Plymouth University, United Kingdom

Description of Organisation:

Plymouth University (PU) is one of the UK's most prominent and dynamic universities. Consistently ranked as one of the top three modern universities in the UK, PU attracts significant funds to support research by staff and PhD students and has recently invested more than £110 million in state-of-the-art facilities. PU will contribute to the project from three perspectives: marine ecology, psychology and education. Marine ecology work will be based in the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre which comprises of 14 full time academic staff ( active in all fields from rivers through, estuaries and salt marshes to the open coast and the deep sea. Psychology work will be based the university’s internationally recognised Centre for Research in Brain, Cognition and Behaviour ( Psychology research was rated as 5 in the RAE 2001 and 2008 RAE. Full-time staff include 11 Professors, 26 full-time lecturers, 5 post-docs, and around 35 PhD students.

Main tasks in the project:

PU will lead social surveys in WP2. Dr.Pahl and Professor Thompson have collaborated previously on related topics and here they will investigate stakeholder perceptions on issues surrounding marine litter (problems and solutions) in WP 2 and will conduct evaluations of outreach and educational activities (WPs 4-6) such as exhibitions, the video contest and debates and contribute to scoping studies in WP 1.

Relevant experience:

Participating staff have considerable experience with EU funded projects including THESEUS, EUROROCK, DELOS and MARBEF. Prof Thompson is an expert on marine debris, has published widely on the topic and advised on relevant policy at national and international levels; he contributed to the MSFD task on marine litter. Prof. Thompson is an accredited STEMNET ambassador ( who has received training to work as a science ambassador and participated in the delivery of a wide range of science showcase events for public audiences (e.g.,Weird Worlds, Blue Mile, Wild about Plymouth). Dr Pahl works extensively on understanding perceptions and behavioural change in relation to social dilemmas. Dr Hartley works on understanding how attitudes and expectations can form barriers to positive change in relation to environmental and educational issues. Prof Thompson and Dr. Pahl currently have a joint ESRC/NERC studentship on the interplay of human and biological factors regarding use of the marine environment.


Richard Thompson
Sabine Pahl
Bonny Hartley

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