Perline Bastid – MSc Student, University of Portsmouth

We have awarded a research grant to Perline Bastid, an MSc student in Coastal and Marine Resource Management at the University of Portsmouth. She is conducting a comparative study into the quantities of microplastics found in mussels sampled from coastal waters of the Solent and and the farmed mussels sold in supermarkets in the surrounding area.

Perline previously studied in the University of Montpellier, where she obtained an undergraduate degree in Ecology and Biology. Throughout her studies, she progressively oriented herself towards the study of marine life and environments. During a voluntary internship in 2017 at IFREMER (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea) she became interested in the challenges facing closed-circuit fish farming and wrote a dissertation on the issues posed by aquaculture. During the summer of 2018, she participated in a PhD research on the jellyfish Aurelia aurita as part of the research unit MARBEC (Marine Biodiversity, Exploitation and Conservation).

Research Project

Perline’s research will investigate human and environmental exposure to microplastics through the process of consumption.  The project will focus on organisms that are both farmed and living in the wild; the mussel Mytilus edulis . By filtering huge quantities of water, mussels accumulate nutrients, but also pollutants such as microplastics, which can impact this species’ health as well as their predators’. As mussels are exposed to plastic pollution, they can act as vectors for these particles to be transferred to humans or natural trophic systems. During this project, samples of wild mussels will be collected from the Solent area. These samples will be analysed in laboratory conditions and measurements of microplastic abundance will be made. The project will allow her to compare environmental and human exposure to microplastics in the Solent, but also raise awareness about the scale of the problem.

Research progress reports can be found below

Solent Mussel Research Project – Final Summary

Solent Mussel Project – Update

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