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Environmental biofilms

In this research project we study the interactions between multi-species biofilms in fresh water and pharmaceuticals in the environment. The research consists of three stages: Inventory of natural biofilms in a stream affected by waste water containing pharmaceuticals, construction of model systems that can reproduce certain aspects of natural biofilms, detailed studies of interactions between the model systems and pharmacueuticals. With this project we aim to investigate two hypotheses: 1) Fresh water biofilms degrade pharmaceuticals. 2) Fresh water biofilms accumulate pharmaceuticals. The first hypothesis would mean that biofilms can assist in degradation of these types of pollutants. The second hypothesis suggests that aquatic organisms grazing on biofilms may have a higer exposure of pharmaceuticals than previously through.

The work is funded through a project grant from Formas as well a funding from UmeƄ University. It was started in 2018.