We recently appointed Freya Radford to the team as a Biospheric Microplastics Research Fellow. Below Freya shares a bit on her background and her work:
I have recently joined UWE as a Biospheric Microplastics Research Fellow to work on developing microplastics research within the cluster.
I have a degree in marine biology and have experience working as an aquatic ecotoxicologist investigating the impacts of pesticides and herbicides on freshwater communities.
Recently, I have completed my PhD which focused on microplastic contamination in soils. This ranged from developing analytical methods for extracting microplastics from soils to quantifying and characterising microplastics in soils with a focus on sewage sludge as a source.
I have also had experience working on microplastic projects in tropical seagrass systems and identifying microplastics in wastewater treatment plants. Additionally, I have helped supervise several masters projects looking at macrolitter in hedgerows, the impacts of microplastics on plants and the presence of microplastics in a range of river environments.
My research interests lie in investigating the impacts of anthropogenic contaminants on the environment. I am particularly interested in quantification and characterisation of contaminants to determine source and sink dynamics as well as determining their ecotoxicological effects.
I am currently working on developing research to address critical gaps in the microplastics research landscape. This will involve developing new methods for microplastic detection in a range of samples (air, soil, and water) using a variety of identification methods. In addition to this I will be working towards identifying microplastic sources, transport mechanisms and potential hazards.