Comparing Plankton vs. Microplastic Ratios between Samples from the N. Pacific Gyre
Algalita Marine Research and Education was founded by Captain Charles Moore, the sailor who brought the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the world’s attention. They have spent years collecting data from each of the five gyres and have recently reached out to our lab to help them with some of the analysis.
We are aiming to sort through the contents of their samples collected from the North Pacific Gyre consisting of plankton, natural debris, and non-natural debris (aka plastics). After sorting, the weights of each group will be taken to determine the ratios of plastics to plankton within the sample. Using our FTIR-ATR, we will also identify the type of microplastics collected.
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Photo of plankton under magnification with a blue fiber.
Can you spot it?