Deadline: 26 Jul 2024

Published: 11 Jun 2024

Contact: SZN

PLASTMed will be the first edition of “CRIMAC Summer School” and will take place from the 22nd to the 25th of October, at the Research Centre and Marine Advanced Infrastructures in Calabria, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, in Amendolara (CS).

The PLASTMed Summer School will consist of 4 days and will focus on plastic marine pollution in the Mediterranean Sea, dealing with both biotic and abiotic environmental matrices, through a multidisciplinary approach (ecological, biotechnological and toxicological).

The program foresees both lectures by leading experts and practical sessions on the employment of field and lab methods for studying macro and microplastic pollution and the impacts in marine ecosystem. More in detail, different activities will take place, such as application of sampling protocols, laboratory analysis for plastic isolation and identification, characterization of bacterial colonization on plastic samples, marine litter data acquisition, and tests in mesocosms. The last day the participants will be engaged in an open discussion about possible solutions to mitigate plastic pollution, including technological applications and the challenges related to bioplastics.

The PLASTMed Summer School will be a valuable opportunity for students and early-career researchers to enhance their knowledge on the topic, to gain specific skills through multidisciplinary experiences as well as establish new collaboration network with some of the leading experts in the field of plastic pollution at the European level. The annual school is open to graduate and PhD students and early career researchers interested in the topic. Remote attendance is allowed.

Lecture topics:

  • Day 1: Current state of knowledge on plastic pollution in the Mediterranean basin.
  • Day 2: Study of plastic litter in sea surface and its impacts.
  • Day 3: Study of plastic litter and its impacts in seabed and marine organisms.
  • Day 4: Plastic solutions and technological applications.

Field activities:

  • plastic collection from sea surface marine water using manta trawl net;
  • plastic collection from marine sediments using Van Veen grab;
  • plastic monitoring and collection from beach sediments;
  • insights on data acquisition.

Practical sessions:

  • extraction and characterization of plastics from seawater, beach/seabed sediment and biota samples;
  • polymer identification by Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Spectroscopy technique;
  • isolation and characterization of bacterial communities on plastics;
  • impact assessment of plastic litter on benthic species from remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) video;
  • mesocosm trials.