Seminar: Microplastic Pollution in Urban Environments: Sources, Pathways and Fates, February 23

In the next School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment seminar, learn about microplastic pollution in urban settings and how it moves through the environment.

Microplastic Pollution in Urban Environments: Sources, Pathways & Fates
Presented by Timnit Kefala, University of California, Santa Barbara

Wednesday, February 23, 2022
3:15–4:15 p.m.
College Avenue Commons (CAVC) 333, Tempe campus [map]


Plastics are durable and versatile polymers that have become significant parts of our built environments globally. Their prevalent use across different industries for different applications and subsequent degradation contributes to the emerging problem of microplastics (<5 mm) pollution, which has been found across different environmental matrices ranging from soils to oceans, and due to their size have potential to interact with biota. Recently, urban environments have been identified as major sources of microplastics, conveyed through stormwater runoff, into proximal aquatic environments with limited study of their sources, movement and fates within urban environments. This presentation will provide insight into microplastic pollution within urban environments as well as potential migration measures.

About the speaker

Timnit Kefala is a doctoral candidate in environmental science and management at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she studies the sources, pathways and fates of microplastics in urban environments. She is actively involved in numerous local and international organizations and initiatives focused on the diversification and retention of minoritized students in STEM and the development of inclusive environmental futures. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in biology from Rutgers University-Camden.