Apr 13, 2021

The effects of micro and nanoplastics on biota in the aquatic environment: what we know about hazard and risk

Speaker
  • Assistant Professor at the Dept. Of Fisheries and Wildlife, Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, Oregon State University
    Biography

      Dr. Susanne Brander has been faculty at Oregon State University since 2017, after moving from a the University of North Carolina, Wilmington where she was faculty for 4 years. Brander's research encompasses the fields of toxicology, endocrinology, and ecology; integrating molecular approaches with measurements at the organism and population level. Brander's main focus is on the effects of stressors such as emerging pollutants, plastics, and changing climate on aquatic organisms, but her research and teaching also spans the links between ecological and human health. She has a Ph.D. in Toxicology and Pharmacology from UC Davis (2011), and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University (2005). Although Brander has worked in academia for the past six and a half years, following completion of an M.S. and prior to pursuing a Ph.D. she worked in industry as an Environmental Analyst and Project Scientist at Weston Solutions, Inc. She has also worked briefly in the non-profit industry. Her research is currently funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation. She has presented on plastic pollution to the legislature in Salem and on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.


    Abstract

    I will first discuss findings from the larger field on microplastics effects across taxa in freshwater and marine ecosystems, and then cover ongoing work in our research group comparing responses to a diversity of paired exposures to different micro and nanoplastic particle types (fragments, fibers) in estuarine and freshwater fish and invertebrate model organisms. Findings include impacts on development, growth, behavior, and survival and take into consideration varying abiotic factors such as salinity, with varied sensitivity between fish (Danio rerio, Menidia beryllina) and invertebrates (Daphnia magna, Americamysis bahia). These data are being used to parameterize a Bayesian risk assessment model, which will predict potential impacts of plastic pollution on freshwater and coastal ecosystems.


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