First of all, let me clarify that this is not an obituary but rather a small milestone to celebrate, me being almost a year into my PhD and all…!

My name is James, and although I’m no crusader, I still sit here with my glass bottle of water trying to make little changes to my plastic use wherever I can. A year in, I can say that I’m finally starting to make some headway with my research, yes be it small…, but in the right direction nonetheless.

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River sampling

Currently I’m trying to see if I can identify potential pathways for microplastic exposure and transfer within the freshwater food web. What does that even mean…? Well, earlier this morning I had my head over a tray of benthic marcoinvertebrates (those small but visible aquatic insects living on the river bed) trying to “remove the micro from the macro” it would seem. In other words, trying to find out whether these insects do consume microplastics, and if so, where these microplastics may have come from. From there, I’ll be working my way up the food chain, to the top, and to one of our more elusive yet charismatic mustelids, the Eurasian otter. That’s where it’s really at..!

However patience is a virtue I’ve been told and so I must wait. Watch this space however… maybe my next post will be about one of the road kills we have collected.

Stone fly nymphs (Perla bipunctata)

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