Research interests:

I am an oceanographer – ecologist interested understanding the distribution and impact of pollutions in general.
I am particularly interested to study the plastic pollution and its widespread by using a multi disciplinary approach.

Career history:

Education:

2017-2020: PhD on the distribution of microplastics in the Scottish marine environment

2014 – 2016: Msc in Oceanography and Marine Environments, specialised in coastal ecosystem – Pierre and Marie Curie University, Sorbonne University – Paris, France

2010 – 2014: Bsc in life sciences specialised in environmental sciences – Nantes University

Career:

2017 (3 months) : Fixed term contract at Interregional direction of the sea, the north Atlantic and the west English Channel, Control and division of Maritimes’ activity

2016 (2 months): Website development: SARL Alain Paradinas Architecture agency; Nantes, France

Active research projects:

"Distribution of microplastics in the Scottish marine environment"

Annually, ~13M tons of plastic enters the marine environment in a variety of forms, including microplastics. The marine environment is interconnected, so microplastics are not only transported globally to regions where there is little anthropogenic input, but also sequestered in sediments and potentially released for decades to come. As research into microplastics is still relatively new, their long-term impact is not yet known.

A recent study investigating litter around the UK highlighted the lack of samples from the western and northern coastline of Scotland compared to other regions. The samples that were collected, however, indicated high levels of plastic, which accounted for 50-80% of the litter collected there.

This PhD will investigate the prevalence and distribution of microplastics by examining water, sediments and biological samples from a suite of pre-determined locations along the Scottish coastline. Comparisons will be made between rural areas (low population density/small-scale industries) and heavily commercialised regions to elucidate differences between regions, with the expectation that commercial regions have higher levels of microplastics.
The potential interaction and impact of microplastics with the bivalve aquaculture sector shall also be investigated. As this is a relatively new area of research, methods for the collection and separation of microplastics from water, sediment and biota samples will need to be developed and validated. Particle-based transport models will be developed, using existing hydrodynamic models and a range of particle behaviours, to predict microplastic distributions and hotspots. Initially, this modelling will be carried out at a
national scale using Scottish Shelf Model climatology and hypothetical source regions. Smaller scale models, where available, will be used to investigate local distributions.

The project will link closely to several of the priority employment sectors. In particular the Life Sciences, and also the Food and Drink, and Tourism sectors. Public awareness of
microplastics in general is increasing as has been seen from the recent call to ban microbeads in household products. Clean, uncontaminated environments of Scotland underpin the Food and Drink sector of the Highlands and Islands. The reputation and provenance of Scottish seafood is vital for local economies and global markets (microfibres have been detected in wild mussels at different locations around the UK2). Plastics are non-biodegradable, of no nutritional value to marine biota, and are known to adsorb a suite of micro-pollutants. The consumption of microplastics represents a potential pathway into the marine and potentially human food-chain. In addition, plastics can provide a mechanism for long distance transport of non-native, invasive species. This project will directly benefit this sector through increased knowledge regarding the presence, magnitude, and distribution of microplastics in the region.

Recent publications:

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