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ITN Network Limnoplast starts research on microplastics in freshwater systems

The Vogel group participates as a partner in the “LimnoPlast” EU research and training project on the distribution of microplastics in European rivers and lakes. This “Innovative Training Network (ITN)”, which is funded for four years to the tune of almost €4.1 million by the EU out of its “Horizon 2020” programme in the framework of the Marie Skłodowska Curie measures.

Microscopically small plastic waste, also known as microplastics, is a challenge for freshwater ecosystems around the globe. However, it is still largely unknown where the particles come from, and how they enter rivers and lakes. Similarly, there is still no comprehensive research into how microplastic particles in the environment affect humans or animals, let alone entire ecosystems. The new EU project with the abbreviated name “LimnoPlast” therefore aims to approach the topic of “microplastics in freshwater ecosystems” from a holistic perspective. Over the next few years, fifteen interdisciplinary doctoral students from the fields of polymer- and engineering science; toxicology and ecology; environmental-, social-, and legal sciences, and psychology will focus on answering central questions about the origin, distribution, and effects of microplastics in freshwater systems and based on this knowledge develop solutions to the microplastic challenge. Exemplary case studies will explore the freshwater ecosystems around the three urban areas of Aarhus, Amsterdam, and Paris. “LimnoPlast” is the first European project to systematically network natural, environmental, technical, and social sciences in the field of microplastic research.

Check out the official Limnoplast homepage for news, more details and advanced on the project.