School of Biological Sciences


Photo of Dr Natalie Welden

Dr Natalie Welden

  • Qualifications: BSc, MSc (Ebor), PhD (Glasgow)
  • Role Title: Teaching Fellow
  • Address: King Henry Building, King Henry I Street, Portsmouth, PO1 2DY
  • Telephone: 023 92 8422071
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


Growing up as a keen kayaker and with a permanent eye on the garden pond, I wanted a job in which I could stick close to water and call it work. When the time came to pick a degree in I chose Ecology at Derby University (2005-2008), specialising in aquatic habitats and spending a summer canoeing up and down the River Trent sampling benthic invertebrates to determine the impacts of power station effluent. From Derby, I went north, studying for an MSc in Marine Environmental Management at the University of York (2009-2010), focusing on anthropogenic impacts on estuarine environments. Over this period I also worked at the Environment Agency, in the routine monitoring of river health. Here I returned to the observation of macrobenthic invertebrates as indicators of riverine pollution, this time across Yorkshire. After graduating I sought to expand my boat based survey work by volunteering at the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Center, working on their long running marine mammal observation program. After a few very damp and windy (but enjoyable) months in Cardigan Bay, I moved north yet again to begin a PhD at the University Marine Biological Station Millport, studying the impacts of microplastic in the Clyde Sea Area (2011-2015). Whilst based in the Clyde I worked on the degradation of marine plastic debris and the distribution of microplastic, observing their uptake and impact in the commercially important langoustine population. Since receiving my doctorate I have gradually made my way south again, undertaking post-docs at the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, and at the Open University in Milton Keynes.

I joined the University of Portsmouth as a Teaching Fellow in September 2017 and am heavily involved in teaching both Marine Biology and Biology. My research continues to focus on the impact of plastics on the aquatic environment, however I am also keenly interested in citizen science as a method of monitoring and controlling environmental pollution.

Teaching Responsibilities

My current role is that of Teaching Fellow, and I both lecture and lead practical sessions on a range of undergraduate and masters level modules, including:

  • Biodiversity and Evolution
  • Graduate Skills
  • Experimental Biology
  • Marine Organisms and Ecosystems
  • Coastal Ecosystems
  • Marine Ecophysiology
  • Ecotoxicology and Pollution


  • The ecotoxicological impacts of novel contaminants
  • The formation and distribution of microplastic
  • The degradation of plastics in aquatic and terrestrial environments
  • Environmental applications of the citizen science phenomenon