Biospheric Microplastics Project Update

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Image: A post it note exercise from the sandpit event

Hello from the Biospheric Microplastics research team,

We’ve had a busy few months:

We held our first sandpit event on the 1st Sept which saw over 30 staff from across UWE Bristol come together to discuss microplastics. The sandpit was attended by academic, technical and professional services staff.

The event included lighting talks from Dr Adam Thomas, Paul Bowdler, Professor Tim Cox and Dr Budi Chandra. During the event we generated research ideas and identified research teams with the expertise to drive future funding proposals.

Our Research Fellow, Freya has been conducting some exciting method development work in the lab on the FT-IR, Raman and pyrolysis GC-MS. Her method of development centres around creating a process to quickly and efficiently identify microplastics using pyrolysis GC-MS, which can then be applied to a network of air quality samples around the country to determine microplastics contamination in the air.

Plastic debris collected from a strand line

This month we also started our ‘Reading for STEM’ project which is funded by the VC’s Challenge Fund. The team is an interdisciplinary team including Dr Fay Lewis, Dr Jane Carter, Dr Stephanie Sargeant, Dr Debbie Lewis, and Dr Juliet Edmonds.

The idea of the project is to make science literacy in primary schools more accessible and to encourage more young children into science – removing the mad hatter syndrome. The project plans to:

  • Bring together expertise from across UWE Bristol; Education, English & Science
  • Turn STEM into STEAM- science based literary materials
  • Include biography, poetry, play, letter, narrative and comic when talking about STEM
  • Take current UWE Bristol research & Talent and embed our novel plastic pollution research into literary forms

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