Heather Richard

Heather Richard

Feb 22, 2015

Group 6 Copy 120
3
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

An initial exploration of in-situ underwater genetic sequencing

Our goal is to adapt portable genome sequencing technology for high-pressure, underwater environments. Currently...

What drives the color change in green anoles?

Green anoles (Anolis carolinensis) morphs from green to brown, and it is not known why. In this experiment...

The GMO Corn Experiment

We are testing the hypothesis that wild animals such as squirrels and deer prefer non-GMO corn, and avoid...

Backer Badge Funded