What’s New in Grad Studies? (Spring Term)

Part of: Deans’ Lunchtime Lecture Series

Course description

Plastics in the Marine Environment

Garth Covernton, PhD Candidate, Department of Biology, UVic

Friday, Jan. 11: 12:30 to 1:45 pm

Microplastics, tiny pieces of plastics smaller than 5 mm, are an emerging threat to the oceans ecosystems, with ingestion now known to occur in animals ranging from the smallest zooplankton to large baleen whales. The specific effects of current environmental concentrations of microplastics on animals in the wild is still uncertain, yet scientists have shown negative impacts on animals which ingest high concentrations. The scientific community is currently working to explore the sources, extent, dynamics, and impacts of microplastics on marine animals and ecosystems. This presentation will explore what we know about how microplastics get into our oceans, what is currently understood about their impacts on marine animals, and provide an overview of the work being conducted by Garth during his PhD work at the University of Victoria.

Garth Covernton is a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria studying the source, fate, and ecological implications of microplastic contamination in the marine environment. Garth completed his BSc at the University of British Columbia in 2012, where he first took interest in the ecological effects of environmental change caused by humans. After reading Plastic Ocean by Captain Charles Moore, Garth has dedicated himself to furthering our knowledge of what plastic is doing to the environment and what we can do to stop it.

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