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2024. 03. 26 -

T. Stonkus, who studies microplastic pollution in rivers, is a laureate of a Lithuanian national scientific conference

Tomas Stonkus. Photo: FMTC
The national scientific conference "Chemija ir Geomokslai 2024" took place on 22 March, where researchers and students in these fields presented oral and poster presentations. In the latter category, 78 young scientists competed and the jury selected 4 winners. One of them was Tomas Stonkus.
He is a 4th year bachelor student at the Faculty of Chemistry and Geosciences of Vilnius University, who is doing his internship and bachelor's thesis at the Department of Environmental Research at FTMC - and plans to continue his research here. Tomas' internship supervisor is Dr. Ieva Uogintė.
Congratulations to our young colleague, and good luck with your scientific career!
T. Stonkus' poster presentation was "Microplastic Particles Distribution in Lithuanian Rivers and Their Chemical and Physical Properties".
"The aim of the study was to find out what is happening at a microscopic level in Lithuanian rivers. Microplastic pollution is everywhere in the world, and in Lithuania the problem is not as bad as in some countries. But that does not mean that if we do not see pollution, it does not exist. That is why the microscopic level of plastic pollution has been looked into.
Because plastic breaks down into smaller particles due to all sorts of external factors and enters the circle of life, the food chain, enters our bodies through food or air - it is a big problem. So this kind of research is the foundation that should help us find out where the pollution is coming from and how to tackle it."
(Tomas Stonkus. Photo from personal archive)
Tomas studied the water of the following Lithuanian rivers - Smeltalė, Minija, Šalčia, Revuona and Nemunas - samples of which were sent to the Department of Environmental Research by volunteers of the campaign "Plastic Pirates".
"The most microplastic pollution was found in the Nemunas, which is probably logical," says T. Stonkus. - And according to the chemical composition of the particles, their shape and colour, we can see that this pollution comes from agricultural films and garbage bags."
The student continues to work in FTMC, having started his professional practice at the beginning of his 4th year of bachelor. "I came in, did my work, did my internship. And then I got an offer to continue my research here, to do my bachelor's thesis, to work here as a postgraduate... So it looks like I'll stay here with microplastics", smiles Tomas, saying that he likes this particular field and hopes to become a true professional in it.
Written by Simonas Bendžius
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