Fungal Digestion of Microplastics

Faculty Sponsor

Michael Watters


Arts and Sciences


Biology Department

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-23-2021


Plastic pollution has been a growing concern ever since the first mass produced form of synthetic plastic was created in 1907. The extent and effects associated with decades of plastic and microplastic pollution are the focus of current scientific studies, and methodology to quantify and identify the presence of microplastics in both land and aquatic environments. The purpose of this study is to determine the best conditions to degrade microplastics effectively. This was determined through the use of several forms of Fungi to observe and report changes in the microplastics, as well as possible changes in the microplastics due to prior environmental exposure such as heat that can affect the digestion.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Deuce LaRose and Heather Wendland are Seniors at Valparaiso University. Maranda Powell and Megan Moretti are Juniors at Valparaiso University. Deuce is a 22-year-old Biology major from Fort Lauderdale, FL. Heather Wendland is a 21-year-old from Valparaiso,IN, majoring in both Biology and Chemistry on a Pre-Med track. Maranda Powell is a 21-year-old from the south side of Chicago majoring in Bio-Research with a minor in Chemistry, and is on the Physician Assistant track. Megan Moretti is a 20-year-old from South Bend, IN, majoring in Nursing on a Physician Assistant track.

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