I am Azora from Germany. I studied in Darmstadt and hold a Master’s degree in Technical Biology. For my PhD studies I moved to Göteborg in Sweden.
My contribution to the LimnoPlast ITN project is the investigation of the chronic toxicity of microplastics in fish species. I will design studies that differentiate between polymer microparticles and the chemicals inherent to these materials. Freshwater fish species (perch, stickleback, and brown or rainbow trout) are selected by their ecological relevance and establishment as model organisms with available knowledge on their physiology and genetics. Different life stages, from larvae to adult, and fish cell cultures will be studied. In addition, I will address impacts in fish species exhibiting different feeding strategies. Both aspects are supposed to give a broader spectrum of real life conditions. The toxicity of biobased and biodegradable microplastic polymers and their leachates will be tested with several endpoints on life cycle parameters, metabolism, general stress response and behavior. In addition, a determination of microplastics accumulation in fish tissues and faeces is planned.
Sweden is my new home now and did not disappoint me with its beautiful nature and all the outdoor activities to do. Swedes are extremely friendly and polite. They are so happy to help you and get excited to talk to you when they find out you are not from Sweden. Something that is definitely missing in other countries is Fika! It is nice to have a reason to eat cake and candy (which are very delicious here) and chat with your colleagues and friends. In general, people seem to be less stressed here and live their life in balance (lagom).
I hope that I can invite my LimnoPlast colleagues to a Swedish fika soon and I am sure that our amazing team will contribute to tackle the issue of microplastics in the environment together in many perspectives!
Hej då och håll dig frisk!