Impact of Microplastic Fiber Pollution on Planorbella campanulata (Ramshorn Snail) Fecundity and Mortality

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Laurie Eberhardt


Arts and Sciences


Biology Department

ORCID Identifier(s)


Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-3-2019


Plastic pollution in bodies of water is an emerging environmental issue. As research towards plastic microfiber pollution (synthetic fibers <5mm shed notably from clothing and>carpeting) continues to be explored, multiple effects on marine life have been discovered. This study is a continuation and expansion of a summer research project on the potential effects of plastic microfibers on the freshwater organism Planorbella campanulata (Ramshorn Snail). The snails were exposed to polyester microfibers for six weeks, the same amount of time as the previous study. The mortality of parent snails, along with the amount of eggs, egg sacs, and offspring was recorded. An effect of exposure to microplastics was found, with a higher rate of mortality in parent snails (T=2.120, n=11, p=0.012). A trend in more eggs being laid was also observed in snails exposed to microplastics. Our results suggest that microplastic pollution can have negative effects on freshwater organisms.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Kalleb Miller- A junior Biology Pre-dental Major with minors in Chemistry and Psychology at Valparaiso University. Although I enjoy doing research, I work towards Dental School and opening a practice one day.

Cole Philips- A freshman Biology Research Intensive major at Valparaiso University. I hope to gain more research experience here at Valparaiso as I move forward in my academic career.

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