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CRC Microplastic Seminar Series


You would like to stay up to date about the seminar series of the SFB 1357 Microplastics? Then register here.

The newsletter will also send out the latest link for online participation on the morning of the event.

Summer Semester 2024

Monday, 16 July 2024
9:00 - 13.00 CET, Seminar Room tba

Meeting Projects A

Biological Effects

Internal Meeting for PhDs and PIs of the Project Area A , S01 Project and Z-Projects. PhD presentations will summarize project progress and discussions will foster interdisciplinary cooperations between all A-projects.

Organisation: Project Area Speakers Prof. Dr. Tillmann Lüders and Prof Dr. Heike Feldhaar

Monday 22 July 2024
12:15 Uhr, ZOOM und Hörsaal: H33, Angewandte Informatik-Gebäude

Prof. Dr. Shai Arnon, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Unraveling microplastic deposition in rivers through the lens of sedimentary processes

Studies on MP deposition sediments show that the shear stress theory, hyporheic exchange, and bioturbation can partly explain MP transport and deposition in streams. Nevertheless, these processes cannot fully explain the observed distributions of MPs, especially the incorporation into deeper stream sediments. In this talk, I will review the mechanisms of MP deposition and will show experimental and modeling results that explain why it is important to consider streambed movement when trying to predict MP transport in river networks. It is argued that incorporating data on MP distribution in riverbeds with fluvial geomorphological and particle transport models will improve the current evaluation of MP transport in river networks and their burial residence time distribution.

Poster: Link
Link: Personal Homepage
Host: Prof. Dr. Stefan Peiffer, Hydrologie, UBT

Monday, 25 July 2024
13.00 - 17.00 CET, Seminarroom  S 104, FAN B

Meeting Projects C

Degradation of plastics in natural and technical systems and the development of new solutions

Internal Meeting for PhDs and PIs of the Project Area C, S01 Project and Z-Projects. PhD presentations will summarize project progress and discussions will foster interdisciplinary cooperations between all C-projects.

Organisation: Project Area Speakers Prof. Dr. Holger Ruckdäschel and Prof. Dr. Seema Agarwal

Seminar-Summer-Break und Seminardates WS 2024/2025

The CRC Microplastics Seminar is taking a summer break in August and September. We wish everyone a relaxing summer vacation and an exciting Conference-September. Our program will start again at the same time as the start of lectures in the winter semester 2024/2025.

Free dates for lectures in the CRC Microplastics Seminar, Mondays 12:15 pm:

  • 14.10.2024 (Vorlesungsbeginn)
  • 21.10.2024
  • 04.11.2024
  • 18.11.2024
  • 02.12.2024
  • 16.12.2024

Winter Break 23.12.2024-03.01.2025

  • 13.01.2025
  • 27.01.2025
  • 10.02.2025

Past Seminars:

08 July 2024 - Dr.-Ing. Shiravani: 3D-Modeling of microplastic transport in tidal rivers by including the bio-geological effectsHide

Monday, 08 July 2024
12:15 Uhr, ZOOM und Hörsaal: H33, Angewandte Informatik-Gebäude

Dr.-Ing. Gholamreza Shiravani, Niedersächsischer Landesbetrieb für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz

3D-Modeling of microplastic transport in tidal rivers by including the bio-geological effects

Microplastic-transport mechanisms are using a developed 3D-numerical model for a tidal river from microplastic-sources (point form and diffusive sources) to accepting seas presented. The role of the bio-geological parameters on the fate of microplastics and their corresponding parametrization are explained. Moreover, the model capabilities and uncertainties are through the application of the model for microplastics-transport in the Weser estuary discussed. Finally, the model performance is through the comparison of the model results with microplastic-measurements for the Weser river evaluated. 

Poster Link
Link: Betriebstelle Norden, Niedersächsischer Landesbetrieb für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz
Host: Prof. Dr. Vadym Aizinger, Wissenschaftliches Rechnen, UBT

01.07.2024 - Dr Francesca De Falco: The role of plastic alternatives and substitutes in the quest to end plastic pollutionHide

Monday, 01 July 2024
12:15 CET, ZOOM and Lecture Hall: H33, Applied Computer Science Building

Dr Francesca De Falco, University of Plymouth

The role of plastic alternatives and substitutes in the quest to end plastic pollution

This talk will present pros and cons of materials that are proposed as alternatives and substitutes to conventional plastics, with a focus on biodegradable plastics and considering different sectors of application. The best procedures and techniques to assess their fate in the environment will be discussed, particularly the potential of Py-GC-MS to characterise the composition and degradation of such materials. The relevance of this topic will be linked to the ongoing work of the UN Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution (INC).

Poster Link
Link: International Marine Litter Research Unit, University of Plymouth
Host: Prof. Dr. Seema Agarwal, Makromolekulare Chemie II, Universität Bayreuth

25.07.2024 - Meeting B ProjectsHide

Monday, 25 July 2024
9:00-13.00 CET, Seminar Room S 135, NW III

Meeting Projects B

Behaviour and migration in and between environmental compartments

Internal Meeting for PhDs and PIs of the Project Area B, S01 Project and Z-Projects. PhD presentations will summarize project progress and discussions will foster interdisciplinary cooperations between all B-projects.

Organisation: Project Area Speakers Prof. Dr. Stefan Peiffer and Dr. Martin Löder.

13.05.2024 - Andreas Thürmer: Additives as key Elements for reliable application of Polymers and their impact on SustainabilityHide

Monday, 13. May 2024
12:15 CET, ZOOM and Lecture Hall: H33, Applied Computer Science Building

Andreas Thuermer, BASF

Additives as key Elements for reliable application of Polymers and their impact on Sustainability

In this CRC Microplastics Seminar, Dipl.-Chem. Andreas Thürmer, renowned expert in the field of polymer chemistry, will give an insight into the world of additives. Additives are key compounds for the reliable application of plastics and also influence their sustainability. With a background in physical chemistry and polymer chemistry, as well as decades of experience in polymer additive development at leading companies such as Sandoz, Clariant and now BASF, Mr. Thürmer brings a wealth of knowledge and practical insight to the field. His presentation will cover aspects of polymer degradation and polymer stabilization and present selected application examples.


Host: Prof. Dr. Holger Ruckdäschel, Polymer Engineering, UBT

29.04.2024 - Prof. Dr. Kay Saalwächter: Recent progress in understanding polymer crystallizationHide

Monday, 29. April 2024
12:15 CET, ZOOM and Lecture Hall H33, Applied Computer Science Building

Prof. Dr. Kay Saalwächter, University of Halle-Wittenberg

Recent progress in understanding polymer crystallization

The talk will emphasize the role of advanced characterization techniques, in particular solid-state NMR and small-angle X-ray scattering, for elucidating relevant factors for semicrystalline structure formation in polymers. The aim is to elucidate so far underestimated effects, specifically those of entanglements that accumulate in the amorphous phase and of chain diffusion through the crystals that enable lamellar thickening. The main findings have relied on the study of model polymers such as poly(ethylene oxide) and different polyesters. More recent work has focused on co-polyesters and defect-rich polyolefins as well as vitrimers, where the interplay of crystallization with defects and disorder is of interest.

Homepage Prof Saalwächter
Host: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Senker, Inorganic Chemistry III, UBT

04.03.2024 - Dr. Inta Dimante-Deimantoviča, Microplastics as stratigraphic and anthropogenic pressure markers – yes or noHide

Monday, 04 March 2024
12:00 CET, ZOOM and lecture hall H18, NWII

Dr. Inta Dimante-Deimantoviča, Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology - LIAE

Microplastics as stratigraphic and anthropogenic pressure markers – yes or no

The plastic pollution has wide occurrence across sedimentary environments of lakes, marine, peat deposits and glaciers, yet the acceptance of microplastics as a stratigraphic marker requires clear characterization of microplastics as a component of sedimentary cycle. We provide evidence of microplastics deposits and sedimentary dynamics from different environmental compartments in the Baltic Region. The presented studies consider microplastics from dated sediment cores and seasonal dispersal in beach sediments.

Link to Research Gate Profil
Host: Dr. Martin Löder

12.02.2024 -Prof. Dr. Denise Mitrano: Embracing ecosystem complexityHide

Monday, 12 February 2024
12:00 o'clock ZOOM and Lecture Hall: H18, NWII

Prof. Dr. Denise Mitrano, ETH Zürich

Embracing ecosystem complexity to understand the environmental impacts of (nano- and micro)plastics pollution

Numerous studies have made the ubiquitous presence of plastics in the environment undeniable, and thus it is no longer a surprise when researchers measure the accumulation of macroplastic litter and microplastic fragments in both urban and remote sites. Understanding plastics pollution is frequently addressed by enumerating particle burdens through monitoring studies, assessing transport between environmental compartments or as an (eco)toxicological issue. However, fewer studies address the complexities of how the presence of MPs impact natural systems and biogeochemical cycles in a holistic way. In this presentation, I will discuss both analytical method developments to better assess nano- and microplastics fate and transport and biological interactions as well as address indirect impacts of plastics pollution. Some reflections on future policies and regulations may guide us in using plastics more sustainably to reduce the negative impacts of plastics across their entire lifecycle. 

Link to Homepage: Environmental Chemistry of Anthropogenic Materials
Link: Poster
Host: Prof. Dr. Holger Ruckdäschel & Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch

29.01.2024 - Dr. Bernd Reck: Polymer Dispersions for Architectural Coatings – Challenges and OpportunitiesHide

Monday, 29 January 2024
12:00 o'clock ZOOM and Lecture Hall: H18, NWII

Dr. Bernd Reck, Vice President - Head of Research Platform Polymer Colloid Technology, BASF

Polymer Dispersions for Architectural Coatings – Challenges and Opportunities

Aqueous acrylic polymer dispersions find extensive applications in everyday products, including interior and exterior architectural coatings, waterproofing membranes, pressure-sensitive and lamination adhesives, printing inks, and binders for industrial and medical nonwovens. These waterborne binders have effectively replaced solvent-borne resins in various applications while maintaining excellent performance.

In this presentation, we will explore the utilization of acrylic polymer dispersions in architectural coatings and the specific requirements associated with these applications. Understanding the structure-property relationships and the interaction between the dispersion and coating formulation ingredients is crucial for tailoring their properties. We will delve into the influence of stabilization systems, colloidal interactions, coalescence behavior, and chemical crosslinking on the diverse application properties of acrylic latexes.

Significant technological advancements in polymer dispersions over the past few decades have facilitated the development of products that not only exhibit exceptional technical performance but also demonstrate environmentally friendly characteristics. Notable examples include interior coatings that are free from biocides and wood coatings with true one-coat hide properties.

Furthermore, we will address the recent challenge faced by polymer dispersion producers, namely the implications of the new EU Regulation on Synthetic Polymer Microparticles, which came into effect on October 17, 2023.

Link to LinkedIn
Host: Prof. Dr. Andreas Greiner

15.01.2024 - Prof.Dr. Gary Hardiman: Hide

Monday, 15 January 2024
12:00 o'clock ZOOM and Lecture Hall: H18, NWII

Prof. Dr. Gary Hardiman, School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast

Toxicological impacts of micro- & nanoplastics on human and environmental health – A systems biology approach

One Health is a holistic approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and ecosystem health. Plastic pollution has become a pressing issue, with plastics persisting in the environment and accumulating in various ecosystems, especially in aquatic environments. Microplastics and nanoplastics are enduring pollutants that remain intact in biological systems, potentially leading to bioaccumulation across trophic levels. These micro-nanoplastics (MNPs) have been widely acknowledged for their harmful effects on different biological levels, causing problems such as digestive tract blockage, energy depletion, inflammation, developmental defects, and behavioral changes. The leaching of chemical additives from plastics also poses risks to human and environmental health. We are undertaking a systems biology approach to study the toxicological impacts of MNPs, considering genes, proteins, metabolites, and cells, as well as organs, organisms, and populations. Marine species that ingest varying levels of plastic serve as valuable models for studying real-world plastic impacts. Abundant seabirds and the common marine hermit crab are examples of sentinel species we have used for monitoring plastic exposure effects. Humans primarily encounter MNPs through food and food packaging, potentially through inhalation. Chronic MNP exposure may lead to cumulative and long-term health effects, including inflammation, oxidative stress, lysosomal dysfunction, mitochondrial dysfunction, autophagy, apoptosis, and genotoxicity. Evidence from cell screening studies suggests that the aggregation of MNPs within living organisms can have negative long-term consequences. Addressing these issues is crucial for safeguarding the health of humans, animals, and ecosystems in the context of the One Health paradigm.

Link to Homepage: Prof. Dr. Gary Hardiman
Host: Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch

18.12.2023 - Prof. Dr. Jörg Matysik: Enzymatic PET degradationHide

Monday, 18 December 2023
16:00 o'clock, ZOOM and H18, NWII, *Christmas Seminar*

Prof. Dr. Jörg Matysik, Analytical Chemistry - Molecular Spectroscopy, Leipzig University

Enzymatic PET degradation

The aspects of the toxicity of PET nanoparticles, the molecular mechanism of its enzymatic degradation and on the biotechnological recycling of PET.

Link to Homepage: Prof. Dr. Jörg Matysik
Link: Poster
Host: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Senker

For the award ceremony and the X-Mas Get-Together please register here.

04.12.2023 - Prof. Dr. Marie Sofie Møller: PET degradation by enzymes Hide

Monday, 04 December 2023
12:00 o'clock ZOOM and Lecture Hall: H18, NWII

Prof. Dr. Marie Sofie Møller, Protein Chemistry and Enzyme Technology, Technical University of Denmark

PET degradation by enzymes – impact and engineering of protein-surface interactions

Plastic-degrading enzymes have garnered increasing attention over the past decade as potential tools for addressing plastic waste recycling challenges. However, their efficiency in industrial applications is generally limited. A key issue is that these enzymes have not evolved to interact specifically with plastic. While many proteins tend to adhere nonspecifically to plastics, enzymes must establish precise and productive binding interactions. This specificity is essential to allow the enzyme's active site to engage with the substrate while permitting its subsequent detachment from the surface. To overcome this challenge, we explore the utilization of natural protein modules, which nature employs to facilitate interactions between enzymes and recalcitrant polysaccharides such as cellulose, starch, and chitin. Although a handful of these modules have shown promise in binding to plastic substrates, this binding diversity has not yet undergone systematic investigation. We employ a diverse array of methods to elucidate the molecular mechanisms governing these interactions: pull-down assays (high-throughput setup), enzymatic assays, NMR spectroscopy, and newly developed microscopy methods.

Link to Homepage: Prof. Dr. Marie Sofie Møller
Link: Poster
Host: Prof. Dr. Birte Höcker

20.11.2023 - Dr. Scott Coffin: Advancing Research and Regulations to Mitigate Impacts of MicroplasticsHide

Monday, 20 November 2023
12:00 o'clock ZOOM and Lecture Hall: H18, NWII

Dr. Scott Coffin, California State Water Resources Control Board

Advancing Research and Regulations to Mitigate Impacts of Microplastics

Research on microplastics has increased exponentially in recent years, however translation of studies and data into knowledge that's useful for management requires clear communication between the scientific and management communities. Recent government mandates to manage impacts of microplastics prompted rapid development of tools and methods for identifying and assessing risks, monitoring their occurrence, and modelling their transport. Despite these remarkable scientific advances, additional research is needed to overcome barriers preventing the full emergence of microplastics as a regulated contaminant suite. This talk provides critical insights from both scientific and regulatory perspectives regarding recent advances in the field and recommends a path forward to overcome these barriers. 

Link to Homepage: California Water Boards
Link: Poster
Host: Dr. Magdalena Mair

06.11.2023 - Dr. Katharina Ruthsatz: Life in plastic, it's not fantastic?Hide

Monday, 06 November 2023
12:00 o'clock, ZOOM and Lecture Hall: H18, NWII

Dr. Katharina Ruthsatz, Evolutionary Biology, TU Braunschweig

Life in plastic, it's not fantastic? Effects of microplastics pollution throughout amphibian metamorphosis

Microplastics (MP) are one of the fastest-growing sources of environmental pollution due to the increase in plastic consumption and a poor plastic waste management. In living systems, MP ingestion can trigger a variety of harmful effects on digestive, endocrine, and nervous systems which might ultimately impair all vital rates. MP can also be accumulated and transferred through the food chain. Considering that amphibian population declines are at the forefront of the biodiversity crisis, understanding the toxicological risks posed by MP to amphibians is a highly important research topic for their conservation. However, such risks are still mostly unknown for amphibians. Using the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) as a  model species, we explored the toxicity of MP pollution in amphibian. In particular, we investigated whether polyethylene MP ingestion affects amphibian growth and development and leads to metabolic changes across two consecutive life stages (larvae and juveniles). Furthermore, we assessed MP accumulation in the body at both life stages. Our results provide first insights into the sublethal effects of MP on amphibians throughout metamorphosis as well as its potential to be ontogenetically transferred, and we demonstrate a possible coping mechanism with the nutritional repercussions accompanying MP ingestion through a plastic response in intestinal morphology.

Link to Homepage: Dr. Katharina Ruthsatz
Host: Prof. Dr. Heike Feldhaar

26.06.2023 - Prof. Dr. Alexander Steinbüchel: Postsynthetic Modifications of BiopolymersHide

Monday 26th June 2023

16:15, ZOOM und Hörsaal: H18, NWII

Prof. Dr. Alexander Steinbüchel, Institut für Molekulare Mikrobiologie und Biotechnologie, Universität Münster

Postsynthetic Modifications of Biopolymers

Biopolymers are usually produced by fermentation of microorganisms and they are also produced or collected from plants and animals. These polymers comprise an abundant variety like cyanophycin (a storage compound occurring in cyanobacteria and others), polyisoprenoids (a typical plant polymer) and polyesters (a storage compound in many bacteria) top mention only a few examples. Our research aims at the enzymatic as well as chemical modifications of various polymers in order to widen this variety for novel biomaterials.

Link zur Arbeitsgruppe: Steinbüchel Lab
Link: Poster

12.06.2023 - Dr. Patrizia Pfohl: Aging of Intentionally Produced Microplastic Particles for Innovative ApplicationsHide

Monday 12th June 2023

16:15, ZOOM und Hörsaal: H18, NWII

Dr. Patrizia Pfohl, Colloid Science & Materials Properties, Microplastics & Nanomaterials, BASF SE

Aging of Intentionally Produced Microplastic Particles for Innovative Applications

Microplastics are ubiquitous in the environment, but their fragmentation and degradation mechanisms are not fully understood, although essential to estimate their fate and impacts. Industry has a responsibility to develop polymers that fit into a sustainable circular economy, so we aim to fill knowledge gaps regarding degradation and fragmentation processes of microplastics in different environmental compartments with the aid of appropriate laboratory set-ups for experimental reproducibility and environmental relevance. To investigate partially biodegraded microplastics occurring in complex environmental matrices, non-destructive extraction protocols with extensive controls are needed to assure particle and polymer stability, homogeneous sampling and appropriate recovery. We did biodegradation tests in combination with the developed extraction protocol for polyurethane (PU) microplastics to reveal which chemical design is needed to improve biodegradability of PU microplastics in the environment. In addition to that we developed an adapted NanoRelease protocol to investigate dry UV aging of polyamide and PU microplastics, as well as the release of micro- and nanoplastic fragments and water-soluble organics. In both studies, microplastic degradation resulted in fragmentation, but degradation strongly depends on the polymer composition and the environmental stresses. Overall, we want to underline the importance of quality control by reference materials used for spiking, extraction efficiency, and systematic comparison against blank controls for microplastic aging, extraction, harmonized data report and analysis.

LinkedIn Profile: Dr. Patrizia Pfohl
Link: Poster

15.05.2023 - Prof. Dr. Markus Biesalski:Tailor-made functional papers – a complex low-cost material in high-tech applicationsHide

Monday, 15. Mai 2023
16:15, ZOOM lecture hall: H18, NWII

Prof. Dr. Markus Biesalski, Macromolecular Chemistry and Paper Chemistry

Tailor-made functional papers – a complex low-cost material in high-tech applications

Paper has been known for thousands of years for its unique profile of properties: bendable & foldable, high mechanical strength, and its pore structure enabling pump-free fluid transport. Its production and recycling can nowadays be seen as technologically well-optimized. It has an environmentally friendly image and fosters the growing desire of the public for sustainable materials solutions. Despite its classical applications as print, packaging and hygiene paper, it has been in focus for several years in very challenging areas, e.g. in lateral flow tests (LFT), light-weight construction materials (e.g. as a honeycomb core in door leaves or shelves), as well as most recently in paper-based packaging as well as paper-based soft robotics. In this talk I will introduce our recent efforts in understanding and tailoring paper properties by controlled functionalization of the fiber and paper-sheet interfaces. Examples progress from the use of functional wax-polymer coatings to modulate barrier properties to cross-linking of polymers with paper fibers to introduce wet-strength properties in a sustainable fashion and the spatial control of interfacial attachment of polymers inside paper to gain 4D paper-based actuators.

Link to Homepage: Prof. Dr. Markus Biesalski
Link: Poster

30.01.2023 - Dr. Sonja Oberbeckmann: The microplastic microbiomeHide

Montag, 30. Januar 2023
16:15, ZOOM und Hörsaal: H18, NWII

Dr. Sonja Oberbeckmann, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Rostock

The microplastic microbiome

Microplastics in the ocean are readily colonized by a broad range of microorganisms. The talk will cover which microorganisms use microplastics as a habitat, how environmental factors drive this colonization, and why biodegradation of plastic in the marine system is overall an unlikely process. We will also discuss whether potentially pathogenic microorganisms are hitchhiking on microplastics. Finally, potential ecological consequences of the microplastic-microbiome-interactions will be presented.

Link to Homepage: Dr. Sonja Oberbeckmann
Link: Poster

19.12.2022 - Insights CRC 1357 Microplastic: Formation, degradation, biofilm formation of microplastics and influence of microbial diversity on microplastic particles in the environment.Hide

Monday, 19. December 2022
16:15, ZOOM and Lecture Hall: H18, NWII

Insights CRC 1357 Microplastic: Formation and degradation of microplastics under simulated environmental conditions and influence of microbial diversity and biofilm formation on degradation mechanisms of microplastic particles in the environment.

The SFB 1357 teams of project C01, Teresa Menzel, Nora Meides and Anika Mauel as well as team C04 Gerasimos Gkoutselis and Stephan Rohrbach give insights into their microplastics research. If plastics or microplastic particles are in our environment, they are exposed to a wide variety of influences such as solar radiation, mechanical stress, biofilm formation and the microbial communities in water and soil. How do macroplastics actually turn into microplastics, and is the plastisphere developed by fungi as a new habitat? We are curious what the PhD students will report!

12.12.2022 - Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Josef Endres: Closing the gap between laboratory and field tests to investigate the aquatic degradability of plasticsHide

Monday, 12. December 2022
16:15, ZOOM and Lecture Hall: H18, NWII

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Josef Endres, Head of the Institute for Plastics and Recycling Technology at Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH)

Closing the gap between laboratory and field tests to investigate the aquatic degradability of plastics

The lecture deals with the question of how the gap between laboratory tests and real environmental conditions can be closed for the investigation of the aquatic degradability of plastics. In this context, the associated technical approaches (e.g. "rocking shaker", microCT) as well as first results from them will be presented. The overall objective is to improve the understanding of the relationships between the degradation processes (mechanisms, kinetics, half-life), the environmental conditions (oxygen availability, temperature, salinity, light irradiation, time) and the material parameters (molecular structure, microstructure, specific surface area) for the specific development of aquatically degradable bioplastics.

Link to Homepage: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Josef Endres
Link: Poster

05.12.2022 - Prof. Dr. Nelson Odume: How should we consider the role of hydraulic habitats and traits in the study of the distribution and effects of microplastics in riverine systems?Hide

Monday, 5. December 2022
16:15, ZOOM

Prof. Dr. Nelson Odume, Institute for Water Research at Rhodes University, South Africa

How should we consider the role of hydraulic habitats and traits in the study of the distribution and effects of microplastics in riverine systems?

The transport and distribution of microplastics in riverine systems at the reach-scale are mediated by hydraulic characteristics such as depth, flow velocity, surface roughness. These factors interact with MP characteristics such as density, size, polymer type to influence the sedimentation, advection, dispersion, diffusion, settling, re-mobilisation, adsorption, and aggregation of MPs. At the reach scale, pools, riffles, and runs are hydraulic habitats, reflecting a combination of substrate type, depth, and flow velocity. These hydraulic habitats may vary from shallow-fast flowing-, shallow-slow flowing-, to deep-fast flowing- and deep-slow flowing waters, so that MP in rivers tend to settle and potentially re-mobilise in the slow-flowing hydraulic habitats and are transported speedily in the fast-flowing hydraulic habitats. Thus, in relation to MP transport at the reach-scale, the slow flowing hydraulic habitats can be likened to “sink zones”, whereas the fast-flowing hydraulic habitats, the “flush zone”. Viewed this way, rivers are thus made up of patchy series of sink and flush zones for MPs.

Macroinvertebrates, through their trait are adapted to different hydraulic habitats, which may impose on them different levels of exposure to MPs in the sink and flush zones. Drawing on the habitat template concept, and principles of hydro-geomorphology, this talk shed light on the role of hydraulic habitats in the distribution and transport of MPs, and why it is important to consider this important dimension in the ecological study of MPs. This talk also provides insights into how traits may mediate organismal exposure to MPs at the reach scale. 

Link to Homepage: Prof. Dr. Nelson Odum
Link: Poster

25.07.2022 - Prof. Peter Fiener: Arable soils - a leaking sink of microplastic?Hide

Monday, 25. July 2022
16:00, Virtual ZOOM or H18, NWII

Prof. Dr. Peter Fiener, Water and Soil Resource Research, University Augsburg
Coordinator of the EU Innovative Training Network ‘Macro and micro plastic in agricultural soil systems (SOPLAS)”

Arable soils - a leaking sink of microplastic?

This talk will focus on the potential importance of surface runoff and soil erosion as long-lasting pathway of microplastic from arable soils to inland waters. It will be subdivided into a general introduction regarding the challenges in dealing with soil and microplastic erosion on larger scales and will present original research comprising microplastic erosion process studies as well as first modelling approaches quantifying the erosion transport pathway in a mesoscale catchment. The latter underpins that even if the microplastic input to arable soils could be regulated today, soils would remain a diffuse microplastic source for inland waters for centuries

Link to Homepage: Peter Fiener
Link: Poster

13.06.2022 - Prof. Dr. Bernd Nowack - Modeling the release of plastic and microplastic to the environmentHide

Monday, 13. June 2022
16:00, Virtual ZOOM or H18, NWII

Prof. Dr. Bernd Nowack, Environmental Risk Assessment and Management Group, EMPA, ETH Zürich

Modeling the release of plastic and microplastic to the environment

There is still a lot of uncertainty about the quantity and main sources of plastic emissions to the environment. This presentation shows how a combined (dynamic) material flow and release modeling can be used to quantify the current and historic releases of macro- and microplastics to the environment. A polymer-specific approach is needed as large differences between the released amounts and the receiving compartments exists.

Link to Homepage: Bernd Nowack
Link: Poster

16.05.2022 - Insights CRC 1357 Microplastic with Dr. Hannes Laermanns and Jan-Pascal Boos: Tracing Microplastic transport on soil surfaces and the water-sediment boundaryHide

Montag, 16. May 2022
16:00, H33, AI und Zoom

Insights CRC 1357 Microplastic: Tracing Microplastic transport on soil surfaces and the water-sediment boundary

The SFB 1357 members Jan-Pascal Boos and Hannes Laermanns provide insights into current microplastics research. Microplastics have been ubiquitously detected in the environment. Since Microplastic particle properties can be substantially different from natural sediments, little is known about the specific transport mechanisms responsible for the distribution from anthropogenic sources to natural sinks. We present two approaches to track pristine and biofouled fluorescent microplastic transport in two different systems: On the water-sediment boundary using an experimental flume setting and during runoff using laboratory setup and computer simulations.

Link to Homepage: Hannes Laermanns
Link to Homepage: Jan-Pascal Boos
Link: Posterankündigung

09.05.2022 - Dr.-Ing. Kryss Waldschläger: Diverse microplastics and where to find them: Learning from natural sediment to tackle microplastic challengesHide

Monday, 9. May 2022
16:00, H33, AI und Zoom

Dr.-Ing. Kryss Waldschläger, Assistant Professor for Fluid Mechanics at Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management Group, Wageningen University

Diverse microplastics and where to find them: Learning from natural sediment to tackle microplastic challenges

Although our knowledge of microplastics is rapidly increasing, we still have difficulties in describing these diverse particles and in understanding the basic transport processes of microplastics in the aquatic environment. However, research on natural sediments offers many approaches that can be applied or adapted to microplastics. This presentation will show what we can learn from natural sediments when it comes to particle and transport description and where we need to focus our efforts in the future.

Link to Homepage: Kryss Waldschläger
Link: Posterankündigung

04.04.2022 -SFB Insights Seminar: Microplastics is not MicroplasticsHide

Monday, 4. April 2022
16:00, Virtual ZOOM or H33, AI

Insights CRC 1357 Microplastics: Microplastics is not Microplastics –
When particle properties determine biological effects

The CRC 1357 PhD students Matthias Völkl and Simon Wieland provide insights into current microplastics research. Why are microplastics not all the same? When do inhaled microparticles threat our health? What distinguishes them from other particles?  Two recent publications in the Journal of Hazardous Materials address precisely these two questions. Matthias and Simon offer exclusive insights into the interdisciplinary research of the CRC 1357 Microplastics

21.02.2022 - Prof. Silke Christiansen: From macro- to nano-plastics - Scale bridging analytics with microscopies and spectroscopies in various matrices and preparative workflowsHide

Monday, 21. February 2022
04:00 pm, Virtual ZOOM or H33, AI

Prof. Dr. Silke Christiansen, Fraunhofer IKTS, Department: Korrelative Mikroskopie und Materialdaten

From macro- to nano-plastics - Scale bridging analytics with microscopies and spectroscopies in various matrices and preparative workflows

In her talk, Prof. Christiansen will specify the challenges of scale-bridging analytics, in particular when identifying individual, identical M/NPs in various analytical techniques is required to truly correlate various physical and chemical properties at particle level. She will moreover demonstrate the strengths of scale-bridging analytics and will introduce the nanoGPS technology as an enabler of this multi-modal analytics correlation at single particle level. Application examples from M/NPs in filters from mineral water as well as in tissue of marine animals and human derived cells will be shown.

Link to Homepage: Silke Christiansen
Link: Poster

24.01.2022 - Prof. Dr. Thilo Hofmann: Nanotechnology, Nanogeosciences, Nanoplastics: Similarities and PerspectivesHide

Monday, 24th January 2022
05:00 pm, ZOOM

Prof. Dr. Thilo Hofmann, Environmental Geosciences, Universität Wien

Nanotechnology, Nanogeosciences, Nanoplastics: Similarities and Perspectives

Hoffmann´s talk will address natural (NPs), engineered (ENPs) and microplastic (nano)particles (MPs) and specific aspects concerning the detection and prediction of nanoparticle fate. It will focus on new analytical concepts and “old” knowledge from nanogeoscience, which might be of importance for MPs research and the use of nanotechnology in the field of plant agriculture.

Link to Homepage: Thilo Hoffmann
Link: Poster

13.12.2021 - Prof. Dr. Martin Koch: Spectroscopic Detection of MicroplasticsHide

Monday, 13th December 2021
5:00 pm, Virtual ZOOM

Spectroscopic Detection of Microplastics
Prof. Dr. Martin Koch, Semiconductor Photoniccs, University Marburg

Several different spectroscopic methods exist to distinguish microplastics particles and natural materials typically found in the environment. We discuss the operation principles and the advantages and drawbacks of these different methods.

Link to Homepage: Martin Koch
Link: Posterankündigung

15.11.2021 - Prof. Dr. Anke Nölscher:Assessing origin and fate of airborne (microplastic) particlesHide

Montag, 15th November 2021
5:00 pm, H33, AI

Assessing origin and fate of airborne (microplastic) particles via molecular-level composition analysis
Prof. Dr. Anke Nölscher, Atmosphärische Chemie, Universität Bayreuth

The chemical composition of airborne particles can aid to diagnose their origin, atmospheric age and impact on air quality, weather and climate. This seminar talk will highlight the potential of a molecular-level composition analysis for studying sources and impact of (microplastic) particles in the atmosphere

Link to Homepage: Anke Nölscher
Link: Posterankündigung

08.11.2021 - Prof. Dr. Iseult Lynch - Microplastics interactions with biomolecules and daphnidsHide

Monday, 8th November 2021

Microplastics interactions with biomolecules and daphnids
Prof. Dr. Iseult Lynch, Environmental Nanosciences, University of Birmingham

The talk will present some of our work on understanding the interactions of Microplastics with Daphnia magna, a key indicator species for pollution, including the importance of mode of dispersion, impacts of medium composition, and role of the acquired biomolecule corona in mediating ingestion and retention of microplastics and co-pollutants such as triclosan (a representative antibacterial found in handwashes) and diclofenac (an exemplar pharmaceutical).

Link to Homepage: Iseult Lynch
Link: Posterankündigung

25.10.2021 - Prof Dr. Andrea Haase: Possibilities to group micro- and nanoplastic particlesHide

Monday, 25th October 2021

Possibilities to group micro- and nanoplastic particles: Insights from the perspective of the BMBF project InnoMat.Life
PD Dr. Andrea Haase, Chemical and Product Safety, German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)

Compared to grouping of conventional substances or nanomaterials, establishing grouping approaches for micro- and nanoscaled plastic particles (MNPs) is much more challenging. The description of the chemical composition is more complicated for polymers and these particles are inherently heterogenous in many key properties.

This talk will provide an overview on the experimental work conducted within the InnoMat.Life consortium (www.innomatlife.de) to challenge possible grouping criteria using a variety of selected MNPs including several types of polyethylene, polyamide, polyurethane, polymethyl methacrylate and a rubber material obtained from recycled truck tires. As potential grouping criteria we assessed, among others, surface reactivity and biological effects considering human and environmental model systems, transport of different environmental contaminants, sedimentation and flotation behavior as well as ageing and fragmentation rates.

Based on our current data first conclusions concerning suitable approaches and criteria for grouping of different MNPs are possible. Our work is important for developing approaches to assess risks for human health and the environment.

Link to Homepage: Chemicals and Product Safety, BfR
Link: Posterankündigung

04.10.2021 -Prof. Ulrich Schwaneberg: Protein Engineering for Plastic ManagementHide

Monday, 04th October 2021
5:00 pm, Virtual Seminar (ZOOM)

Protein Engineering for Plastic Management
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schwaneberg, Biotechnologie, RWTH Aachen

Plastics production reached ~370 million tons worldwide and our environment is massively contaminated with plastic waste. Microplastic contaminations alone are estimated to be in total 1.8-5.0 Mio tons with a yearly increase of 42 000 t (source European Chemical Agency; ECHA). Microplastic-particles can still be found in daily-used products such as cosmetics, cleaning/laundry products, and fertilizers. Based on bioaccumulation studies of Microplastic-particles the ECHA recommends wide-ranging restrictions on Microplastic in products to ensure human and environmental health. This ‘ban on microplastic’ is expected to be adopted into EU legislation till 2022, however, so far no ‘holy grail’ analytics has been developed to enable material-specific quantification of Microplastic-particles in high-throughput. In the presentation I will outline the advancement that we have achieved in designing by material-specific binding through protein engineering methodologies and their application in microplastic quantification and degradation.

Link to Homepage: Ulrich Schwaneberg
Link: Posterankündigung

27.07.2021 - SFB 1357 Klausurtagung 2021Hide

27-29th July 2021
Hotel The Monarch, Bad Gögging

CRC 1357 Retreat, Internal CRC Event

19.07.2021 - Dr. Dirk Broßell: Assessment of health risks of high aspect ratio materials (HARM)Hide

Monday, 19th July 2021
17:00 Uhr, Virtual Seminar (ZOOM)

Assessment of health risks of high aspect ratio materials (HARM): New techniques for material control and testing
Dr. Dirk Broßell, Partikelförmige Gefahrstoffe, Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, Dortmund

Dust of high aspect ratio materials (HARM) can be hazardous to human health when inhaled. The classical fibre pathogenicity paradigm (FPP) predicts a carcinogenic potential in humans for inhalable biodurable fibres. Innovative testing methods and the availability of materials with narrow diameter distributions like carbon nanotubes and synthetic polymer fibres will and have already contribute(d) to a better understanding of the underlying pathomechanical cell effects that motivate a revision and extension of the FPP. Apart from implementing appropiate safety measures for workers, risk prediction enables the identification of parameters for designing and manufacturing safer HARM.

Link to Homepage: Fachgruppe 4.5 Partikelförmige Gefahrstoffe und Innovative Materialien

28.06.2021 - Dr. Elke Brandes: Modelling microplastic input into agricultural soils – first results and a perspectiveHide

Monday, 28th June 2021
17:00 Uhr, Virtual Seminar (ZOOM)

Modelling microplastic input into agricultural soils – first results and a perspective
Dr. Elke Brandes, Institute for Rural Studies, Thünen-Insitut, Braunschweig

In both science and society, agriculture has been featuring prominently as an emitter of microplastics into soils, but its relevance compared with other sources (industry, littering, etc.) remains largely unknown. The talk will include some spatially explicit modelling results of MP emission distributions from the BMBF funded projects PLAWES and MicroCatch_Balt, and discuss these in context with the whole transport pathway chain from terrestrial to marine environments. It will also highlight the importance of multi-scale modelling approaches towards a holistic understanding as a basis for political decision-making.

Poster: CRC 1357 Seminar Dr. Elke Brandes
Link to Homepage: Elke Brandes

14.06.2021 - Prof. Marcus Halik: Nano- and Microplastics, Oil or Toxins – how Smart Rust can clean up our waterHide

Monday, 14th June 2021
05:00 pm, Virtual Seminar (ZOOM)

Nano- and Microplastics, Oil or Toxins – how Smart Rust can clean up our water
Prof. Dr. Marcus Halik, Organic Materials & Devices, Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen - Nürnberg

Chemically surface-functionalized SuperParamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (SPIONs) – or smart rust – serve excellent vehicles to attract water contaminants and to allow a simple magnetic remediation of such loaded SPIONs. The surfaces of SPIONs matters in order to achieve magnetic responsive sorbents to collect efficiently different brands of nano/microplastics, different liquid hydrocarbons (oil) or special contaminants (PCBs, glyphosate). An overview of recent developments will be presented.

Poster: CRC 1357 Seminar Prof. Marcus Halik
Link to Homepage: Marcus Halik

24.02.2020 - Dr. Lars Dähne: Synthesis of functionalized, monodisperse microparticles from different plastic materialsHide

Monday, 24th February 2020
17:00 o'clock, NWIII, H36

Synthesis of functionalized, monodisperse microparticles from different plastic materials
Dr. habil Lars Dähne, Surflay Nanotec GmbH, Berlin

Link zu Homepage: Surflay

03.02.2020 - Prof. Matthias Rillig: Microplastic effects in terrestrial ecosystemsHide

Monday, 3rd February 2020
17:00 o'clock, NWIII, H36

Microplastic effects in terrestrial ecosystems
Prof. Dr. Matthias Rillig, Plant Ecology, Freie Universität Berlin

Microplastic effects have only relatively recently become a concern in terrestrial ecosystems, with research having initially focused on aquatic systems. In this talk I discuss the role of microplastic as a global change factor affecting soils and plants.

Link Homepage: Prof. Rillig
Announcement: Poster

27.01.2020 - Prof. Dr. Marco Beeken: Science Communication: Sustainability and Microplastics Hide

Monday, 27th January 2020
17:00 o'clock, NWIII, H36

Science Communication: Sustainability and Microplastics
Prof. Dr. Marco Beeken, Didactics of Chemistry, University of Osnabrück

The topics environment protection and sustainability are currently being intensively discussed  in society, the media, sciences and politics. “Fridays for Future” may act as a prominent example here. However, on closer inspection, it becomes clear that many citizens show great interest in these topics, but are often rather uninformed with regard to details.

For this reason, science communication is of great significance. In this lecture, first some theoretical basic knowledge on science communication based on the example of microplastics is presented, after which some concrete event formats and their evaluation results are discussed.

Link Homepage: Prof. Beeken
Announcement: Poster

18.12.2019 - Prof. Stefan Mecking: Towards non-persistent polyethylene-like materials by polymerization catalysis methodsHide

Wednesday, 18th December 2019
16:15 o'clock, NWI, H11

Towards non-persistent polyethylene-like materials by polymerization catalysis methods
Prof. Dr. Stefan Mecking, Chemische Materialwissenschaften, Universität Konstanz

Polyethylene is the most important plastic with excellent materials properties due to its crystallinity, yet it is persistent in a natural environment. We pursue approaches to endow polyethylene-like materials with a non-persistent nature by introducing low densities of functional groups as break points in the chain. Key are polymerization catalysis methods that are compatible with such functional groups. These also provide access to unique polymer micro- and nanoparticles for studies of the fate of microplastics in the environment.

Link Homepage: Prof. Mecking
Announcement: Poster

11.12.2019 - CRC 1357 internal seminarHide

Wednesday, 11th December 2019
16:15 o'clock, NWI, H11

Prof. Dr. Eva Lehndorff, Department Soil Ecology, University of Bayreuth

Prof. Dr. Tillmann Lüders, Ecological Microbiology, University of Bayreuth

SFB-internal Seminar for PIs and PhDs.

04.12.2019 - Dr.Michael Sander: Polymers in the underground: on the biodegradation of synthetic polyesters in soilsHide

Wednesday, 04th December 2019
16:15 o'clock, NWI, H11

Polymers in the underground: on the biodegradation of synthetic polyesters in soils
Dr. Michael Sander, Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zürich

Biodegradable plastics have been heavily used in agricultural applications for years, while the biodegradation of these materials in soils remained poorly understood on a fundamental level. This contribution will present highlights on our past and ongoing work on the key steps involved in polyester biodegradation in soils: microbial polymer surface colonisation, polyester hydrolysis by extracellular microbial esterases, and the microbial utilisation of polyester hydrolysis products. The talk will also summarise remaining knowledge gaps on polyester biodegradation in soils and present some ideas of how these can be addressed.

Link Homepage: Dr. Sander
Announcement: Poster

27.11.2019 - Prof. Wolfgang Streit: Microbial Degradation of Plastics: Searching the Needle in the Haystack Hide

Wednesday, 27th November 2019
16:15 o'clock, NWI, H11

Microbial Degradation of Plastics: Searching the Needle in the Haystack
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Streit, Microbiology und Biotechnology, Universität Hamburg

Bacteria as plastic waste disposal? Will microorganisms be able to eat microplastics in the future and thus remove them from the environment? What is behind the microorganisms, what effect they have and what opportunities there are for the reduction of nano- and microplastics will be explained here. Further I will address our latest attempts to identify plastic-degrading enzymes and bacteria by mining global metagenomes.

Link Homepage: Prof. Streit
Announcement: Poster

Public Seminar - All interested parties are cordially invited!

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