School of Civil Engineering and Surveying


Photo of Ms Serena Cunsolo

Ms Serena Cunsolo

  • Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Biological Science, MSc Marine Biology
  • Role Title: Research Student
  • Address: Portland Building, Portland Street, Portsmouth PO1 3AH UK
  • Telephone: +44 (0)23 9284 2918
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Civil Engineering & Surveying
  • Faculty: Faculty of Technology


I graduated with a BSc in Biological Science and an MSc in Marine Biology at the University of Bologna (Italy). I carried out my Master's Thesis at the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) on the consequences and effects of climate change in Cyanobacteria. My academic studies allowed me to acquire knowledge on both fresh and saltwater ecosystems. While working on different conservation projects, I have shown a consistent interest in environmental sustainability with a specific focus on plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems. After joining an oceanographic cruise in the North Pacific Ocean to sample marine plastic debris, I have been researching and investigating the plastic pollution problem as well as its physical effects on sea life ever since.


Microplastics in the aquatic environment are of global concern. Deleterious biological effects from the physical accumulation of microplastics and the chemical effects from associated contaminants are gaining recognition through current research. In nearly all studies published, wastewater treatment (WWT) works are given as a suggested source of microplastics, yet there is little research into what happens to the microplastics throughout the WWT process. Furthermore, the majority of microplastics entering a WWT plant are removed to the sludge component of which 80 per cent is recycled and applied to agricultural land. Microplastics from this source may then enter the aquatic environment through run-off. This project will provide quantitative estimation on the contribution of microplastics from different sources, which will be essential when deciding where to implement reduction measures to preserve the aquatic environment


Dr Fay Couceiro

Professor John Williams

Dr Paul Farrell