It’s done! Ana Markic has returned to New Zealand, and the Infinity’s onboard laboratory has been packed away. With support from the Floating Foundation crew and volunteers, Ana was able to collect enough data over two months on micro-plastic levels in Vava’u, Tonga.
Working in an on-board laboratory came with entertaining challenges, Ana says. These included dealing with unexpected boat movements, or creating interesting solutions when vital pieces of equipment failed. Despite the challenges, the Floating Foundation laboratory and teamwork allowed for a far faster turnaround time; Ana will soon begin preparing her write up for publication.
“My favorite thing about this project were my research volunteers,” Ana explains. “They were an amazing group of smart, engaged and passionate people who made my work so much easier and more enjoyable. Without them, the project would not have been possible. Teamwork is crucial for research projects like these. I couldn’t be more thankful for the Floating Foundation and Infinity for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
The Floating Foundation aims to serve as a platform for conducting crucial scientific research.
By supporting this project, the team played a role in Ana’s work of reworking the way that micro-plastics are collected and analyzed - methods designed so future oceanic analysis does not underestimate the amounts of plastics and pollutants within samples. New, easily-implementable detection methods could lead to improved international legislation surrounding the distribution and handling of common and harmful plastics.
“Living and working on a big boat in a tropical island country, surrounded by incredible individuals with big hearts and a bag full of amazing experiences, was a precious experience for me,” says Ana.