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KAS Academic Lecturer Dr Erik Van Sebille Tackles Marine Pollution

2nd February 17

The Sixth Form welcomed oceanographer Dr Erik Van Sebille of Imperial College London as their enrichment lecturer on Monday 30 January. Erik delivered a talk entitled “Our Plastic Oceans: Tackling the Problem of Marine Litter.”

Eric holds a PhD from Utrech in the Netherlands and was the 2016 European Geosciences Union (EGU) Ocean Division Outstanding Young Scientist Award. He has worked widely around the world including Europe, Australia, the US. One problem that Erik’s research looks into is the growing accumulation of plastic in our oceans, how to prevent it, patterns in its distribution, and what to do with the detritus that is already there.

To open the talk and demystify scientific lingo, Erik showed students a humorous video, “Ordinary Guy versus Climate Scientist,” which starred our visiting speaker for the day. After an illuminating talk about plastics and our oceans, Erik opened the discussion up to students, asking them what they though the best solution might be. Students showed an impressive knowledge of ocean clean up projects, including recent experiments with surface litter collecting booms.

Erik challenged students to think about ways to divert plastics and prevent them from entering oceans and waterways in the first place.

Thanks to Dr Erik Van Sebille for a challenging but accessible talk about his research into marine litter. Thanks also to the Sixth Form for an interesting discussion of how we should approach this global problem.

If you would like to learn more about Erik’s research on ocean plastic circulation see www.adrift.org.au

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