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Nelle Meyers

  • Onderzoeksexpertise  (Flanders Marine Institute):Nelle started her PhD research project after having obtained a Master’s degree in general biology (evolution - biodiversity) and after finishing the International Master of Science in Marine Biological Sciences (conservation - applied marine ecology), both at Ghent University. She has always been intrigued by the marine environment and is committed to helping solve environmental issues using creative, innovative techniques. Currently Nelle works within the Andromeda project, a JPI Oceans research project that combines the expertise and know-how of scientists from 15 research institutes from 11 countries to develop and optimize methodologies used in microplastics research. Nelle’s work centers around the development and optimization of time and cost-efficient methods to detect nano-and microplastics in seawater, marine sediments and marine organisms. Among other things, she makes use of a straightforward and efficient technique that uses fluorescent dyes like Nile Red to label plastic particles and that allows to quickly detect, identify and quantify different plastic polymers with high accuracy by combining fluorescence microscopy and microspectroscopy (µ-FTIR). Furthermore she is working on optimized and validated digestion and extraction protocols for plastics in natural samples, a necessary step prior to the fluorescent staining process. Another challenge she wants to overcome is the development of alternative detection and quantification methods for tire wear particles.