//archives

Microplastics

This tag is associated with 18 posts

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 […]

Tiny plastic pieces accumulate in a huge marine filter-feeder

Scientists find microplastic pieces in the intestines of a baleen whale for the first time. Lis HendersonI am studying for my doctoral degree at the Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. My research addresses fisheries and climate change in the Northwest Atlantic. In my free time, I like to cook and spend […]

Corals consume microplastics! Talk about an unhealthy diet!

The dangerous diet fad among marine organisms is spreading! New study shows corals consume microplastics. Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island (M.S.). I now work in southwest Florida, contributing to the management of an estuary. I am fascinated by the wonders of nature, […]

An accidental find: Large quantities of microplastics are in Arctic sea ice!

Multiyear sea ice formation in the Arctic Sea uptakes microplastics from seawater, effectively acting as a sink for these man-made particles. Melting sea ice, as a result of climate change, threatens to release these microplastics back into the ocean with unknown implications for the environment. Kari St.LaurentI received a Ph.D. in oceanography in 2014 from […]

Seafood? Yes! Plastics? No!

Seafood is an important part of people’s diets worldwide, so it is crucial to understand the presence of microplastics in seafood. Van Cauwenberghe and Janssen measured plastics ingested by the mussel Mytilus edulis and the oyster Crassostrea gigas because of their filter-feeding behaviors. Caoxin SunCaoxin is a graduate student in the Graduate School of Oceanography […]

How Much Garbage is in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

There’s been a lot of news floating around about “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, the region of the Pacific Ocean where all of our long-lasting plastic products accumulate. This study by Lavender Law et al. used a multi-year, spatially extensive data set to estimate just how much plastic is currently floating in the Pacific. Carrie […]

Increasing fiber in your diet… microplastic fibers, that is

Microplastics constitute the large majority of plastic pollution in our global oceans. Microplastic fibers are small fibers that might not be visible to the naked eye, but can be found on virtually every coastline. Researchers in Halifax, Nova Scotia looked for these fibers in beach sediments, worm fecal casts, and both natural and farmed mussels […]

Subscribe to oceanbites

@oceanbites on Twitter