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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences

Animal Ecology I: Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch, Prof. Dr. Heike Feldhaar

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Julian BrehmM. Sc.

Julian Brehm

Doctoral student

Phone: +49-921-55-2648
Room: NW I, 5.0 01 39
e-Mail: julian1.brehm(at)uni-bayreuth.de

Effects of microparticles on aquatic model macrofauna depending on particle properties: Comparison of microplastics to natural particles


In my project, I investigate the effects of microplastics (MP) with different physical and chemical properties on the limnetic water flea (Daphnia) and the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) additionally a comparison to natural particulate matter will be drawn.

The organism were chosen as water fleas and mussels play a crucial role in aquatic food webs. Furthermore, they are filter feeders and are exposed to a continuous load of particles, which therefore increases the risk to unselectively ingest MP.

For Daphnia, typical life history parameters, such as mortality, growth rate and number of offspring will be analyzed, and in case of D. polymorpha behavioural changes and stress markers will be looked at.

In order to understand the biological and biochemical mechanisms underlying the effects of MP on those organisms, the transcriptomes and gut microbiomes of MP exposed animals will be analyzed and compared to the respective controls. Additionally, as proteins are the main effectors in metabolic pathways and signal cascades, a holistic as well as tissue specific proteomic approach will be conducted with the model organism Daphnia, to investigate the effects of MP. The obtained data will substantially help to shed light on the mechanisms underlying the effects of MP on those organisms.

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