Deeply moved by “The Story of Mr. Earth”, a short video about the destiny of the Earth, Joanne has committed to finding sustainable formula for curing Mr. Earth since she was a kid. After graduating from Stanford University, she has been working with stakeholders in the public and private sectors to bring environmental innovations to business operations and public policy. She led numerous international collaboration in projects on environmental biotechnology and informatics, water technology, carbon management, product development and consultancy in green technologies and sustainability strategy. Upon her return to academia as a Research Assistant Professor in The University of Hong Kong, she has initiated interdisciplinary research projects, including the application of advanced imaging and photonics technology for microplastics assessment, to bring experts from multiple disciplines to develop innovative solutions to address pressing environmental issues.
Once hailed as one of the greatest invention in the 20th century, the high durability, bio-inertness and low thermal conductivity of plastics make it an ideal material for a wide variety of household goods, clothing, packaging and personal care products. Nonetheless, these very same properties also turn plastics into a nightmare for the environment. Plastics are now found in almost every corner of the planet Earth and in the body of many microbes, organisms and human beings. While the public focuses on the ecotoxicology of microplastics, their linkage to climate change should not be neglected. In this talk, I will bring the audience to follow the footprint of a piece of plastics from its birth to death to have a better understanding of how its life is closely tied to the planet’s destiny, and more importantly, how interdisciplinary collaboration will be critical for us and the future generations to tackle the challenges posed by the plastics.