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Microplastics

This tag is associated with 26 posts

Can Green Algae Capture Microplastics in the Great Lakes?

Microplastics (specifically microfibers) can adhere to the cell walls of the green algae Cladophora, potentially removing them from the water. Hannah CollinsI’m a second year Masters student in Oceanography at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point. My current research interests involve microplastics and their effects on marine suspension feeding bivalves, and biological solutions to the […]

Examples_of_different_types_of_microplastics

Plastics and Colors and Fish, Oh My!

Have you ever wondered what happens to the garbage that ends up in the ocean? Or about what just might eat this garbage thinking it might have been food? That what the scientists in this study looked at in Brazil. These scientists looked at the gut contents of several fish to see what they ate. […]

Can Pacific Oysters handle a bit of microplastics in the lab? Shuck yeah!

Filter feeding animals like oysters can be exposed to small plastic particles, called microplastics, as they filter food out of the water. In this study microplastics apparently had no health effects on oysters, but is that the whole story? Hannah CollinsI’m a second year Masters student in Oceanography at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point. […]

Microplastics, Canned Fish, and You: How plastic pollution may play a role in your next lunch

Did you know that many plastic items can shed tiny particles called microplastics? These microplastics are present everywhere in our environment, from the sea to the air. But how prevalent are they, and do they pose harm to humans? Researchers attempted to answer this question by studying a common food item – canned fish. Francesca […]

Life in Plastic: 14 Million Tonnes of Microplastics Likely on Sea Floor

The deep-sea floor has always fascinated scientists and ocean lovers alike with its mystery and wonder. For the first time ever, scientists have estimated the amount of human-made plastics on the seafloor, and it will shock you. Elena GadoutsisI have always been happiest in nature – exploring forests, traveling to the ocean, or working with […]

Is There Plastic in Paradise?

Tropical islands like the Maldives have always been viewed as untouched paradises for most people, but what lies beneath the crystal-clear waters? For the first time, scientists examine the island of Naifaru, Maldives in search of tiny bits of plastic, known as microplastics. Elena GadoutsisI have always been happiest in nature – exploring forests, traveling […]

Traces of human plastic pollution in ocean sediment

Is the plastic we produce being stored in our oceans’ sediments? To answer this question scientists studied a sediment core from the Santa Barbara basin dating back to 1836. Samantha SettaI’m a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO). My research interests are focused […]

Giant Clams vs. Small Plastics

Microplastics are found all throughout our oceans. But in the Red Sea, there are a lot less. Find out how giant clams could be a culprit for getting rid of small plastics. Arossa, S., Martin, C., Rossbach, S., & Duarte, C. M. (2019). Microplastic removal by red sea giant clam (Tridacna maxima). Environmental Pollution. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2019.05.149 We use […]

A boon to ocean conservation? Certain fungi can degrade marine plastics

Brunner I, Fischer M, Ru ̈thi J, Stierli B, Frey B (2018) Ability of fungi isolated from plastic debris floating in the shoreline of a lake to degrade plastics. PLoS ONE 13(8): e0202047. About a year ago, I decided to make a move towards reducing my plastic consumption. Working in environmental conservation leaves you with […]

Important oyster-producing region of British Columbia swamped with microplastics

  If you grew up in the developed world, chances are you have an intimate relationship with plastic. Your lunch container, your childhood toys, your coffee press, that sweater you just bought, and the packaging it came in – they’re all made of low-cost petrochemical derivatives. And they’re swamping our oceans in a pollutant the […]

The Difference between Dippers and Divers: Plastic Pollution in Deep-Diving Seabirds

Plastic pollution is commonly imagined to be an issue that affects the sea surface. However, many small pieces of plastic sink into deeper waters. In this post, we look at research by scientists from Brazil set out along the Brazilian coastline to find out if plastic pollution is only a problem for surface-feeding birds, or […]

Paper or plastic? Policies inspired by research to find a solution to plastic pollution

Paper or plastic? In a lot of grocery stores, this is an innocent question, but recently it’s become a controversial issue. We talk about how plastic pollution research has inspired a barrel of policies, and some of the creative new ways people are trying to clean up the earth! Laura ZinkeI am a PhD student […]

The end of the line for ocean plastics

A team of researchers set out on an Expedition around the Arctic Ocean to prove what scientists have long suspected: plastic debris is carried by ocean currents to a far corner of the Arctic Ocean where it reaches a dead end and is causing a massive plastic pile up. Veronica TamsittI’m a PhD student at […]

A Junkyard in the Belly of a Whale

A candy wrapper, plastic bags, car parts, packing materials, and fishing gear… it sounds like a list of things you might come across at a landfill or a junkyard, but actually it’s what researchers have found in the bellies of sperm whales. Scientists from Germany, the Netherlands, and France went searching to find out what’s […]

Germ Stowaways: How Plastic Waste Has Become an Environment for Harmful Bacteria

For over 100 years, plastic has been integrated into our everyday lives. It has been used to make life better for humans in many ways (medical research, food preservation, sterile laboratory devices, etc.). But, as we accumulate more, disposal has become a problem. While plastic waste is a problem in its own right, new research […]

Finding Nemo was right: what you flush down the drain can impact ocean creatures

Microplastics + pharmaceuticals in your pee + increased temperatures = trouble for some fish Anna RobuckI am a third year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in the Lohmann Lab. My current research interests include environmental chemistry, water quality, as well as coastal and seabird ecology. When not in […]

Go Green for Earth Day!

Do Mother Nature a solid with these helpful tips & tricks to go green today! Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and metabolic responses of Fundulus killifish to intermittent […]

A Million Little Pieces….of plastic

Trillions of tiny plastic fragments are floating in the Earth’s ocean. These microplastics can attract organic pollutants, be ingested by marine organisms, and even end up in table salt. This Earth Week post gives a broad introduction to microplastics and examples of how we can all help to reduce this problem! Kari St.LaurentI received a […]

Microplastics for Dinner

Please Pass the Plastic

Tiny shards and fibers of plastic termed “microplastics” accumulate in seafood with unknown consequences for human health. Now, they’re turning up in a product even more difficult to avoid: Researchers in Shanghai recently found microplastics in table salts bought from supermarkets across China. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in […]

Plankton are eating plastic!

Zooplankton, the tiny animals that make up the base of marine food webs, are ingesting microplastics. Given the widespread abundance of microplastics in the ocean, this finding could have serious ramifications for zooplankton and their predators. Sean AndersonI am a first year MS candidate at the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography. I […]

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