Every year, thousands of tons of durable microplastic end up in the world’s oceans and endanger the wellbeing of marine organisms and humans alike. Besides preventing the generation and incorrect disposal of hazardous plastic waste, novel technologies for plastic recycling and remediation of contaminated sites are needed. In this context, microbial degradation of microplastic can contribute to environmentally friendly solutions.
Anna’s research will focus on identifying novel plastic degrading enzymes from bacteria and other microorganisms. After characterization, Anna will use protein engineering methods to improve the performance of enzymes, thereby speeding up plastic decomposition. Finally, together with industry partners, Anna will focus on application-oriented work to tackle actual plastic pollution in the environment. This will benefit the economy and environment alike, making this planet a safer and more prosperous place for humanity and nature on equitable basis.