Academia

Alice Horton
Ecotoxicologist and NERC Knowledge exchange fellow
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, UK
Email: alihort@ceh.ac.uk

Alice is an ecotoxicologist with an expertise in microplastic pollution. Her research focusses particularly on the sources, fate and ecological effects of microplastics within the freshwater environment. In addition to her research, she is a NERC Knowledge Exchange fellow funded to develop the UK Microplastics Network. She is a regular contributor to stakeholder meetings and workshops addressing the issue of microplastics, presenting her work to government, industry, academics and charities.


Rebecca Adams
PhD researcher
University of Birmingham, UK
Email: RMA693@bham.ac.uk

 

Rebecca is an environmental scientist with a background in marine biology. Since undertaking her PhD, she has moved away from marine plastic pollution and now focuses on freshwater. Her current research investigates the interactions between freshwater microbial communities and micro- and nanoplastics, with a particular focus on plastic mixture exposures.


Reina Maricela Blair
PhD candidate and Hydro Nation Scholar
University of Glasgow, UK
Email: r.blair.1@research.gla.ac.uk

 

Maricela is an interdisciplinary professional from Honduras with degrees in Anthropology and Environmental Sciences. Currently, she is a PhD student and Hydro Nation Scholar based at the University of Glasgow. Her research aims at investigating the prevalence, distribution, and fate of microplastics in wastewater treatment systems and recipient freshwaters. This work is in conjunction with Scottish Water and SEPA and is to inform discussions on what needs to be monitored and where controls should be implemented.


Zara Botterell
PhD researcher
Plymouth Marine Laboratory and University of Essex, UK
Email: zab@pml.ac.uk

Zara is a marine biologist with a broad interest in anthropogenic threats to the marine environment. Her current research investigates the factors which affect the bioavailability of microplastics to zooplankton including both holo- and meroplankton. She is also interested in the socio-economic effects that plastic pollution could have on the wider ecosystem and human wellbeing.


Winnie Courtene-Jones
PhD researcher
Scottish Association for Marine Science, Oban, UK
Email: winnie.courtene-jones@sams.ac.uk

 

Winnie is a marine biologist interested in understanding the impacts of anthropogenic activity on marine ecosystems. Her research focusses on the long term fate, effects and behaviour of microplastics within the marine environment and specifically the deep-sea.


Serena Cunsolo
PhD researcher
University of Portsmouth, UK
Email: serena.cunsolo@port.ac.uk

 

Serena is a marine biologist passionate about the study of plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems. Her interests include marine plastic pollution and the effects from associated contaminants on surface feeders in the open-ocean. Her current research focusses on the fate of microplastics through the wastewater treatment process into the aquatic environment. She hopes that her work will promote reduction measures to preserve the environment while improving technologies to prevent microplastics from entering the aquatic ecosystems.


Dr Simon Dixon
Lecturer
University of Birmingham, UK
Email: s.j.dixon@bham.ac.uk

 

Simon is an interdisciplinary lecturer in geography with a background in fluvial geomorphology. He is interesting in the behaviour of plastics within the environment, and how they are transported between their initial sources and their eventually environmental sinks, in effect behaving as artificial sediment particles. His current research focuses on quantifying the different stores and fluxes within a terrestrial/freshwater “plastic cycle”, with a particular interest in assessing the importance of different terrestrial sources of plastic waste.


Monika Fabra
Marine biologist – research assistant
University of Portsmouth, UK
Email: monicafabra12@gmail.com

Monica is a marine biologist with a background in biodiversity and conservation of endangered species. In particular she has been working on the transplantation of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, the biodiversity associated with vermetid reefs (coastal bio-constructions built by the gastropod Dendropoma petraeum) and the restoration of the native oyster Ostrea edulis as a part of the “Solent Oyster Restoration Project”.
She’s currently working as a research assistant on an aquarium based experiment to identify the impacts of contaminated microplastics on oyster health as a part of the project: “Pathogen concentration on microplastics and associated ecotoxicity in the marine environment”. This project aims to investigate the role of plastics as pathogen vectors.


Nina Faure Beaulieu
PhD researcher
University of Southampton and National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK
E-mail: nfb1n17@soton.ac.uk

Nina is a marine biologist interested in the effects of anthropogenic pollutants on aquatic ecosystems. Her PhD project is focused on looking at the distribution and fate of microplastics in rivers, estuaries and the open ocean, paying particular attention to the lower size classes of microplastics ( down to 10µm). Her research on UK rivers such as the Thames will attempt to link microplastic distributions to sources and help inform policy on how best to target effective strategies to prevent microplastics getting into our environment.


Professor Brendan Godley
Professor of Conservation Science
University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, UK
Email: B.J.Godley@exeter.ac.uk

 

I support undergraduate, masters, PhD and postdoctoral work on marine vertebrate conservation. Recently, I have become particularly interested in the impacts of plastics on large marine vertebrates, fish and their wider ecosystem.  Where are microplastics a substantive threat and by what mechanism? How can these threats be mitigated? How can the issue of microplastics be used as flagship to promote sustainable seas without detracting unfairly from overfishing, climate change, invasive species and other pollution. Interesting times ahead!


Kirstie Jones-Williams
PhD researcher
University of Exeter and British Antarctic Survey, UK
Email: kirnes79@bas.ac.uk

 

Kirstie is passionate about understanding the interplay of anthropogenic stressors and marine zooplankton in the coldest parts of the world. Her research focuses on measuring the relative concentration and nature of microplastic pollution in the Southern Ocean and to investigate the potential impact of these plastics on key Antarctic zooplankton species. She is also interested in the role of zooplankton in transporting plastics from the surface to the ocean depth and to what degree their incorporation influences the movement of carbon through the water column.


Professor Richard Lampitt
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
E-mail: r.lampitt@noc.ac.uk

 

Richard is an ocean-going biogeochemist with research and management experience in fixed-point observatories, marine geoengineering and especially in the transport and processing of particulate biogenic material. Associated with the last area is research into microplastics. He leads the microplastics research group at NOC and currently this has the objective to assess the distribution, characteristics and flux of microplastics in rivers, coastal seas and the open ocean. The focus is on the entire size range of microplastics but especially on those smaller particles which have been less well studied to date but which have more potential to cause harm to ecosystem structure and function


Sarah Nelms
PhD researcher
University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK
Email: s.nelms@exeter.ac.uk


Sarah is a marine conservation scientist whose research interests lie broadly in understanding the pathways by which anthropogenic activities may affect marine megafauna. Her work focuses on many aspects of marine debris interactions with marine mammals, turtles and sea birds, both in terms of ingestion and entanglement. She is also involved in a number of education and outreach activities and has written a
children’s book aimed at raising awareness about marine litter.


Dr Holly Astrid Nel
Research Fellow
University of Birmingham
E-mail: H.A.Nel@bham.ac.uk

 

Holly is a Marine Scientist from South Africa who now works as a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. While in South Africa, Holly spent three years working as Post-Doctoral Fellow at Rhodes University; studying the extent of microplastic contamination along the South African coast, in riverine tributaries and in the Sub-Antarctic. She wants to see all stakeholders work together to develop practical solutions for plastic pollution. As a result she joined the African Marine Waste Network team where her role was to liaise and coordinate with stakeholders to formulate an efficient (and effective) environmental plan – ultimately culminating in the Strategy for Marine Waste: A Guide to Action for Africa. Currently, she is looking at freshwater microplastic dynamics as part of a Leverhulme Trust Grant.


Dr Katsiaryna Pabortsava
Marine Biogeochemist
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
E-mail:
katsia@noc.ac.uk 

 

Katsia is a Post-Doctoral research scientist with major expertise in the collection and analysis of microplastics. Katsia’s work consists of quantifying and characterising microplastics in marine particle samples from various regions in the open ocean from the surface down to the seabed. These analyses will help us understand how microplastic distributions in the open ocean change in time and space, as well as to track the potential sources of microplastics in the marine environment. Katsia and the microplastic team at NOC focus on identifying and characterising microplastics in the smaller size ranges (down to 6µm and 1.5 µm) thanks to a recently acquired advanced Fourier Transform Infrared imaging system.


Kristian Parton
Postgraduate Research Student
University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, UK
Email: kp336@exeter.ac.uk

 

I study the impact of marine anthropogenic debris on elasmobranchs, with a particular focus on microplastics. Shark species are known to have a variety of threats, namely bycatch and the shark finning trade. There are of course numerous threats to these animals! However, to date only a handful of studies have investigated the effects of plastic pollution on elasmobranchs. My research aims to decipher whether North East Atlantic demersal shark species are impacted by microplastics. How are these plastics interacting with the sharks? By what mechanism are they entering their bodies? What are the possible consequences of these interactions? Stay tuned!


Flora Rendell-Bhatti
Postgraduate Research Student
Centre for Ecology and Conservation,  Exeter University,  UK
Email: fr274@exeter.ac.uk

Flora is a marine conservation biologist, with a strong interest in science outreach and the effects of anthropogenic stressors on populations and habitats, currently researching the effect of microplastics contamination on sea urchin larvae development. With a keen focus on the sustainable management and monitoring of marine ecosystems through citizen science and stakeholder engagement, Flora is a Surfers Against Sewage Community Leader working towards reducing single-use plastic items throughout Falmouth and surrounding areas.


Tom Stanton
PhD researcher
University of Nottingham, UK
Email: Thomas.Stanton@nottingham.ac.uk

 

Tom is a geographer interested in the pollution of freshwater environments and the atmosphere. His current research is focussed on the distribution and implications of microplastic particles in rivers and atmospheric fallout, and how this varies through space and time.


Jessica Stead
PhD researcher
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
Email: J.L.Stead@soton.ac.uk

 

Jessica is an environmental scientist interested in the transport and fate of microplastics in estuarine systems. Her PhD project is focused on the sedimentation of microplastics in estuarine environments, with particular interest in the processes that may be involved in the deposition of microplastics in estuarine sinks. Previous work at undergraduate level investigated the effect of microplastics on the erosion of muddy sediments.


Christina Thiele
PhD researcher
University of Southampton, UK
Email: c.j.thiele@soton.ac.uk

 

Christina has a background in environmental science and marine biology. She is interested in anthropogenic impacts on marine organisms and ecosystems, as well as how these impacts may in turn affect us humans. Her research focuses on microplastics in commercially important species. She is particularly interested in identifying very small microplastics (<500 µm) and is working on suitable methods to do so.


Fredric Windsor
PhD researcher
Cardiff University, UK
Email: windsorfm@cardiff.ac.uk

 

Fred is an ecotoxicologist interested in the transfer and effects of multiple pollutants, including microplastics, across the landscape. His research focuses on tracing the pathways through which pollutants are transferred across food webs, including how these transfers may vary in space and time.


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