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University of Portsmouth Named Scientific Lead for Groundbreaking Clean Planet Peninsula Project

The Clean Planet Foundation is excited to announce the Revolution Plastics Institute at the University of Portsmouth as the scientific lead for its flagship three-year Clean Planet Peninsula project. This initiative represents a major advancement in the global study of environmental pollution, specifically targeting the pervasive issue of microplastics in the Polar regions.


Left to right: Dr. Katerina Garyfalou (Head of New Ventures, Clean Planet Foundation), Prof. Fay Couceiro (Environmental Pollution Professor, University of Portsmouth), Dr. Cressida Bowyer (Associate Professor in Arts and Sustainability), Prof. Stephen Fletcher (Director, Revolution Plastics Institute).

Left to right: Dr. Katerina Garyfalou (Head of New Ventures, Clean Planet Foundation), Prof. Fay Couceiro (Environmental Pollution Professor, University of Portsmouth), Dr. Cressida Bowyer (Associate Professor in Arts and Sustainability), Prof. Stephen Fletcher (Director, Revolution Plastics Institute).


As a pioneer in microplastics research, the University of Portsmouth brings a wealth of expertise to the forefront of this project. Under the leadership of Professor Fay Couceiro, Head of the Microplastics Research Group, the University of Portsmouth will not only guide the scientific direction but also enhance the training components of the project. Professor Couceiro's team is renowned for its comprehensive approach to studying microplastics, investigating everything from their origins and distribution to their profound impacts on the environment and human health.


About the Clean Planet Peninsula Project



The Clean Planet Peninsula project, the flagship initiative of the Clean Planet Foundation, aims to investigate and compare the presence and impact of microplastics in the pristine environments of the Arctic and Antarctica while offering enhanced training courses to the early research scientists who participate. This pioneering research will analyse samples collected from water, ice, and air, creating the first direct comparison study of these critical regions.


Set to commence this August with a field skills training course in Dartmoor, UK; the project builds on the success of its 2023 pilot year, which was featured across the BBC. The first year of the course will host 25 participants and be led by British polar explorer Antony Jinman in collaboration with the UK Polar Network (UKPN). It will also include scientific lectures from experts at the University of Portsmouth, enriching both the practical and theoretical learning experiences.

Throughout its three-year duration, the Clean Planet Foundation will fully sponsor the project, covering all costs associated with research, field expeditions, and data analysis. The ultimate goal is to publish the results, contributing vital new insights to the global discourse on environmental conservation and microplastic pollution. The application deadline for participants to join the course is May 31st.


The Clean Planet Peninsula 2023 Pilot Year was heavily featured across the BBC


"We are immensely proud to collaborate with the University of Portsmouth for this project, leveraging their world-leading expertise in microplastics. This collaboration will enable the project to further address the global environmental challenges through cutting-edge science and education."

Dr. Katerina Garyfalou, Project Director of the Peninsula project from the Clean Planet Foundation.


The project aims not only to advance our understanding of microplastics but also to educate and empower a new generation of environmental scientists. The involvement of the University of Portsmouth ensures that the research conducted is of the highest scientific rigour and that the findings will significantly impact global environmental policies and practices.


"Collaborating with the Clean Planet Foundation offers an extraordinary opportunity to expand our research into the impact of microplastics on some of the most remote and pristine environments on Earth. By comparing data from the Arctic and Antarctica, we aim to uncover truths about microplastics that could drive significant changes in environmental policy worldwide."

Prof. Fay Couceiro, Professor of Environmental Pollution at the University of Portsmouth, Director of Postgraduate Research, Head of the Microplastics Research Group, and Senior Editor of Cambridge Prisms: Plastics.



For further information, contact:

Clean Planet Foundation

University of Portsmouth, Emma Gaisford emma.gaisford@port.ac.uk

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