Heather Richard

Heather Richard

Feb 21, 2016

Group 6 Copy 138
5
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

Why be social? The costs and benefits of sociality in spiders

Sociality in spiders is extremely rare, but it has evolved several times. This begs the question: why be social...

Search for India’s lost Namdapha Flying Squirrel

Given its size, it’s hard to believe that the Namdapha Flying Squirrel is only known with from a single individual...

Harvestmen (Arachnids) in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

The harvestmen diversity in many places of the Atlantic Forest - one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots in the...

Backer Badge Funded