Solène Giraudeau-Potel

        MRes student Solene Giraudeau-Potel at her 2018 graduation from the BSc Marine Science programme

MRes student

I am a marine scientist concerned by anthropogenic pressures, especially plastic pollution.

My research is focusing on microplastics in Scottish coastal environments with a specific interest in the impact of the plastic on the primary producers.

I am also interested in creative communication tools and outreach to share scientific knowledge.

Contact details:

3-dimensional dispersion of microplastic in Scottish coastal waters and implication for the surrounding environment

Plastic pollution has been observed around the globe as a ubiquitous threat for the marine environment and biota. The larger debris are degraded with biotic and abiotic pressure, creating a new sort of pollution; the microplastics (<5 mm), which can be accumulated in bodies and transported up the food chain. Many studies aim to produce a global quantification of the microplastic present in the ocean, but are mainly focused on open water areas.

My current MRes research project aims to develop a data base on microplastic concentration in the Scottish coastal regions and to define their sources, based on the work I produced during my undergraduate dissertation. The implication for the surrounding environment will be assessed in terms of physical dispersion and the source of plastic particles found in the bay/loch/voe studied. Implications for primary producers will also be considered as the particles studied show a high probability to produce nano-fragments in the future.

My objectives are

  • >Quantification and standardisation of the Utermohl method
  • >Polymer identification for fragments greater than 50 micrometers
  • >Assessing the sources (Local or foreign)
  • >Investigating the dispersion (biotic and abiotic)
  • >Opening on the future of primary producers


Project period

Oct 2018 - Sep 2019



Dr Callum Whyte, SAMS (Director of Studies)

Professor Bhavani Narayanaswamy, SAMS



University of the Highlands and Islands

Programme: MRes Algal Biotechnology, Biology and Ecology



2018 BSc (Hons) Marine Science First Class. University of the Highlands and Islands / SAMS

2014 Professional Technician Marine Science. Intechmer CNAM (France)


Employment history

2016 Technician internship: Defining phytoplankton dynamic in the English Channel. Laboratoire d'Oceanologie et de Geosciences - CNRS Wimereux (France)

2014 Technician internship: Water masses and OM in a tidal estuary. CNRS Guyane

Poster presentations

Giraudeau-Potel S, Narayanaswamy BE, Whyte C (2018) Microplastics in Scottish Coastal Waters - A Quantitative Analysis. MASTS Annual Science Meeting 2018


Fieldwork experience

CNRS Guyane - OM sampling 2014

CNRS Wimereux - Phytoplankton sampling 2016

Cruise on Zirpheae (North Sea) 2016

Cruise on Helmer Hanssen (Svalbard) 2017


Public engagement

Cycloceane - initiative to raise public awareness on plastic pollution (French Atlantic Coast) 2015

Oban Winter Festival 2017 - Outreach event at the Ocean Explorer Centre


Media coverage

Microplastic in the Deep Sea video

Oban FM interview 2017


Professional memberships