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Collaborative Research Centre 1357 Microplastics

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Press Releases CRC 1357 Microplastics

"Mouse Door Opener Day" at the Collaborative Research Centre for Microplastics and the Ecological Botanical Garden at the University of Bayreuth

Nationwide "Mouse Door Opener Day" on October 3rd - also in Bayreuth. The Collaborative Research Centre Microplastics and the Ecological Botanical Garden of the University of Bayreuth invite preschool and primary school children to look behind the doors of the laboratories. There they can discover what microplastics are and what happens to them in the environment. They can feel for themselves what properties soils have and learn about animals that occur in soils and waters. Participation is only possible after registration at anmeldung-maus@uni-bayreuth.de,  the number of places is limited!


Pathogenic fungi colonise microplastics in soils

Representatives of numerous pathogenic fungal species are finding new habitat on microplastic particles in the soil and could thus be one of the possible causes of an increase in fungal infections. Researchers from Bayreuth, Hannover and Munich demonstrated this in a new study. Using high-throughput methods, the scientists analysed fungal communities from soil samples taken from sites near human settlements in western Kenya. The findings of this research have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.


United against microplastics in food: New joint project strengthens cooperation between research and industry

High-tech methods for detecting microplastics in food and suitable prevention measures are the focus of the joint German-Austrian Cornet project "MicroplasticATfood", which kicked off on 1 July 2021. With its expertise in microplastic research, the University of Bayreuth is involved in interdisciplinary case studies dealing with packaging, filling lines, beverages, surfaces of solid food, and soluble foods. On the German side, the project will be funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy until 2023 to the tune of € 542,000, of which about € 275,000 have been allocated to the University of Bayreuth.

Press Release UBT


New long-term study by the University of Bayreuth shows the rapid formation of micro- and nanoplastics in the environment

Most microplastic particles in the environment originate from larger pieces of plastic. In a long-term study, an interdisciplinary research team at the University of Bayreuth has simulated how quickly plastic breaks down into fragments under natural influences. High-tech laboratory tests on polystyrene show two phases of abiotic degradation. To begin with, the stability of the plastic is weakened by photo-oxidation. Then cracks form and more and more and smaller fragments are released into the environment. The study, published in the journal "Environmental Science & Technology", allows conclusions to be drawn about other plastics that are common in the environment.

Press Release UBT



Bayreuth researchers investigate effects of microplastics on agricultural soils

The effects of microplastics on soil quality and the growth of agricultural crops are the focus of a new interdisciplinary research project at the University of Bayreuth. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and is part of the "Microplastics" Collaborative Research Centre (CRC 1537) established at the University of Bayreuth in 2019.

Press Release UBT


University of Bayreuth partner in new EU project on effects of micro- and nanoplastics in agriculture

The University of Bayreuth is a partner in the new European "PAPILLONS" consortium for micro- and nanoplastics research in agriculture. 20 universities and research institutions from 12 countries will jointly investigate the sustainability of plastic use in European agriculture. The focus is on the input of plastic particles and chemical additives into arable land, and their possible ecological and socio-economic effects. The European Union is funding the project until 2025 to the tune of € 7.2 million in total, of which € 600,000 euros have been allocated to the University of Bayreuth. At a virtual kick-off meeting on 14 and 15 June 2021, the research partners agreed on what the next steps in their work would be.

Press Release UBT


Teacher training on microplastics: How distance learning on current research topics can succeed

Cutting-edge research and distance learning - the University of Bayreuth is bringing these two topics together. Next Wednesday, the Centre for Teacher Education at University of Bayreuth is organizing an online training course for high school teachers on the topic of microplastics. This will not only bring the latest research results from experts in the field of research into the classroom. There will also be aids for distance teaching.

Bayreuth study: the most consumed species of mussels contain microplastics all around the world 

"If you eat mussels, you eat microplastics." This was already known to a limited extent about mussels from individual ocean regions. A new study by the University of Bayreuth, led by Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch, reveals that this claim holds true globally. The Bayreuth team investigated the microplastic load of four mussel species which are particularly often sold as food in supermarkets from twelve countries around the world. The scientists now present their research results in the journal "Environmental Pollution".


Neues europäisches Projekt erforscht gesundheitliche Auswirkungen von Kunststoffteilchen auf den Menschen 

Die Wirkungen von Kunststoffteilchen auf den menschlichen Organismus zu erforschen und eine gesundheitspolitische Strategie für die Bewertung der daraus resultierenden Risiken zu entwickeln, ist das Ziel des neuen europäischen Forschungsverbunds PlasticsFatE. Die Universität Bayreuth sowie 26 weitere Universitäten, Institute und Organisationen aus zehn EU-Mitgliedsländern beteiligen sich an dem Projekt. Die Europäische Union fördert das auf vier Jahre angelegte Vorhaben mit rund sechs Millionen Euro, auf die Universität Bayreuth entfallen dabei mehr als 465.000 Euro. Bei einer virtuellen Kick-Off-Veranstaltung der Partner fiel am 28. April 2021 der Startschuss für das Projekt.

Pressemitteilung UBT


University of Bayreuth Study: Natural environmental conditions facilitate the uptake of microplastics into living cells 

The environment is polluted by microplastics worldwide. Tiny particles enter food chains, and thereby the digestive systems of animals and humans; moreover, they can be inhaled. Instead of being excreted, small microplastics can be incorporated into the body tissue. A research team at the University of Bayreuth has now discovered that microplastic particles find their way into living cells more easily if they were exposed to natural aquatic environments, i.e. fresh water and seawater. The researchers have presented their results in the journal "Science Advances".

Sustainable plastics: University of Bayreuth researchers contribute to international White Paper

Researchers of the University of Bayreuth have taken a leading role in developing a White Paper on sustainable plastics, which four chemical associations from Germany, the UK, China, and Japan published today under the title "Science to enable sustainable plastics". The White Paper contains numerous recommendations for future research into the environmental impact of plastics, the development of new plastics, as well as recyclability and natural degradation.


Microplastics in the focus of science and art: Bayreuther Stadtgespräch on 4 March 2020

Professor Dr. Christian Laforsch and the South African artist Mbongeni Buthelezi will talk at the "Bayreuther Stadtgespräch" at the Iwalewahaus in Bayreuth since when they have been dealing with microplastics and plastic waste, what drives them personally to pursue their research and art with passion and why they want to sensibilise us to the topics of sustainability and environmental protection. The title of the talk is: "The plastic age: Unobjective reports on the topic of microplastics unsettle consumers. What researchers really (don't) know and forward-looking solutions."


„Science meets art“: Public event in Bayreuth with Mbongeni Buthelezi

The South African artist Mbongeni Buthelezi has been invited to Bayreuth for the international kick-off event of the Collaborative Research Centre "Microplastics". From 27 February to 4 March 2020, interested parties can meet and get to know researchers of the SFB and the artist at various public events.



Press talk with Mbongeni Buthelezi

At the invitation of the Collaborative Research Centre "Microplastics", the Cluster of Excellence "Africa Multiple", the Iwalewahaus and the Freundeskreis Iwalewahaus e.V., the South African artist Mbongeni Buthelezi will be a guest at the University of Bayreuth over the next few weeks. At a press briefing on Monday, 17 February 2020, 11.00 a.m., Iwalewahaus, the upcoming public events and the possibilities for media coverage will be presented.


In 100 places at the same time: Microplastics expert from the University of Bayreuth in Livestream – discussion by WWF and VHS

"How do we stop the plastic flood?" is the title of an interactive lecture event offered by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Germany and the German Adult Education Association (VHS) with Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch, holder of the Chair of Animal Ecology at the Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Geosciences at the University of Bayreuth. On-site at the Bayreuth VHS and via Livestream in more than 100 VHS at the same time, viewers can actively participate and ask their questions directly to the experts on 27 March 2019.

Logo des SFB Mikroplastik

High-End Science: New Collaborative Research Centre for the University of Bayreuth

Today the University of Bayreuth has one more reason to celebrate: The German Research Foundation (DFG) is to install a new Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) at the University of Bayreuth. The CRC will research the effects of microplastic, including its migration and formation, and develop new approaches to solving this immense environmental problem. Over the next four years, the DFG will fund the CRC with more than 10 million euros.



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