Heather Richard

Heather Richard

May 29, 2019

Group 6 Copy 273
2
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...

Targeting the Rest of Your Genome to Detect Glioblastoma

The treatments available for glioblastoma multiform (GBM) patients provide a minimal survival benefit, and...

Investigating the diet of wintering American Kestrels in agricultural landscapes

American Kestrels in the US have declined by 50% in the last 50 years and scientists are struggling to understand...

Backer Badge Funded