2021 PTBO Regional Science Fair Winner

Shaun Plassery measures the shoot length of soybean and wheat plants as part of his data collection process.

Congratulations to Shaun Plassery, a grade 10 student at Kenner CVI, the winner of the 2021 Otonabee Region Conservation Authority Award for Environmental Excellence at the Peterborough Regional Science Fair. Shaun was a participant in the Junior/Intermediate Earth and Environmental Sciences category and was also named First Place Winner in this category.

Shaun’s project, Phytoremediation of Crude Oil: Effect of Rhizobium and Kelp on Soybean & Wheat under Oil Stress V2, was two years in the making!

For his project, Shaun asked the question, are there natural plant enhancers that can increase the growth of plants that have been exposed to oil?

Shaun analyzed the growth and morphology of soybean and wheat cultivated in an oil-polluted environment and tested two types of bio-fertilizers, Rhizobium and kelp extract.

Shaun found that both biofertilizers improved plant performance in oil-polluted soil; however, this beneficial effect was observed mainly in lower oil concentrations (1-3%).

It is believed that these results will help to bring new strategies to the phytoremediation efforts, and using plant growth enhancers can become a common approach in fighting oil spills.

Congratulations Shaun for your incredible project that will bring insight to phytoremediation efforts and inspiration to students and aspiring environmental scientists across the Region.