This research grant will support researchers from University of Nottingham, Malaysia to evaluate the presence and impact of microplastics in our river ecosystems. The lead researcher is Dr Christopher Gibbins, a Professor of Hydro-ecology and sustainable river management at the School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, University of Nottingham Malaysia. His work focusses on understanding the links between physical habitat conditions and biota in freshwater ecosystems. The study will be implemented with colleagues from Nottingham as well as undergraduate students and one PhD student.
This study examines the impact of microplastics on living creatures, ecosystems and human health. Despite concerns about the impact of microplastics, to date there are hardly any studies on this topic from Malaysia and Southeast Asia. The findings of this studies would increase our understanding of the dangers posed by microplastics in our rivers.
The research will involve the collection of mussels, invertebrates and fish from sites along Sungai Langat that are known to have a range of contamination levels. Students will conduct gut flushing and acid digestion of sample organisms to isolate microplastic particles. They will then assess microplastic loads in organisms. These findings will be contrasted with those in published literature to assess risk to ecosystems, species, and public health.