PhD student awarded marine plastics research fellowship

View of John Anderson Campus from the north

A PhD student has been awarded a prestigious fellowship to take part in marine plastics pollution research and education.

Steve Allen will travel to South Africa under a three month Association of Commonwealth Universities Blue Charter Fellowship to work with the Sustainable Seas Trust and the African Waste Network in Port Elizabeth.

PhD student Blue Charter Fellowship Steve Allen

The £10,000 fellowship is funded by the Commonwealth Blue Charter, set up to promote research and sustainability of the oceans. It funds researchers to travel to ACU member universities and research institutions across the Commonwealth to develop solutions to marine plastics pollution.

The Doctoral candidate will work with Dr Tony Ribbink on the development and testing of low-cost, environmental plastics pollution monitoring to measure how much river plastic pollution is entering the South African marine environment.

Steve, who is with Strahclyde’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, will  play a part in presentations for international researchers and government officials, and added: “I will also be taking part in outreach education events at schools and communities. 

I‘m very excited to be given the chance to help tackle micro-plastic pollution of our oceans directly."

Alison Swaddling, Adviser on Ocean Governance at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said: “Collaboration is key to solving global issues and the fellowships are vital to connect Commonwealth universities to the actions being undertaken through the Commonwealth Blue Charter. “

The ACU is awarded funding by the UK Government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to run the fellowships to support research and innovation in marine plastics.