AMEO experience – Emma Yenney (2022)

Each year, several students of the Environmental Pollution Management (Ecotoxicology) Program complete an 8-week internship period in their 2nd semester. This internship is abbreviated as “AMEO” which translates to “Applied Module at External Organizations”. The AMEO is performed either at an external university, governmental or industrial research institute where students learn to apply the competences achieved during their study. Students use this opportunity to not only travel and explore Germany, but some of them even decide to gather experiences from around the world. In this blogpost, Emma Yenney shares her AMEO experience in VLIZ, Belgium. Read along…..

Theme for my AMEO

“For my AMEO I have been interning at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in Oostende, Belgium.  It is a research facility with several different departments in marine science from robotics to reef conservation and microplastics research.  My internship is being supervised by Zhiyue Niu, a Ph.D. student at the institute, whose thesis is focused on microplastic leachate toxicity testing.  We have been running various toxicity tests on the copepod Nitokra spinipes using leachates extracted from bio- and petroleum-based polymers, and testing endpoints at different temperatures, to model additional environmental stressors.  This internship has been a fun learning on how to culture and run toxicity tests on these copepods.  I work from 9:30 to 17:00 Monday to Friday.  My days are usually spent maintaining and creating new cultures, setting up for experiments, and making observations on ongoing experiments.  I also occasionally help with other projects, such as using a fluorescence microscope to identify microplastic composition.”

Exploring the city

“The city of Oostende is on a long sandy beach.  There are lots of water sports like surfing, sailing, and swimming.  It is also close to fun cities like Brugge and Brussels.  I have really enjoyed spending time with the other interns at VLIZ at work picnics, having beach days, and exploring Belgium.”

“I would definitely recommend anyone interested in aquatic and/or marine ecotoxicology to consider VLIZ for their AMEO.”