Heather Richard

Heather Richard

Jun 05, 2015

Group 6 Copy 70
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

Carbon sequestration potential of fungally produced composts

Our previous study on the decay of forest waste products found that the compost produced by wild fungi holds...

Can we produce composite leather by biodegrading textile waste, using mycelium?

Can textile waste be repurposed and recycled as a raw material for the growth of mycelium leathers? Textile...

An initial exploration of in-situ underwater genetic sequencing

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

Backer Badge Funded