Jeanny Yao is a student at the University of Toronto Scarborough, as well as a conference speaker on the matter of decomposing phthalates found in plastic. Yao is also a part of the Environmental and Physical Sciences Students Association. Previously she attended the University of British Columbia.
Jeanny Yao and a fellow student from the University of British Columbia, Miranda Wang worked together to find a way to break down harmful phthalates, which are found in plastics. Phthalates can cause cancer or reproductive problems in people and is absorbed into the skin through touch. Together Yao and Wang found a bacteria that breaks phthalates down naturally. They believe the solution to this synthesized problem is biochemical.