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IISG expands funding on ‘Persistent Organic Pollutants on Microplastics’ research

January 22nd, 2019 by

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center has released information about additional IISG funding for researcher John Scott to expand a microplastics research project to include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

Excerpt: “With new funding from Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) researcher John Scott and his team will be able to expand their research to include more environmental contaminants. With their current project on persistent organic pollutants in Lake Muskegon, they are studying the effects of microplastic type and deployment time in the sediments and the water column on sorption of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to the microplastic particles.”

Full URL – “Persistent Organic Pollutants on Microplastics Project expanded to include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances” by Elizabeth Meschewski”: https://blog.istc.illinois.edu/2018/11/12/persistent-organic-pollutants-on-microplastics-project-expanded-to-include-per-and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances/

Accepting applications for new IISG Faculty Scholars Program

January 15th, 2019 by

The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program (IISG) Faculty Scholars Program is a professional networking and development opportunity to support faculty from institutes of higher learning in Illinois and Indiana who wish to develop extension, education or communication capacities related to their scholarly interests. Applicants can request up to $12,000 to support activities that further the IISG mission to empower southern Lake Michigan communities to secure a healthy environment and economy.

The Sea Grant Scholars Program consists of a program introduction phase and a proposal development phase. Specific deliverables include a preliminary product, such as a literature review or needs assessment, and a fully developed proposal to submit to an external funding agency. Funding to support scholar activities will last one year starting May 1, 2019. Scholars will be expected to participate in networking activities with IISG staff and stakeholders throughout their tenure.

Application
View the full request for applications. Applications should be emailed to iisgres@purdue.edu by 6:00 p.m. EST on February 22, 2019​.

Questions
If you have questions about the Faculty Scholars Program, please contact IISG Research Coordinator Carolyn Foley (cfoley@purdue.edu).

We encourage faculty members from all disciplines to apply. IISG is committed to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. View the full IISG values statement.​

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant funds aquaculture, invasive species, pollution projects

December 11th, 2018 by

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) is excited to announce the funding of five new Discovery Projects. These small, one-year projects help researchers achieve bigger and better things, such as larger grants to study critical questions, providing proof of concepts that can be scaled up to support labs or businesses, or generating tools to help communities make the best use of available information. The five projects IISG began funding in 2018 address aquaculture, aquatic invasive species and pollution.

“These five new research projects are asking questions that are highly relevant to aquatic systems in Illinois, Indiana, Lake Michigan and the broader Great Lakes region,” said IISG Director Tomas Höök. “We have great hopes that these Discovery Projects will indeed springboard their principal investigators to other opportunities and outcomes.”

Aquaculture
Karolina Kwasek of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale will explore whether invasive Asian carp could be used to feed very young largemouth bass raised in aquaculture facilities. Largemouth bass are a popular species across the country, but their high protein requirements make them tricky to rear. Kwasek hopes this novel use of Asian carp may support aquaculture growers who wish to raise largemouth bass.

Invasive Species
Eric Larson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will use a relatively new concept, that of an avatar species, to predict where a new invasive species might establish. He will use the red swamp crayfish, which is already found in the Great Lakes basin, as an avatar to predict where another potential invader, Chelax destructor, might successfully establish. If successful, this method could potentially be applied to other potential invaders, including fish, aquatic plants, and other macroinvertebrates.

Pollution
Jen Fisher of Indiana University Northwest will investigate whether pollution from failing septic systems might be affecting microbial communities on beach sand, ultimately posing a risk to human health. Her work will be focused in northeast Indiana.

An Li of the University of Illinois at Chicago will assess presence of microplastics in Lake Michigan sediments using samples that have been previously collected and analyzed for other contaminants. Through this work, she hopes to generate protocols that can be applied to sediments in any aquatic system.

John Scott of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center will examine whether microplastics help introduce per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the lower levels of aquatic food webs. His timely work has the potential to affect fish consumption advisories, if it seems likely that PFAS can be transferred up the food web.

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