Sam van Loon, PhD student
I am interested in exploring the impacts of human-made contaminants in ecosystems. I am particularly interested in the effects of micro- and nanoplastics on soil ecology. After my bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences I decided I wanted to work on all organisms and communities, instead of focussing on one species. Therefore I continued with a MSc Ecology & Evolution with a focus on ecotoxicology.
Currently I am working as a PhD student in the project “Plastic in Agricultural Production: Impacts, Lifecycles and LONg-term Sustainability” (PAPILLONS), which is funded by the European Commission. This project is focussed on exploring the sources, behaviour and long-term ecological and socioeconomic impacts of micro- and nanoplastics in European agricultural soils. In this project I will study the effects of microplastics on soil micro-arthropods in single-species laboratory tests and on soil community composition in mesocosm tests, using our CLIMECS systems.