Muccians around the world: PhD student Kanchan Nakarmi, LUT University

I am a second-year PhD student currently researching the interaction between synthetic polymers and microalgae under the supervision of Professor Amit Bhatnagar. Recently, I had an opportunity to attend a conference organized by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry or SETAC Europe 34th Annual Meeting which was held in the FIBES Conference and Exhibition Centre in Seville, Spain between 5th – 9th of May 2024.

The event focused on science-based solutions to overcome environmental challenges and offered training courses, live presentations, poster presentations, social events, and company exhibitions for the participants. There were several full-day and half-day training courses available which equipped aspiring researchers with relevant skills in the field of ecotoxicology.

During my visit, I took part in assessing the biodegradability of such polymers. After the training courses, there was a grand opening of the conference event where cultural Flamenco dance was shown followed by an opening speech and a Plenary speech on “Water scarcity and extreme climatic events”.

My focus was mostly on microplastics, and microalgae research and I got an opportunity to present my poster on “Comparative analysis of microplastics extraction method in municipal wastewater influent”.

Apart from these sessions, many social events were available for students and researchers to share ideas, develop networks, or seek job opportunities. Lastly, many companies showcased their services provided in the company exhibitions. It was also an opportunity to get in contact with relevant personnel for networking.

The event offered a platform for experts from different fields and backgrounds to come together and share their research to solve the current environmental challenges. The organizers announced that it was the largest and most successful event of this year yet. Overall, these five days were busy but with a relaxing evening under the pleasant weather and rich culture of Seville.