ARU experts will help CSES celebrate 100 years

Published: 2 October 2020 at 15:00

Plastic bottles on a beach

Special online event will see ARU academics talk about sustainability in Essex

Experts from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) will be helping the Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society (CSES) celebrate its 100th birthday during a special online event on Tuesday, 13 October. 
The free public event, part of Essex 2020, will look back over the last 100 years and explore some of the exciting work that is taking place right now to help secure a more sustainable future for Essex. 
Dr Dannielle Green and Dr Gerbrandus Boots, from ARU’s School of Life Sciences, will discuss their research into plastic pollution and suggest ways of how the problem might be solved. 

Dr Green, Senior Lecturer in Biology at ARU, said:

“Despite massive progress in raising awareness about plastic pollution over the past decade, and a huge increase in public support around the issue, the use of single use packaging has increased during the pandemic. In fact, COVID-19 litter, such as masks, sanitiser bottles and wipes, has become a new scourge on our environment. 
“But what are the solutions? Are biodegradable plastics better? I will be presenting some of our research from the past eight years that compares the ecological impacts of conventional plastics and microplastics with biodegradable alternatives in aquatic habitats as well as on land.  
“I will also discuss some of the solutions that we can work towards to avoid reverting back to our ‘plastic planet’ default that we have worked so hard in recent years to prevent.” 

Dr Maryam Imani, Senior Lecturer in Water Systems Engineering at ARU and also STEM ambassador for the Institution of Civil Engineers in Essex, will speak about the importance of integrating resilience with sustainable drainage systems, or SuDS, within our urban areas, and her recent research carried out in the UK, Brazil and India.

Dr Imani said:

“Because of the increased risk of climate change-induced challenges such as flooding, the need to incorporate a resilience-informed approach to urban planning and decision-making is more important than ever.

“In order to ensure our cities are sustainable, resilient and cost-effective, there is growing interest in more effective integration of nature-based solutions, such as sustainable drainage systems, within our urban landscapes.”

The Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society event on 13 October will be held online, via Zoom, from 7pm until 9.15pm, and places can be booked. To reserve a place, visit  
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