15 PhD positions (f/m/d) in the EU Horizon 2020 Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Project: MSCA-ITN-ETN LimnoPlast


“LimnoPlast – Microplastics in Europe’s freshwater ecosystems: From sources to solutions” is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network) and offers 15 fully funded PhD positions (for early-stage researcher (ESR)) with attractive complementary training activities and generous travel, laboratory and research budgets. The successful candidates will be hosted by a member of a European Consortium of universities, research institutions and companies in Germany, Denmark, France, Slovenia, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and The Netherlands. Successful candidates will have a research interest in natural, environmental, technical or social-science and will participate in a transdisciplinary network of research and training aimed at accelerating the applicants’ scientific careers.

LimnoPlast will for the first time bring together environmental, technical, and social sciences with the vision to transform a new understanding of freshwater microplastics to innovative solutions.

LimnoPlast will:

  • Train a new type of scientists (ESRs) able to tackle the complex plastics issue holistically and contribute to Europe’s innovation and Circular Economy capacity. Working at the interface of three usually very distant disciplines, they will promote a step change in how we deal with this and future environmental challenges.
  • Provide the first comprehensive assessment of the sources and impacts of freshwater MP based on the analysis of three major urban areas as hotspots of plastic pollution.
  • Innovate technological solutions to the plastics issue, including novel processes to remove MP from municipal and industrial wastewater as well as bio-degradable, environmentally sound polymers.
  • Promote societal change by understanding the economic, legislative and social context of freshwater MP.
  • Transform science into a set of specific solutions, including (I) the prioritization of actions based on the sources and impacts of MP, development of (II) better processes and polymers, (III) risk communication strategies and societal interventions, (IV) effective policy and legislative interventions.
  • Transfer the LimnoPlast outcomes to European decision makers, stakeholders and the public to enable and promote action on freshwater MP using an innovative communication and dissemination strategy.

Titles of the ESR-projects:

  1. Biological effects of microplastics from biodegradable plastics in freshwater invertebrates.
  2. Development and characterization of novel biodegradable polymers.
  3. Source tracking of microplastics at Aarhus.
  4. Monitoring and modelling microplastics in the greater Paris and the river Seine; pollutants associated with microplastics.
  5. Electrostatic separation of nanoplastics from wastewater.
  6. A socio-ecological assessment for microplastics to address the needs of future Circular Economy in Europe.
  7. Legal situation of microplastics in Europe’s freshwater ecosystems.
  8. Chemistry and bulk properties and degradation of microplastics.
  9. Ecotoxicology of different shapes of microplastics in freshwater invertebrates.
  10. Chemical toxicity of conventional and new plastics.
  11. Microplastics assessment in wasterwater treatment plant – occurrence, removal and fate.
  12. Chronic toxicity of microplastics in fish species.
  13. Risk perceptions and mental models regarding microplastics in freshwater systems and solutions.
  14. Behavioural approaches to the microplastics problem and potential solutions.
  15. From freshwater to drinking water and food-human exposure to microplastics.

More Information: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu

Nano and microplastics in technical and freshwater systems

Date: 28-31 October 2018
Venue: Conference Centre Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland

The Microplastics2018 Organizing Committee welcomes you to attend the conference “Nano and microplastics in technical and freshwaters systems – Microplastics2018” that will be held from October 28 to 31, 2018 at the Conference Centre Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland, the venue of choice for Congressi Stefano Franscini, the international conference platform of ETH Zurich.

Microplastics in technical and natural systems are evident worldwide calling for an in-depth understanding of the implications of these pollutants. Leading scientists studying sources, releases, uptake and toxicity of microplastics alongside with representatives from industry and government will provide context as to how these materials are used today and how they may be regulated in the future.

The conference will be limited to a maximum of 120 participants (including invited speakers and organizers). In case of overbooking, participants with an accepted abstract will have priority.


Microplastics in freshwater environments UNESCO International Hydrological Programme/Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

Date: Monday 27 August 2018 | 14.00-15.30
Venue: Stockholm, World Water Week, Room: FH 307

Microplastics in freshwater environments represent a growing concern. The presence of microplastics in freshwater have been reported in different parts of the world – even in remote areas. Yet, scientific knowledge on microplastics in freshwater is limited.

The event presents the state of knowledge, research and policies on microplastics in freshwater. Results of the UNESCO-IHP International Initiative on Water Quality (IIWQ) assessment on microplastics in freshwater and wastewater in 16 countries around the world will be presented, along with the state-of-the-art information on their potential human health and environmental effects. The findings of this assessment, presented in the UNESCO publication Microplastics in Freshwater Environments, highlight the need to improve scientific knowledge, fill data and policy gaps, and propose policy measures to reduce the discharge of microplastics into freshwater through better wastewater and solid waste management and by promoting sustainable production and consumption. The assessment therefore offers an important step towards developing appropriate policy solutions.

Moreover, leading experts will share their research on microplastics, with focus on: occurrence in freshwater; sampling and analysis; removal during wastewater treatment, and effects on freshwater and marine aquatic biota and the food web. The event will also discuss data and policy gaps and future research priorities.


MICRO 2018

Date: 19 – 23 November 2018
Venue: Arrecife, Lanzarote, Spain

Fate and Impact of Microplastics: Knowledge, Actions and Solutions

Building upon the stimulating work shared during MICRO 2016. Fate and Impact of Microplastics in Marine Ecosystems: From the Coastline to the Open Sea, we are delighted to invite the scientific community and stakeholders to participate in:

MICRO 2018 Fate and Impact of Microplastics: Knowledge, Actions and  Solutions The international conference will take place from 19 – 23 November 2018, in Arrecife, Lanzarote, Spain.Main topics to be addressed include: Marine Ecosystems; Freshwater bodies; Social change and behaviour; Human health; Policy.

While the accumulation of microplastics in marine ecosystems has been reported in the literature since the 1970s, many questions remain open. MICRO 2018 provides an opportunity to share available knowledge, fill in gaps, identify new questions and research needs, and develop commitments to operationalise solutions; MICRO 2018 will be a chance to reconvene, share what we have learned, and generate momentum for the work that remains to be done.