Cleo Ninja Stratmann – ESR04

M.Sc. Environmental Science and Technology – Technical University Berlin
@ ESR04

Hallo – Et Bonjour,

My name is Cleo Ninja Stratmann and I consider myself a Berliner (place of birth and childhood) and a Brandenburger (growing up) (Germany). However, I feel home at many places on earth. Right now, I call Paris (France) home as I am located here during my PhD. I work at the Water, Environment and Urban Systems Laboratory (Leesu) of the Ecole National des Ponts et Chaussees (ENPC).

From 2020 to 2023 I investigate (by field sampling) how much microplastic can be found in the Seine river before and after the river passes the Paris urban area. This helps to estimate how much microplastic from big cities enters rivers. Moreover, I ask about the fate of microplastic particles in the water column, for example: in what way water flow velocity influences the sinking. Also, I take a close look at microplastic entering surface waters from agriculture. Sludge from wastewater treatment can contain microplastic and is often applied on agricultural land as fertiliser. Results from the parts described above will help me to develop a source-flux model of microplastic in the Seine river.

During a 6-months secondment in Leipzig (Germany) I conceptualise about the economic value of preventing microplastic pollution. I aim to apply results from the sampling to find strategies and new ideas to drive sustainable and responsible microplastic management.

I enjoy fieldwork and sampling campaigns, although plenty to organise. It is challenging and fulfilling to plan, carry out and finish a big campaign. The people one is working with are a big part of that and I appreciate the fun, hard-working and bright times with colleagues. Another very delightful activity of science is attending conferences or courses, where travelling and discovering new cultures are the best side effects. Regarding my personal aim to develop a scientific engineering start-up tackling plastic pollution in waters, I’m most grateful for the possibility to build expertise and an amazing network of experts, activists, peers and entrepreneurs during the three years and beyond.

Being located in France is also a great opportunity to strengthen my French and to enjoy a humorous ‘Savoir-Vivre’ culture. France offers me good wine, cheese, a lovely working team, and beautiful landscapes, of which I enjoy mostly the north-west seaside (Bretagne region) for good surf and relaxation.

Aufwiedersehen und bleiben Se jesund!

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