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What causes pollution on Lake Geneva

24. 4. 2024

Microbial ecology and biofilm research play a key role in research on plastic degradation in Lake Geneva. Laureen Mori-Bazzano, a PhD student at the Carl-Vogt University of Geneva, is working on this project and her studies in microbial ecology have led her to us at CXI TUL, specifically in the Department of Applied Biology. Let's take an imaginary dive into Lake Geneva and microorganisms to find out more about her research.



Searching for answers in the microworld

The main goal of Laureen's research is to try to understand how microorganisms such as bacteria, algae, and fungi colonize the plastic and affect the degradation in the aquatic environment. "With the help of the Lexplore science platform, we have run an experiment that allows us to track changes in microbial communities and their ability to degrade plastics in real-time. While our knowledge is still developing, we are beginning to understand that factors such as temperature, light and nutrient availability have a key influence on the dynamics of these communities," says Laureen Mori-Bazzano, a PhD student in microbial ecology at Uni Carl-Vogt in Geneva.


Collaboration brings knowledge

In her research, Laureen uses the bioremediation method, specifically in the analysis of samples from Lake Geneva. Collaborating with the team of the Applied Biology Department at CXI TUL has allowed her to perform advanced molecular analysis and testing and conduct complex research in the lab.

"We are only at the beginning of our research, yet I am grateful for this opportunity. We have great potential to impact the protection of our environment. Collaborating with the scientists in Alena Ševců's group at CXI TUL provides me with invaluable knowledge and tools needed to achieve our goals," Laureen said.

Findings to date suggest that the main sources of microplastics in Lake Geneva are erosion from car tires. Based on this, the scientists recommend reducing automobile traffic and looking for alternatives to plastic as part of efforts to protect the lake and the environment as a whole.

Research in microbial ecology and bioremediation has great potential to combat pollution and contribute to sustainable solutions to environmental problems. They are areas of continuous development and discovery of new approaches and technologies that will significantly influence the future of environmental protection.


General partners

Škoda AUTO
Česká Zbrojovka
FM Motol
UJV Group