Nanotechnological materials are used extensively in a wide-range of consumer products and exhibit strong antimicrobial properties. Their use has increased dramatically in recent years along with their inevitable release into natural and managed ecosystems. Surprisingly, the environmental fate and behaviour of nano-materials is poorly understood despite evidence that they may suppress microbially driven ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling. In this project we will characterise the influence of nano-materials on the diversity of microorganisms that underpin the functioning of Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems. This work will help to determine the environmental impacts of nano-materials and facilitate the development of regulation to protect future environmental and human health.

Supervisor: Dr Paul Dennis

Project members