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Marine plastics: Is it too late to save our oceans?

Join a panel of experts as they explore if it really is too late to save our oceans.


Event description

Plastic, heralded by many as a miracle material, is now choking fish, accumulating in their tissues, and slowly seeping down food chains. Every minute, the equivalent of a truck load of plastic is dumped into our ocean. 

Can we reverse the damage already done by dumping plastics? Are we able to alter our plastic consumption enough to preserve biodiversity? Or is it too late to save our seas? Join a panel of experts for this talk as they explore if it really is too late to save our oceans. 

This event is presented in partnership with the Royal Society of Biology and the Biochemical Society for Biology Week 2019. Biology Week 2019 is from 5 – 13 October and showcases the important and amazing world of the biosciences, getting everyone from children to professional biologists involved in fun and interesting life science activities. 

About the speakers

David Jones is Founder and CEO of Just One Ocean. 

As a scientist, professional diver, underwater photographer and technical media diving specialist David has seen much of the underwater world, but over the past couple of decades has been horrified by the damage we are doing. In 2009 he joined Plastic Oceans and spent several years on the production of the film A Plastic Ocean as special scientific advisor, underwater filming supervisor and cameraman.

Whilst plastic pollution is still very much at the forefront of his work he founded Just One Ocean in order to promote awareness of some of the other issues facing our ocean, such as overfishing and habitat destruction. David has an interest in socio-economic aspects of plastic pollution issues as well as the scientific and is currently undertaking research at the University of Portsmouth on the impact of microplastics on coastal environments and how we might harness citizen science to close our knowledge gaps. One outcome of this research was the development of the Big Microplastic Survey project which was launched in 2018 and has now reached 56 countries around the world.

Dr Pennie Lindeque is a senior scientist with more than 18 years expertise in the area of development, systematics and trophic interactions of eukaryotes, in particular zooplankton. Current focus includes investigating the bioavailability and impact of microplastics on marine biota combining laboratory experiments and field sampling. As a molecular biologist her research has also centred on using molecular techniques to help answer ecological questions; including developing molecular techniques for identification of holoplankton and meroplankton, including Next Generation Sequencing technologies, and investigating trophic interactions through molecular gut content analysis.

Prof Theodore Henry focuses on issues of environmental toxicology that impact aquatic ecosystems on a global scale and works with stakeholders to resolve these issues. He is particularly interested in warmwater environments and the environmental fate, bioavailability, and toxicology of pollutants. He directs the Ecotoxicology and Pathophysiology of Aquatic Organisms Research Program which investigates organism responses and pathophysiology across levels of biological organization. He is particularly interested in evaluating expression profiles of target gene transcripts that are involved in biological processes and evaluating how these profiles relate to activity of gene products and higher order responses at tissue (histopathology), organism (behavior, reproduction), and population levels. 

Dr Anna Ploszajski is an award-winning materials scientist, engineer and communicator. By day, Anna is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Making, researching 4D printing and smart fabrics. By night she communicates materials science on stage, on radio, on TV and on the page. In 2017 she was named Young Engineer of the Year by the Royal Academy of Engineering, and in 2018 won the Silver Medal from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. In her spare time, Anna plays the trumpet in a funk and soul covers band and swam the English Channel in July 2018. Oh, and it’s pronounced “Por-shy-ski”.


The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk.

Latecomers will be admitted into the gallery.


The theatre is on the first floor and there is step-free access from the street via lift.

The closest underground station is Green Park, which is step-free.

There is space at floor level in the theatre for wheelchair users.

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Our theatre is equipped with an Audio Induction Loop.