The Fate of Microplastics Ingested by Gryllodes sigillatus

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  • Plastic pollution has become a major concern in almost every natural environment. As plastics enter an environment, they undergo a degradation process and can become microplastics (MPs; plastics smaller than 5 mm). Thus far, most MPs research has focused on aquatic, rather than terrestrial environments, and standardized methods of plastic extraction and quantification from animals living in the latter are needed. For my thesis, I aimed to understand the fates of MPs ingested by the generalist insect, Gryllodes sigillatus. In chapter 2, I developed a new, clearly laid out protocol on how MPs can be extracted and characterized within a laboratory setting after they have been ingested by an animal. In chapter 3, I used this method to investigate the effects of the cricket digestive system on ingested MPs, and found that crickets radically physically degrade microplastics and may therefore serve as a path for plastic transformation in natural environments.

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  • Copyright © 2022 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2022


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