- 2020-present London NERC DTP (Cohort 7), studying the impacts of plastic pollution on filter-feeding megafauna in the central Indian Ocean, particularly reef manta rays
- 2016-2020 Graduate Programme in Information Technology then Cybersecurity Solution Specialist at Computacenter
- 2013-2015 Erasmus Mundus TROPIMUNDO MSc in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University Degli Studie di Firenze and the University of Queensland. Thesis focussing on the impacts of a marine heat wave on the plankton communities off the coast of Western Australia, supervised by Anthony J Richardson at University of Queensland and CSIRO
- 2011 Volunteer at Coral Cay Conservation, Philippines
- 2010-2013 BSc in Maths and Physics with German, Durham University
- Plankton and filter-feeders
- Marine Plastics
- Plastic additives and ecotoxicology
- Particle dispersion modelling
- Marine conservation
- Microplastics and ghost gear
- Citizen science
My PhD project will be in partnership with Royal Holloway University of London, the Institute of Zoology, and ZSL. I will be looking at the impacts of plastic pollution in the Central Indian Ocean on filter-feeding megafauna, particularly reef manta rays.
Plastic is known to have major negative impacts on marine ecosystems. Marine organisms can entangle in discarded fishing gear, ingest plastic debris, and accumulate leached toxic chemicals in their systems, which can affect their development and physiology. Reef manta rays are large charismatic filter-feeders, that are exposed to those risks, due to their low trophic level and their habitat overlap with plastic pollution.
My project will use plastic dispersion models to examine the sources, pathways and sinks of macro- and microplastic pollution in the Central Indian Ocean, with a focus on debris from shipping lanes and fishing activities. The region of interest is the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), a near-pristine remote island, the Maldives, a highly touristic location, and Indonesia, the largest plastic polluter in the area. It will then investigate the reef manta ray’s risk of entanglement in discarded fishing gear and microplastic ingestion. It will finally develop a methodology to explore the presence of leached toxic plastic additives in reef manta ray tissues and their feeding grounds.
We hope this project will allow us to assess the current plastic pollution management solutions in the Central Indian Ocean and inform potential mitigation policies and initiatives.
Anthony J. Richardson, Jessica Savage, Frank Coman, Claire Davies, Ruth Eriksen, Felicity McEnnulty, Anita Slotwinski, Mark Tonks and Julian Uribe-Palomino (2020). The impact on zooplankton of the 2011 heatwave off Western Australia.