BioN-TT scholarship students visit Bangka Island for field workshop

Last week, a group of lecturers and students from Sam Ratulangi University (UNSRAT) in Manado visited Bangka Island to carry out some field work. Three of the Indonesian students are recipients of our BioN-TT scholarships which are funded by Coral Eye Resort. They were joined by Christian Lott and Miriam Weber who are currently at Coral Eye carrying out research on biodegradable plastics.

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The aim of the workshop was to sample porewater, sediment and plastic from the beach within the mangroves for the student projects MICROPLA I and NASYPOLY I. After arrival, the UNSRAT team were given a presentation and received an introduction to the field laboratory before heading to the beach within the mangroves. Students were treated to a lunch wrapped in banana leaves demonstrating the use of plastic free alternatives. Feeling refreshed, they went to the sampling sites and Christian and Miriam explained sampling methods such as porewater sampling with syringes, sediment coring, and „natural plastic“.

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The team spent the afternoon collecting enough samples to allow them to study the microbial community growing in the sediment and on the plastic. The team, along with Christian and Miriam, will meet again at UNSRAT next week to start analyzing the samples and continuing the two student projects MICROPLA I and NASYPOLY I.

Supporting scientific research of this nature is a fundamental part of our approach. Understanding the scale and nature of the plastic problem is vital if we are to tackle the issue in the best manner. We look forward to seeing the results of the students’ work.

BioN-TT: Let's start with Jasmine and Nico!

 

“Within the “BIO No-Trash Triangle Initiative” program, we will have a synoptic overview of the marine plastic problem in this region covering all coastal habitats and levels of the food web. We need to understand the problem in depth and we have to stop it at the source!“ said Marco Segre - owner of Coral Eye Resort and marine biologist himself.

Since he opened Coral Eye in 2011, he has offered 6 scholarship per year to students whose projects relate to the tropical marine environment, but from now on he will give priority to the ones dedicated to the impact of plastic on the marine environment.

And here they are! Jasmin Müller and Nico Bill from Oldenburg/Germany - guided by Prof. Peter Schupp - will stay for two months on Bangka Island to study the distribution and impact of plastic waste on the coastal ecosystems in the area. They will conduct a baseline analysis of plastic waste on the beach and in the adjacent reef and investigating the impact of plastic on coral and fish.

Welcome guys!