Heather Richard

Heather Richard

Feb 21, 2016

Group 6 Copy 163
4
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

Should I stay or should I go? Connecting bird behavior during migration to fat stores and antioxidant capacity

Thank you to our backers for $5600! We actually need up to $24000 - please keep donating! In the fall, most...

Bridging International Borders to Fight Re-emerging Plague in Madagascar

The Plague is considered one of the most successful infectious agents in history and at one point killed nearly...

Backer Badge Funded