York University UNSDG Report 2023

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Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. SDG 14: Life Below Water Healthy oceans and seas are essential to our existence. They cover 70 percent of our planet and we rely on them for food, energy and water. Yet, we have managed to do tremendous damage to these precious resources. Goal 14 is all about reversing this damage and protecting oceans and seas by eliminating pollution and overfishing and immediately starting to responsibly manage and protect all marine life around the world.

Lassonde Professor Pouya Rezai with research team members.

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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Report 2023 | York University



Concerns about aquatic conservation and ecosystem protection have prompted a team of researchers from York’s Lassonde School of Engineering to develop innovative ways for detecting the presence of microplastics – a source of marine pollution. While existing standard lab-based detection methods are available, they are often slow or costly, creating a barrier to use in detailed investigations of aquatic ecosystems. Recently, a group of researchers from Lassonde Professor Pouya Rezai’s lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering designed and prototyped an affordable and simple microfluidic device for on-site microplastic detection. Learn more about this innovative work.

Shooka Karimpour is part of an interdisciplinary team at York whose research takes aim at addressing microplastic pollution in Lake Ontario. To raise awareness around the impact of this problem, Assistant Professor Karimpour delivered a micro-lecture in the world’s tiniest lecture hall. The space itself is a transparent, Plexiglas model made mostly from recycled plastics removed from Lake Ontario, featuring tiny chairs, a tiny screen and tiny people. By scanning a QR code, the public can enter the hall virtually to hear a six-minute micro-lecture on these ubiquitous pollutants. Although they are considered to be a global environmental risk, microplastics can be found in everything from water bottles to chewing gum. Learn more about this tiny lecture hall with a big impact.

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