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School of Geography

Nan Wu

Nan

PhD student

Email: n.wu@qmul.ac.uk

Profile

Research interests

Fate and behavior of microplastic in natural environment; interaction between microplastics and SPM; influence of microplastic on the flocculation process.

Research background

My research focused on the environmental fate and behavior of microplastics in natural environment for three years during my master’s study (Tianjin University) and working experience in Finland (Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology). I have investigated microplastic pollution in different regions in China, including Bohai Bay coast, estuaries in Tianjin City and Yangtze River. I have also studied the interaction between the microplastic and particles from natural environment, including biological and non-biological particles to understand the influence of these processes on the fate of microplastics.

Academic background

Bachelor of Engineering, School of Mines, China University of Mining and Technology
Master of Engineering, School of Marine Science and Technology, Tianjin University

PhD research

My PhD topic is to understand the association between micro/nano plastics (traditional and biodegradeable microplastics) and natural suspended sediment aggregates and the potential impact on both plastic and sediment fate. The state-of-the-art correlative 3-dimensional tomography techniques (Focussed ion beam nanotomography and X-ray computed microtomography) will be used to capture, observe and characterise the plastic-sediment suspended aggregates formed. Coupled to a settling column and floc camera system, the impact on microplastic and sediment settling behaviour will also be quantified.

Supervisors

Professor Kate Spencer in School of Geography, QMUL

Professor Andy Bushby in School of Engineering and Material Science, QMUL

Dr Ozge Eyice in School of Biological and Chemical Science, QMUL

Funding awards

Lloyds Register Foundation studentship

Awards

National Scholarships of China (2016, 2019)

ESPI Best Papers of 2019 (10.1039/C9EM00148D)

Research

Publications

Publications (Microplastics):

[1] Nan Wu, Ying Zhang, Wenjie Li, Junyi Wang, Xiaohan Zhang, Jiahui He, Jiafu Li, Yongzheng Ma and Zhiguang Niu. Co-effects of biofouling and inorganic matters increased the density of environmental microplastics in the sediments of Bohai Bay coast. Sci. Total Environ., 2020, 711, 134431.

[2] Nan Wu, Ying Zhang, Ze Zhao, Jiahui He, Wenjie Li, Jiafu Li, Weian Xu, Yongzheng Ma and Zhiguang Niu. Colonization characteristics of bacterial communities on microplastics, compared with ambient environment (water and sediment) in Haihe Estuary. Sci. Total Environ., 2020, 708, 134876.

[3] Wenjie Li, Ying Zhang, Nan Wu, Ze Zhao, Weian Xu, Yongzheng Ma and Zhiguang Niu. Colonization characteristics of bacterial communities on the plastic debris influenced by environmental factors and polymer types in Haihe Estuary. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2019, 53 (18), 10763-10773.

[4] Nan Wu, Ying Zhang, Xiaohan Zhang, Ze Zhao, Jiahui He, Wenpeng Li, Yongzheng Ma and Zhiguang Niu. Occurrence and distribution of microplastics in the surface water and sediment of two typical estuaries in Bohai Bay. China. Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2019,21, 1143-1152.

Publications (Micro-pollutants):

[1] Ze Zhao, Kai Zhang, Nan Wu, Wenjie Li, Wei'an Xu, Zhiguang Niu and Ying Zhang. Estuarine sediments are key hotspots of intracellular and extracellular antibiotic resistance genes: A high- throughput analysis in Haihe Estuary in China. Environ Int., 2020, 135, 105385.

[2] Jiahui He, Jiafu Li, Luyao Ma, Nan Wu, Ying Zhang, Zhiguang Niu. Large-scale distribution of organophosphate esters (flame retardants and plasticizers) in soil from residential area across China: Implications for current level. Sci. Total Environ., 2019, 697, 13997.

[3] Ying Zhang, Lifen Zhang, Zhiping Huang, Yuna Li, Jiafu Li, Nan Wu, Jiahui He, Zhaozhao Zhang, Yunqing Liu and Zhiguang Niu. Pollution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in drinking water of China: Composition, distribution and influencing factors. Ecotox. Environ. Safe., 2019, 177, 108-116.

[4] Zhiguang Niu, Jing Na, Weian Xu, Nan Wu and Ying Zhang. The effect of environmentally relevant emerging per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances on the growth and antioxidant response in marine Chlorella sp.. Environ. Pollut., 2019, 252, 103-109.

[5] Jiafu Li, Jiahui He, Yuna Li, Yunqing Liu, Wenjie Li, Nan Wu, Lifen Zhang, Ying Zhang and Zhiguang Niu. Assessing the threats of organophosphate esters (flame retardants and plasticizers) to drinking water safety based on USEPA oral reference dose (RfD) and oral cancer slope factor (SFO). Water Res., 2019, 154, 84-93.

[6] Yunqing Liu, Ying Zhang, Jiafu Li, Nan Wu, Wenpeng Li and Zhiguang Niu. Distribution, partitioning behavior and positive matrix factorization-based source analysis of legacy and emerging polyfluorinated alkyl substances in the dissolved phase, surface sediment and suspended particulate matter around coastal areas of Bohai Bay, China. Environ. Pollut., 2019, 246, 34-44.

[7] Yuna Li, Jiafu Li, Lifen Zhang, Zhiping Huang, Yunqing Liu, Nan Wu, Jiahui He, Zhaozhao Zhang, Ying Zhang and Zhiguang Niu. Perfluoroalkyl acids in drinking water of China in 2017: Distribution characteristics, influencing factors and potential risks. Environ. Int., 2019, 123, 87-95.

[8] Rui Xin, Kai Zhang, Nan Wu, Ying Zhang and Zhiguang Niu. The pollution level of the blaOXA-58 carbapenemase gene in coastal water and its host bacteria characteristics. Environ. Pollut., 2019, 244, 66-71.

Dissemination

Oral reports:

[1] Nan Wu, Ying Zhang, Yongzheng Ma and Zhiguang Niu. Occurrence, distribution and bacterial communities of microplastics in coastal areas of Tianjin City. 2019, China Environmental Chemistry Conference, Tianjin City, China.

[2] Nan Wu, Ying Zhang, Yongzheng Ma and Zhiguang Niu. Colonization characteristics of bacterial communities on microplastics, compared with ambient environment (water and sediment) in Haihe Estuary. 2018, National Marine Environment Conference, Qingdao, Shandong Province, China.