March 12, 2018

Staffordshire University scientist receives scholarship for environmental research

The Associate Professor of Forensic and Crime Science at Staffordshire University has been awarded a prestigious scholarship for her research into the global problem of plastic pollution.

Dr Claire Gwinnett specialises in microfibre analysis, and is among 150 people to receive a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship in 2018.  She was part of the research team that first discovered that deep-sea animals are ingesting microplastics, and this new funding will enable her to build on this research by undertaking an expedition along The Hudson River in North America.

Dr Gwinnett explains, “Microplastics is currently a major issue for the planet – it has been found that these plastic particulates are everywhere including in our drinking water and in the food we eat. I feel honoured to achieve such an award and I am very excited to be collaborating with top researchers in microplastic analysis.”

For the project, Dr Gwinnett will investigate different international practices in microplastic research and identify best practice that can be adopted for use in environmental research in the UK. She will travel across the USA and Australasia visiting scientists who work in the analysis of microplastics.

She explains, “Currently, there is no one standardised method for the characterisation and quantification of microplastics globally which is needed if we are ever going to truly know the extent of this pollution and the effect on marine life and humans. This makes this an excellent topic for the Fellowship which aims to encourage international collaboration to solve real issues such as this.”

Read more from Dr Claire Gwinnett on plastic pollution on The Conversation.

Find out more about postgraduate study at Staffordshire University.

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Content added on 12th March 2018. 

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