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We are conducting scientific sailing expeditions and field studies on a global scale with a focus on smaller sized microplastics < 0.3 mm to obtain exact numbers, estimate potential effects and to test new sampling strategies.
 

Switzerland

In 2021, together with students from the department of environmental systems science from ETH Zurich, we conducted a very first study in the Swiss alps. The aim of the study is to provide the first detailed evidence of microplastics down to 0.1 mm in the waters at 1820 m above sea level in the upper Engadine.

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Ligurian-tyrrhenian sea

Since 2018 we are collecting surface water microplastic samples between Olbia-Elba-Genoa. The aim of this project is to collect data over a 10 years period, to evalute any visible changes in the quantity and spatial and temporal distribution of microplastics found. This is the very first long term monitoring study within the Mediterranean Sea.

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Azores

Together with Dr. Christopher Pham and his team from the University of the Azores we are conducting research on microplastics around the island archipelago. In 2019, we did the first mapping of microplastics down to 0.3 mm between the islands of Faial and Graciosa,while the focus in 2021 was to take samples in a much bigger area and to collect microplastics down to 0.1 mm. In 2022 we focused on triplicate measurements to discuss the robustness of field data.

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aeolian islands

In collaboration with Dr. Teresa Romea, microplastic researcher and institute director of the Stazione Zoologic Anton Dohrn (SZN) in Messina, we are conducting expeditions around the Aeolian islands. In 2021 we did a first mapping of microplastics down to 0.1 mm with a focus on the behaviour of microplastics from shore to off-shore. In 2022 we focused on triplicate measurements to discuss the robustness of field data.

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cyclades-greece

In 2021 we conducted in collaboration with the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) a very first survey along the Cyclades, an island group in the Aegean Sea. The Aegean Sea is one of the most polluted areas within the Mediterranean Sea but more knowledge on microplastic pollution is needed to make local authorities aware of the problem.

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australia Whitsunday islands

In 2020 we conducted a pilot study around the Whitsunday Islands during which we  microplastics down to 50 microns (0.05 mm). We found out, that there are at least 124x times the number of microplastics in the 50 – 300 micron size class, compared with the 1 mm – 5 mm size range. In 2022 we repeated our study with a new adapted double net that allows us to give us more precise numbers in comparison to our pilot study.

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