When we introduced our Fellows in our little riddle, we also raised the question „why“. It was meant in a double sense: Why did you choose your field? And why do your think your research matters? Well, our mircobiologist Maria Laura has already given an insight into the first „why“ question in our feature 33 questions. But we wanted to give her some more space to share her thoughts about the second „why“ question – which is, we think, very important in a world where the relevance of research and science for society’s flourishing sometimes is doubted … So let’s take a look at Maria Laura’s thoughts:
Can Bacteria Help us Get Rid of Microplastics?
My research will directly increase the knowledge we have around a relatively new topic in science: microplastics. In particular, I will try to answer a specific question: Do the surface properties that enhance bacterial attachment to chitin also enhance attachment to ordinary plastics surface and, if they do, is there a preference for a specific kind of material?
If you never heard of microplastics or chitin, you might be thinking: Why microplastics and chitin? What are microplastics? Why is it relevant to understand how bacteria attach to these compounds?