PhD: Sources, transfer and fate of microplastics in the Arctic marine environment
Lancaster Environment Centre
I completed my undergraduate degree in Geography at Liverpool John Moores University, where I became interested in the topic of microplastic pollution. My undergraduate research project on the origin and fate of microplastics in saltmarshes led on to an MPhil, where I focused on developing a method for the extraction of microplastics from organic rich sediments. During this time, I also spent 7 months working at CEH Wallingford on the UKWIR project investigating microplastic pollution in drinking and waste water in the UK.
My PhD research project is part of NERC’s Changing Arctic Ocean programme, and focuses on the presence of persistent microplastic particles in the marine Arctic. Currently, the key sources of microplastics and their subsequent behavior and impact on Arctic ecosystems is poorly understood. I plan to sample a variety of Arctic marine samples to examine the occurrence and type of plastics in surface and deep ocean waters to understand the broader transport of microplastics across the Arctic with ocean currents. I will also be investigating the transfer of microplastics between sea ice, snowmelt and underlying seawater, with the aim of understanding microplastic release with meltwater and exposure of ice-associated biota.