Kansas City One Health Day
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Microplastics: Small Particles. Big Impact.
3-6 p.m. | Nov. 1
Microplastics are a serious crisis for human, environmental and animal health. KC One Health Day will have experts in microplastics from the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, University of Missouri and University of Missouri-Kansas City share research and what we know about the impact of microplastics on humans, animals and the environment.
What are microplastics?
Created by the breakdown of plastic in the environment, laundering of synthetic fabrics, and the inclusion of microbeads in cosmetics, these fine particles of plastic (smaller than 5mm) are found in streams, lakes, oceans, soil and even airborne dust.
Once in the environment, microplastics accumulate and persist for long periods of time. Microplastics can become embedded in both human and animal tissue through ingestion or respiration. Microplastics can absorb heavy metals and pesticides found in the environment, which may then be absorbed indirectly by an animal, potentially increasing exposure to chemicals and leading to poisonous effects.
Additives added to plastics during manufacturing may leach out upon ingestion, potentially causing serious harm to the organism. Endocrine disruption by plastic additives may affect the reproductive health of humans and animals alike.
Substantial research remains to be performed to determine the extent, severity and toxic effects of microplastics on humans, animals and the environment.
What is One Health Day?
One Health Day is an international event every fall. It highlights and celebrates the complex interrelationships between human, animal and environmental health — called One Health.
Kansas City One Health Day is our local celebration. The annual event is a collaboration by K-State, BioNexus KC, the KU Edwards Campus and University of Kansas Medical Center.
2-3 p.m. | Registration and Student Posters Viewing
- Judges will review posters and select winners
3-5 p.m. | One Health Day Program
Stuart Day, KU Edwards Campus
History of One Health Day
Mark Jakubauskas, KU Edwards Campus
Keynote Speaker | Overview of Microplastics and the One Health Impact
Belinda Sturm, University of Kansas
Microplastics and the Impact on Agriculture and Our Food
M.B. Kirkham, Kansas State University
Exposure to Chemicals in Plasticizers and the Impact on Human Health
Cheryl Rosenfeld, University of Missouri
Panel Discussion: Deeper Dive into Microplastics
Megan Hart, University of Missouri - KC | Moderator
Student Poster Awards
Daniel Kennedy, BioNexus KC
Ben Wolfe, K-State Olathe
5-6 p.m. | Networking Reception and Student Poster Viewing
Megan Hart, Ph.D.
Megan Hart received her Ph.D. in Geological Engineering from the Missouri University for Science and Technology in 2009, where she specialized in remediation of contaminated groundwater. She is currently an associate professor in the Built and Natural Environment at the University of Missouri Kansas City. In addition to her academic experience, she has spent 5 years working in industry as a geoenvironmental engineer.
Her current research interests include emerging contaminants of concern such as PFAS, microplastics and 6ppd, development of remediation technologies, preventative measures to restrict the spread of contaminants, and the fate and transport of contaminants within the built environment.
Since joining UMKC in 2012, Hart has developed several licensed technologies to target and destroy pollution in water, as well as soil. She serves on multiple committees which help shape the future of how pollution in prevented, collected, analyzed, and treated including the Interstate Regulatory Technology Council in the PFAS Remediation subgroup. She is an internationally recognized expert on remediation techniques and works to further treatment technologies outside of the United States.
M.B. Kirkham, Ph.D.
M. B. Kirkham is University Distinguished Professor in the department of agronomy at Kansas State University and teaches a graduate-level class on soil-plant-water relations. Kirkham earned a B.A. degree in biological sciences from Wellesley College and M.S. degree and Ph.D. in botany with a minor in soil science from the University of Wisconsin. Kirkham is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, the Crop Science Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is an Honorary Member of the International Union of Soil Sciences.
Kirkham's research focuses on soil-plant-water relations and uptake of heavy metals by plants grown on contaminated soils and has been supported by the United States Department of Agriculture, the U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Kirkham has published more than 300 papers, three textbooks and edited or co-edited six books, including "Spoil to Soil: Mine Site Rehabilitation and Revegetation" (CRC Press, 2018) and "Particulate Plastics in Terrestrial and Aquatic Environments" (CRC Press, 2020). Kirkham is a member of 30 scientific societies, is peer reviewer for many manuscripts and is on the editorial board of 15 international scientific journals.
Cheryl Rosenfeld, D.V.M., PhD.
Cheryl S. Rosenfeld, D.V.M., PhD., is a professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also is president of the US Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Society, an affiliate faculty member of MU Institute for Data Science and Informatics, a research faculty member for Thompson Center for Autism and Neurobehavioral Disorders and is a Genetics Area Program faculty member.
She also is a licensed veterinarian in Illinois.
Rosenfeld researches the putative therapeutic effects of type I IFN on treating human endometrial cancers. She also conducts research on the effects that maternal diet has on offspring sex ratio. This research was initiated in order to determine how the sex of offspring can be influenced by the diet consumed by the mother, which may be beneficial to the livestock industry.
She has published more than 80 articles and studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals, has been invited to review more than 35 articles, has published nine book and book chapters and has presented 45 abstracts at domestic and international meetings since 2004.
Rosenfeld earned her B.S. in Veterinary Medicine and her D.V.M. — both with honors — from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and her Ph.D. in Animal Sciences in Reproductive Biology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Belinda Sturm, Ph.D.
Belinda Sturm, Ph.D., is a professor in the department of civil, environmental and architectural engineering at the University of Kansas. She also serves as the Kansas NSF EPSCoR director. Sturm earned her B.S. in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame.
In 2012, the American Academy of Environmental Engineers awarded Sturm and KU an Excellence in Environmental Engineering honor award for her research on coupling nutrient removal with algae-mediated energy recovery. She is the chair of the Water Environment Federation's Municipal Design Symposium and past-chair of the International Water Association's USA National Committee Executive Board. At KU, Sturm leads a consortium Kansas Research for Environment and Water Sustainability, which conducts research for industry and utility partners.
The Sturm Research Group studies the application of biological processes in environmental engineering toward public health protection and sustainability. Sturm's primary interest is the use of microbial communities in water reclamation and resource recovery from municipal wastewater. The group applies a holistic research approach that includes microbial ecology, bioreactor design and operation, life cycle assessment, geospatial modeling and collaborations with environmental economists. Students work within highly interdisciplinary teams and often work with utility partners, with the goal of advancing the rapid adoption of engineering innovations.
Admission is $10 and supports student awards. Students and teachers are free with promo code.
High school and college students (both undergraduate and graduate) are encouraged to present a research poster and compete for cash scholarships at KC One Health Day.