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This pillar aims to understand how humans are exposed to microplastics through the air, water and food​.

Pillar Leader: Amy Lusher, NIVA - Norwegian Institute for Water Research

Dr Lusher is a Key Research at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research and an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Bergen. Over the past 10 years, Amy has been focusing on the development of methods for microplastics in environmental samples and consequences for marine biota. She is currently the Scientific Project Manager of EUROqCHARM, a EU H2020 funded CSA, driven by the need for validated and harmonised approaches to quantifying plastics. She previously co-led the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) report focusing on microplastics in fisheries and aquaculture (finfish and shellfish). Within NAMC she is leading Pillar Three which focuses on understanding how humans are exposed to microplastics through the air, water and food​.

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Matthew Cole, Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Dr Matthew Cole is a senior marine ecologist and ecotoxicologist based at Plymouth Marine Laboratory. His research centres upon how human activity and pollution can impact upon the natural environment. Since 2010, Matthew’s research has focussed upon better understanding the risks plastic pollution poses to marine ecosystems. His pioneering research was the first to identify the negative impact microplastics can have upon marine zooplankton and marine ecological processes. Matthew is currently spearheading projects investigating the effects of antifouling paint particles, biodegradable plastics and tyre-wear particles on coastal and estuarine ecosystems, and exploring nature based solutions to microplastic pollution.

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Marte Haave, NORCE

Dr. Haave is Senior Researcher at NORCE and an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Bergen. Since 2015, Haave has been focusing on plastic pollution, mapping the occurrence and levels of micro and macroplastics in biota, the marine and urban environment. She is cofounder of NAMC and was center leader in 2020-2021. Marte has taken part in microplastic expert groups on the risks posed by microplastics. Her background is in human toxicology, persistent organic pollutants, endocrine disruptors, and marine monitoring. She is also a dedicated scientific communicator aiming to increase public understanding and engagement in the plastic pollution issue, and has brought attention to the cause through frequent participation in TV and radio, documentary series, educational TV-series, and citizen science projects. As former NAMC center leader she is taking part in all five pillars, with main involvement in Pillar Three, Four and Five.

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Alex Rogers, REV Ocean

Alex is a marine ecologist who is interested in how biodiversity is distributed in the ocean, especially in the deep sea and on tropical coral reefs. He is also interested in human impacts on the ocean and how to manage human activities to mitigate or reduce degradation of marine ecosystems. His work has taken him to the Atlantic, Indian and Southern Oceans and to the Caribbean investigating coral reef ecosystems, seamounts and deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Alex has worked with governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations in publicising human impacts, especially those from deep-sea fishing and climate change, and on the development of policy solutions to such problems. He is Scientific Director of REV Ocean a foundation aimed at finding solutions to problems affecting the ocean.

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Dorte Herzke, NILU

Senior researcher at NILU’s Environmental Chemistry department at the Fram Centre, Tromsø and Prof II at UiT, has been working with microplastics (MP) related research questions for more than a decade. Her research focus is on the development of methodologies for sampling MP in air and determination of MP in a variety of matrices, as well as investigating the role of MP as a vector for chemicals, including additives. Dr. Herzke also leads the INTPART project PlastPoll as well as the SIS CleanArctic. She participates in the NORRUS collaboration MALINOR on mapping marine litter in the Arctic, in addition to several smaller projects on plastic pollution funded by the FRAM Centre.

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Mark E Hahn, WHOI

Dr. Mark Hahn is a Senior Scientist in the Biology Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and a Project Leader in the Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health. He received his PhD in Environmental Toxicology from the University of Rochester (N.Y.) School of Medicine. At WHOI since 1987, Dr. Hahn has studied molecular mechanisms of developmental toxicity and adaptation following exposure to marine pollutants and has authored roughly 175 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Hahn was on the organizing committee of the 2020 U.S. National Academy of Sciences workshop on the Environmental Health Effects of Microplastics and currently leads WHOI’s Marine Microplastics Initiative (https://microplastics.whoi.edu).

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Alessio Gomiero, NORCE

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Richard Quilliam, University of Stirling

Richard Quilliam is Professor of Environment and Health at the University of Stirling. His research interests include water quality and sanitation, environmental pathogen ecology, conflicting ecosystem services, sustainable agriculture, and sustainable disease & waste management. He is Principal Investigator of the NERC “Plastic Vectors” project (£1.85 million), exploring the role of microplastics for facilitating the survival and long-distance transport of human pathogens, and Principal Investigator of the NERC “SPACES” project (£3.85 million) quantifying the potential for plastic wastes to urban block drainage systems and lead to localised flooding and provide habitat for medically important mosquito species in Tanzania and Malawi. He is also Co-I of the NERC “South East Asia Microplastics Project” (£1.5 million) determining the sources of microplastics and pathogens entering the South China sea.

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