Microplastics in the Rhine

The Rhine River and its tributaries are among Europe’s largest and anthropogenically most intensively exploited streams. The microplastic contamination of the Rhine River catchment is investigated within the framework of a PhD thesis. The river is sampled on the surface using a Manta Trawl and in its sediments entering the riverbed with a diving bell and by dredging. Recovered plastic particles are studied with respect to morphology, colouring, texture and polymer composition. Benthic organisms, such as small crabs and fish, are examined for uptake of and effects through plastic particles. Do they egest the material without consequences or are the animals affected by alteration of growth or other parameters?
At the moment our team consists of:

We are always looking for committed team members.
Open positions


Scientific publications

2019

Microplastic pollution in benthic mid-stream sediments of the Rhine River

Mani T., Primpke S., Lorenz C., Gerdts G., Burkhardt-Holm P. - Environ. Sci. Technol.
doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b01363

Using castor oil to separate microplastics from four different environmental matrices

Mani T., Frehland S., Kalberer A., Burkhardt-Holm P. - Analytical Methods
doi: 10.1039/C8AY02559B

Repeated detection of polystyrene microbeads in the Lower Rhine River

Mani T., Blarer P., Storck F.R., Pittroff M., Wernicke T., Burkhardt-Holm P. - Environmental Pollution
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.11.036

2017

Biodegradable and Petroleum-Based Microplastics Do Not Differ in Their Ingestion and Excretion but in Their Biological Effects in a Freshwater Invertebrate Gammarus fossarum

Straub S., Hirsch P., Burkhardt-Holm P. - Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health
doi: 10.3390/ijerph14070774

2016

Microplastics affect assimilation efficiency in the freshwater amphipod Gammarus fossarum

Blarer P., Burkhardt-Holm P. - Environmental Science and Pollution Research
doi: 10.1007/s11356-016-7584-2

2015

Microplastics profile along the Rhine River

Mani T., Hauk A., Walter U., Burkhardt-Holm P. - Scientific Reports
doi: 10.1038/srep17988

2013

Meeresverschmutzung der neuen Art: Mikroplastik - ein unsichtbarer Störenfried

Burkhardt-Holm P., Schulz G., Athanasopulu K. - Biologie unserer Zeit
doi: 10.1002/biuz.201310497

2012

Uptake and effects of microplastics on cells and tissue of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis L. after an experimental exposure

Von Moos N., Burkhardt-Holm P., Köhler A. - Environmental Science and Technology
doi: 10.1021/es302332w

Media coverage

2019

2018

2016

2015