PhD – Determining the dietary accumulation and toxicity of nanoplastics and nanomaterials in fish at University of Plymouth

Applications are invited for a four-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 01 October 2024.

Project Description

Plastic pollution represents a global environmental challenge. Larger pieces of plastic can degrade to produce and release nanoplastics (NPs; <1 micron) that can enter the tissues of animals. In fish, NPs can pass across the gut epithelium in a matter of hours and then distribute around the rest of the internal organs. 

Pollution such as NPs do not occur alone in the environment, but rather in the presence of other pollutants (or co-contaminants). These other pollutants may have effects on how the NPs enter animals, and the subsequent effects they may have. Other common pollutants include engineered nanomaterial (such as zinc oxide), as their manufacturing is increasing due to their use in electronic devices. However, the effect of combined NP and ENM exposure on animal physiology remains poorly understood. 

This 4-year, fully funded project will continue to understand the effect of plastic pollution from dietary exposures (e.g., ingestion) in fish combined with the presence of zinc oxide ENMs. 

The methodologies used in the project include cell culture and dietary (feeding) studies. All necessary training in animal husbandry, experimental methodologies, and sample analysis (both at the University of Plymouth and Diamond Light Source) will be provided as part of your training. 

The time for this project will be split across the University of Plymouth (50%) and Diamond Light Source (50%) to maximise your experience and training from the two institutions.Ā 

For more information and to apply visit

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