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UAntwerp striving to preserve our oceans

Two women - one goal: to protect the oceans better.

Camilla Carteny (26), a researcher in our university’s Department of Biology, is using science to raise the alarm. Ellen Cuylaerts (47), a Modern History alumna, uses her underwater photos to show that the clock is ticking.

Ellen Cuylaerts
Cuylaerts
says that as an underwater photographer, she can create a dialogue that touches people’s hearts. 'People want to protect the things they love.' In 2014, she was crowned the world’s best underwater photographer, and this June, on World Ocean Day 2017, she addressed the United Nations in New York. 'The title raised my profile and gave me a boost. But instead of allowing it to feed my ego, I decided to use it to make my voice heard.'


Carteny
Carteny
is going further, investigating the presence of barely visible microplastics in the ocean. 'It’s not yet a well-known problem', she explains, 'so the scientific world is still trying to establish the impact of these microplastics. People are already predicting that there will be three times as much plastic in fish in the oceans by 2050.' Camilla travelled to the Bermuda Islands and is now examining the sand, water and sediment samples she collected there at the University of Antwerp. She hopes to present her results to the European Union at the end of next year as part of efforts to ratify a new waste policy. 'The use of single-use plastic packaging has to stop.'

Read the full story (in Dutch) in the UAntwerp Magazine | December 2017