Overlooked but high impact potential
The nanoscale of the ocean plastic problem is a truly new discovery. The existence of ocean nanoplastics has been shown, but we lack knowledge of the processes that drive plastic pollution to the nanoscale and the impacts on microbiology. Until recently there was no analytical technique to measure this type of pollution. In this project, we make use of a new analytical technique to map nanoplastics abundance in the Ocean, and we will study the uptake of nanoplastics by micro-organisms. Microbial degradation of nanoplastics could be an important, yet unassessed sink for ocean nanoplastics.
This project is part of the joint research of Utrecht University and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research concerning the functioning of (coastal) seas and oceans. Pairs of scienists will carry out interdisciplinary research into pressing scientific and societal issues that tie in with the strategic themes of both organisations. In addition to the Faculties of Science and Geosciences, also the Faculties of Law, Economics and Governance, and Veterinary Medicine of the UU are involved. The projects are part of the agreement to intensify the collaboration UU-NIOZ (2016-2025), funded by UU.
Dr. Helge Niemann (NIOZ)
Dr. Rupert Holzinger (Utrecht University)
Ocean of Discovery
UU-NIOZ project page
For more information on this project and other UU-NIOZ projects, visit the joint UU-NIOZ project page
Meet the team
Below you find the NIOZ employee(s) working in this team. For a complete overview including Utrecht University team members visit the joint UU-NIOZ project page