I am a French student from ENGEES Strasbourg, and I am doing an undergraduate internship in the Deheyn lab from May 2019 to July 2019. I will graduate next year as an engineer in waste treatment. As I have always been passionate about oceans and its wildlife, for my fourth-year internship I wanted to study marine pollution to lock the two subjects: coming to SCRIPPS Oceanography had been the best idea I could have ever thought about!
The objective of my internship is to assess the concentration of microfibers all over the earth. I use samples of seawater, but also of air and sediments. Microfibers are microscopic fibers usually smaller than 5 micrometers (60 to 80 times smaller than a hair diameter!). These microfibers come from our clothes and textiles: as they are not filtered neither by our washing machines nor by wastewater treatment plants, they end up into our rivers and oceans. They are so small that they can be ingested by fish and penetrate cells and tissues!