We are currently hosting Vena Haynes at LEMAR, who is doing her thesis at the University of Connecticut and will present her research on the toxicity of titanium nanoparticles to planktonic organisms on Friday, May 17 at 11am in A215 (IUEM).
Investigating the phototoxic effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles on a marine planktonic food web
In this presentation, I will discuss parts of my dissertation research done at the University of Connecticut, Department of Marine Sciences and the collaborative research I will do here at LEMAR as part of my Chateaubriand Fellowship. The objective of my dissertation is to investigate the impact of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (n-TiO2) on a marine planktonic food web, under conditions similar to those found in the photic zone of near shore waters. TiO2 nanoparticles are found in paints, sunscreens, and personal care products and enter the marine environment through run-offs, product usage and industrial wastewater. Additionally, TiO2 is highly photoactive, and generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. There is some evidence of its phototoxicity to aquatic organisms in freshwater systems, but its effects in the marine environment are poorly understood. This research addresses the effects of n-TiO2 and light on the following: a) abundance and metabolic function of heterotrophic bacteria and microalgae associated with marine aggregates, b) mortality, egg production and hatching success of the Calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa, and c) mortality and growth of gastropod (Crepidula fornicata) larvae.