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Analysis of organic and heavy metal pollutants in marine planktonic organisms from Bamfield, British Columbia by ICP-OES and GC-




plankton, heavy metals, pesticides, ICP-OES, GC-MS

Abstract (summary)

Plankton form the base of the marine ecosystem (Levinton, J.S., 2017). It is for this reason it is important to understand the interactions between these critical organisms and the pollutants that they encounter. Heavy metals occur naturally in trace amounts and are continuously being released into the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere of the Earth (Atici et al., 2010; Burada et al., 2014; Callow, P., 1993). The increase in sea water temperatures is increasing the solubility of heavy metals in the water (Levinton, J.S., 2017). Organic pollutants such as pesticides are hydrophobic and lipophilic (Chiuchiolo et al., 2004). Previous results obtained by Kathryn Farmer in 2015 found that an increase in some heavy metals and not others in the four year difference in the Bamfield samples. Analysis of organic pollutants by GC-MS was unable to determine if peaks were the result of pesticides or not and was not able to identify any specific pesticides through the NIST library (Farmer, 2015). This analysis found the majority of the plankton samples showed significant difference between one another for all detected heavy metals. Analysis of organic pollutants was suspended sue to Covid-19 response.

Publication Information



Presented May 25-26, 2020 online at the Undergraduate Research in Science Conference of Alberta (URSCA) hosted by the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta.

Item Type

Student Report




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