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This pillar aims rapidly and reliably to measure small microplastics in the environment using standardized methods.

Pillar Leader: Jes Vollertsen, University of Aalborg

Jes Vollertsen is Professor of Environmental Engineering at Aalborg University, Denmark. His background is biological and chemical processes and pollutants in urban technical waters. He and his microplastics research group focus on analytical methods for quantification with the goal to contribute to trustworthy, fast, and affordable methods to quantify microplastics in the environment. The work targets all types of matrixes, e.g. water, wastewater, sludge, biosolids, sediments, soil, biota, food, air, etcetera. His goal is to quantify sources and occurrence of environmental microplastics and address the processes behind mitigation technologies. He addresses aspects of the physical, chemical, and biological breakdown of microplastics in the environment.

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Alessio Gomiero, NORCE

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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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Alvise Vianello, University of Aalborg

Alvise Vianello is Associate Professor at Aalborg University, Denmark. His background is analytical chemistry, and he worked from 2010 to 2016 at CNR-IDPA, conducting environmental monitoring, forensic, and archaeological analysis. Since 2012 he focuses his works on microplastic pollution. He participated in several monitoring surveys in the Northern Adriatic Sea, and in the Lagoon of Venice (Italy). Since 2016 he is working at Aalborg University, where he also obtained his PhD, focusing on analytical methods development and Microplastic analysis of different environmental matrices by FPA-µFTIR-Imaging and Py-GCMS. His research focus ranges from marine and freshwaters, sediments, soil, and recently it expanded also to microplastic contamination in indoor air. He also participated in several research cruises both in Danish and international waters (Greenland), collecting MPs samples from the water column and sediments with different sampling techniques.

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Andy Booth, Sintef

Dr Andy Booth is Research Manager of the Ocean Observation and Ecosystem group in the Climate and Environment Department at SINTEF Ocean, Norway. His research work focuses on the characterisation and environmental fate and effects of anthropogenic pollutants in natural systems, with a focus on emerging pollutants, nanomaterials and microplastics. He has participated in many national and international level research projects related to microplastic, including coordination of the EU JPI Oceans project 'PLASTOX' and the Norwegian Research Council-funded projects 'MICROFIBRE' and 'REVEAL'.

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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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Francesca Modugno, University of Pisa

PhD, Full Professor in Analytical Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry of University of Pisa. Since 2001 she carries out her research in the field of analytical chemistry applied to conservation science and environmental science. She teaches instrumental analytical chemistry and chemometrics. Her research activity deals with the development and the application of analytical methods based on analytical pyrolysis, chromatography and mass spectrometry to the characterisation and the study of the degradation of organic natural and synthetic materials. In the field of environmental chemistry she is interested into the analytical aspects related to monitoring, ecotoxicological, and degradation studies on microplastics, microfibers, and TWRPs. In the last years she has been working at developing and applying methods for the qualitative and quantitative determination of microplastics and microfibers using analytical pyrolysis coupled with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.

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Marco Mattonai, University of Pisa

Marco obtained his PhD in Chemistry and Materials Science at the University of Pisa in 2019 with a thesis on "Advanced analytical pyrolysis in the field of biomass". After his PhD, he was an employee at the R&D division of Frontier Laboratories in Japan, where he started working on the development of qualitative and quantitative Py-GC-MS methods for the analysis of microplastics in environmental samples. In 2020 Marco resumed his academic career, and is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Pisa. Marco's research activity deals with the development of analytical methods based on pyrolysis, chromatography, and mass spectrometry for the characterization of natural and synthetic materials. The main application fields of his research are biomass and sustainable chemistry, environmental analysis, and cultural heritage. In NAMC he is working on the development of analytical strategies to improve instrumental sensitivity in environmental analysis of microplastics.

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Eva Ramirez-Llodra, REV Ocean

Eva is the Science Coordinator at REV Ocean. She is benthic marine ecologist with 20 years of research experience in deep-sea ecosystems. Her main areas of interest are deep-sea benthic biodiversity and early life-history processes, with a particular focus on faunal and ecosystem responses to human impacts, including plastic pollution. Eva has a wide expertise in international project management, including leading roles in the Census of Marine Life programme, the International Network for Scientific Investigations of Deep-Sea Ecosystem (INDEEP), the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) and in IUCN expert commissions. She has an established international network of contacts within science and other stakeholders and contributes to facilitating science communication to end users, including policy makers, NGOs and society.

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Gunnar Gerdts, Alfred Wegener Institute

Gunnar Gerdts is the head of the Marine Microbiological Ecology - Microplastics group of the section Shelf Seas Systems Ecology at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research. He has been working for several years on the occurrence of microplastics in several environmental compartments (e.g. water, sediments, biota, sea ice, snow) in different geographical areas (e.g. North Atlantic, Arctic, Antarctica) by using advanced spectroscopic techniques (e.g. FTIR Imaging, nanoFTIR, Raman microscopy).

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Sebastian Primpke, Alfred Wegener Institute

Sebastian Primpke is postdoctoral researcher working in the Marine Microbiological Ecology - Microplastics group of the section Shelf Seas Systems Ecology at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research. Prior to moving into the field of environmental sciences, he studied polymer chemistry with a focus on the polymerization kinetics and chemical reaction modelling. The main focus of his current research is the development, harmonization, and evaluation of analytical methods for the identification and quantification of micro- and nanoplastics within most types of environmental matrices.

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Anna Michel, WHOI

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Laura Simon Sánchez

Laura is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of the Built Environment at Aalborg University (BUILD-AAU), Denmark. During her PhD at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB) of Barcelona, she investigated the occurrence, methods, and fate of microplastics in transitional systems of the Mediterranean Sea. Laura’s research at the Urban Pollution Group (BUILD-AAU) continues to centre on the challenges of plastic pollution, looking at developing analytical methods to detect and characterize nanoplastics in the natural environment. Laura was awarded as National Geographic Explorer 2022 with the project Sinking at Sea to investigate the exports of microplastics from the sea surface to the seafloor.