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My main research interest is microplastics (plastic particles <5mm in size), investigating their presence and effects in freshwater environments. I recently published a study determining the abundance and sources of microplastics in the river Thames catchment. My current research is now focussing more on the ecological effects of microplastics in freshwater ecosystems, specifically the toxicological effects of microplastics and how the presence of microplastics can influence the uptake and bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants.
In Nov-Dec 2016 I worked at the University of Leiden (Netherlands) to run bioassays looking at how the presence of the microplastics can affect the toxicity of different pesticides to the water flea Daphnia magna. In Aug-Sept 2015 I travelled to Brazil where I developed a collaboration with the Universidade Federal do Parana in Curitiba. Here I worked to design and run bioassays to assess the impacts of microplastics and PBDEs to chironomids (freshwater midge larvae) and pond snails, to determine microplastics’ effect on the bioavailability of these organic chemicals. This work has since been presented at international conferences in Europe and the USA.
In addition to my work on microplastics, I am also involved in projects investigating the effects of nanoparticles on the survival and reproduction of terrestrial organisms including earthworms and nematodes. I have also carried out research on the survival of different bee species exposed to environmentally relevant levels of pesticides, including pyrethroids and neonicotinoids. Before working at CEH I carried out a marine ecotoxicological study as part of my Master's degree, looking at impacts of trace metals on moon jellyfish development and reproduction.
- Ecotoxicologist - Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. April 2017 - present
- Research Associate (Ecotoxicology) - Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. April 2014 - March 2017
- Field Scientist - APEM Ltd. Jan 2013 - April 2014
- Oceanography (Marine Biology and Ecology) MSc - University of Southampton. 2011-2012
- Biology BSc - University of Sussex
Member of the Royal Society of Biology (MRSB)