Sources, transfer and fate of microplastics in the Arctic marine environment

Contamination of the world’s oceans by plastic waste is of growing international concern. The presence of persistent microplastic particles in very remote environments like the Arctic demonstrates the far-reaching effects of pollution arising in temperate regions. Currently, the key sources of microplastics (from both outside and within the Arctic) and their subsequent behaviour and impact on Arctic ecosystems is poorly understood.

This project seeks to measure microplastics in a variety of
Arctic marine samples to examine the occurrence and type of plastics in surface and deep ocean waters and to understand the broader transport of microplastics across the Arctic with ocean currents. Mechanistic insight into the transfer of microplastics between sea ice, snowmelt and underlying seawater will also be investigated with the aim of understanding microplastic release with meltwater and exposure of ice associated biota. This PhD studentship will take advantage of NERC’s
Changing Arctic Ocean programme ( and will provide training opportunities with state-of-the art spectroscopy/microscopy facilities as well as ocean modelling.

Grant reference
Natural Environment Research Council
Total awarded
£0 GBP
Start date
30 Sep 2019
3 years 11 months 29 days
End date
29 Sep 2023