To understand plastic pollution in the aquatic environment...
... is the motivation of my research. My name is Kryss Waldschläger and I am an Assistant Professor at Wageningen University. In combining fluid mechanics with microplastic research, I want to shed light on the transport behaviour of microplastics in the aquatic environment, which will help us to mitigate environmental pollution. What I enjoy most in my work is engaging students in the topic of microplastics, collaborating with amazing researchers and having greater purpose in my daily activities.
What are microplastics?
Microplastics are usually defined as plastic particles with a diameter of less than 5 mm, however, this size is still being dicussed. The particles can be of primary or secondary origin. Primary microplastics include plastic particles already manufactured in dimensions of less than 5 mm, such as preproduction pellets or microbeads from personal care products, while secondary microplastics are formed in the environment during the degradation or fragmentation of larger plastic items.
What does fluid mechanics mean?
Fluid mechanics is the study of fluids either in motion - dynamic mode - or at rest - stationary mode. Of particular interest to engineers are the forces generated by fluids, and in the aquatic environment these forces mainly affect the particle transport. Turbulences in the river flow, flow changes at bridge pillars, water pressure on a foundation: all that can be explained by fluid mechanics. In addition to physical model experiments, we also carry out numerical modeling.
My research has been published in a number of international and national journals. You can find my most important publications below, a complete list can be found here. I am especially proud of a short book that I wrote on microplastics in the aquatic environment for the interested public, because I believe that plastic in our environment should concern everyone and everyone should be able to find straightforward information on the problem.