I am now at the beginning of my PhD so I thought it would be good to share my MSc thesis work: The effects of microplastics on coral holobiont photosynthesis, respiration and bleaching susceptibility, which will hopefully be published soon!
Numerous organisations such as Plastic Oceans, 5 Gyres and Surfers Against Sewage are fighting to make a difference in the global plastic pollution crisis. Following the incredible Blue Planet II , and even more recently Drowning in Plastic, the public response has been brilliant, pushing for reductions in single-use plastic globally. However, more threats from plastic to the oceans continue to be uncovered, such as with my MSc thesis, supporting evidence that coral reefs may be suffering from plastic pollution too.
I was lucky enough to go to the Maldives this January as part of my MSc Marine Systems and Policies at the University of Edinburgh. The Maldives is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), a group of 26 atolls located in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka and 820km long. Most of the islands are inhabited by local people or are entirely resorts, with the economy relying heavily on tourism. We were allowed to stay on the Island of Magoodhoo, Fafuu atoll, a local island with a current population 838, within the Marine Research and Higher Education (MaRHE) centre. As part of our time in the Maldives we each had to conduct a research project of our own.