Research Opportunities

Degradation of various types of plastics and paper in simulated soil and composting ecosystems

Above: Isolated fungi growing on a thin film plastic in a soil/sand mixture.

My lab has begun a series of studies to look at the degradation of paper and plastics that may end up in landfills. We have constructed several boxes that have different types of soils and composting material to look at the degradation rates of various plastics (recyclable and biodegradable) and paper under different types of environmental conditions. We are also isolating and enumerating the fungi responsible for degradation and are comparing all the various ecosystems to understand optimal degradation parameters.

Professor: Dr. Jeffrey Lodge

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