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ASRC Environmental Science Initiative Seminar: Beizhan Yan, Columbia University

In this one- hour seminar Beizhan Yan, PhD, Lamont Associate Research Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University will present a one-hour talk titled: “Microplastic Distribution and Associated Pathogens and Pollutants in NYC Waterways.”

Abstract: Varying levels of microplastics were observed in NYC waters, with the highest concentration observed in Newtown Creek and the lowest in the Hudson upstream of New York Harbor. Additionally, in-situ adsorption experiments conducted in Newtown Creek and Brooklyn Navy Yard demonstrated the potential of microplastics to transport pollutants and pathogens including tuberculosis. Notably, flame retardant compounds such as PCBs, PBDEs, and TBBPA were found on plastic pellet surfaces, with significantly higher adsorption on HDPE compared to PVC. Gene analyses revealed significant differences in microbial community between water and plastic samples. Using a modeling approach, we estimated that the
residence time of microplastics in the Harbor-estuary region is approximately two weeks, with a predominant transport pathway down the New Jersey coast, eventually entering the Atlantic Ocean.

Bio: Dr. Beizhan Yan received his Ph.D. in 2004 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY and currently, he is a Lamont Associate Research Professor at Lamont- Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University. In 2007, he joined LDEO, and since then, he has established an Environmental Organic Geochemistry Lab from scratch with the ability to extract, isolate, and identify organic contaminants and biomarkers from environmental and biological samples. He is leading collaborative studies in measuring the microplastic and nanoplastics in NYC waterways and air and characterizing their exposures, and linking exposures to various adverse health outcomes, including neurodegeneration diseases.

This seminar will take place in person, with lunch provided at 1pm. To join via Zoom, please use: 

Meeting ID: 849 5909 3743

Passcode: 083738

+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

For further details, contact:
Doris Switzer

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Event Information

May 11, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
ASRC 1st Floor Seminar Room
85 St. Nicholas Terrace
New York, NY 10031 United States
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