CANCELED - CEE Seminar (ZOOM): Nanoplastics in Our Environment - Small Particles with Big Challenges

Zoom link provided below
Nathalie Tufenkji, Ph.D.

Professor and Canada Research Chair
Department of Chemical Engineering
McGill University

VIA Zoom Link:

Abstract: The degradation of bulk plastics in the environment leads to the release of microplastics that can contaminate water supplies, agricultural fields and foods we consume. Weathering of a single microplastic particle can yield up to billions of nanoplastics, and nanoplastic pollution is expected to be ubiquitous in the environment. A key challenge in understanding the environmental burden of nanoplastics is the detection of such small, carbon-based particles in complex natural matrices such as soils. This lecture will present an overview of our work aimed at overcoming challenges to better understand the fate and impacts of nanoplastics in terrestrial and aquatic environments. I will discuss new approaches for detection of nanoplastics in complex matrices and recent advances in our understanding of the toxicity of nanoplastics.

Bio: Nathalie Tufenkji is a rofessor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at McGill University where she holds the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Biocolloids and Surfaces. She works in the area of particle-surface interactions with applications in protection of water resources, plastic pollution as well as the discovery of natural antimicrobials. Tufenkji was awarded the Killam Research Fellowship, the Engineers Canada Award for the Support of Women in the Engineering Profession, the Chemical Institute of Canada Environment Award and the Hatch Innovation Award of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineers. She was elected to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada in 2016 and the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2020. She serves as associate director of the Brace Center for Water Resources Management at McGill and has served on the editorial advisory boards of several journals.