic debris attracts and accumulates chemical pollutants remains a mystery. We need to find out so we can make more informed estimates about plastic as a potential source of toxins for marine life.

Blast off!

Browse Other Projects on Experiment

Related Projects

The Mosquitoes of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory with approximately 3.4 million inhabitants that experiences periodic outbreaks...

Azolla, a little fern with massive green potential

Azolla is a symbiotic superorganism that captures all the nitrogen fertilizer it needs to grow from the air...

The Gopher Tortoises of Cumberland Island - Is Beach Life All It's Cracked Up To Be?

An unstudied population of Gopher tortoises, a Threatened species, exists on Cumberland Island, Georgia USA...

Backer Badge Funded