Plastic Pollution Working Group Members

Meagan Dunphy-Daly

Meagan Dunphy-Daly

Lecturing Fellow, Duke University Scholars Program Director
Marine Science and Conservation, Nicholas School of the Environment
Email 

Dr. Dunphy-Daly’s research focuses on the role of policy and technology in reducing marine plastic pollution. She is interested in how regulations for other pollutants have led to improved technology and how we can apply these frameworks to the plastic pollution pandemic. Dr. Dunphy-Daly co-lead a Bass Connections team on the bioremediation of plastic pollution to conserve marine biodiversity, and she works to engage students in research aimed at ways to reduce the human impact on our marine environment.

Claudia Gunsch

Claudia Gunsch

Theodore Kennedy Professor
Pratt School; Civil and Environmental Engineering
Email 

Our lab is interested in exploring the microbial ecological impacts of emerging contaminants and specifically the biodegradation of plastics in aquatic environments.

Andy Read NSOE

Andrew Read

Stephen A. Toth Professor of Marine Biology; Chair, Marine Science and Conservation Division; Director, Duke Marine Lab
Marine Science and Conservation Division
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Dr. Read's research interests are in the conservation biology of long-lived marine vertebrates, particularly marine mammals, seabirds and sea turtles. Much of his current research documents the effects of human activities on populations of these species and attempts to find solutions to such conflicts. This work involves field work, experimentation and modeling. He is particularly interested in the development and application of new conservation tools. Dr. Read serves as a faculty contributor for the Bass Connections Team Bioremediation of Plastic Pollution to Conserve Marine Biodiversity.

Faculty photo of Professor Daniel Rittschof

Daniel Rittschof

Norman L. Christensen Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences
Marine Science & Conservation Division, Nicholas School of the Environment
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Dr. Rittschof’s research is focused on the toxicology and physiological impacts on marine animals of molecules leaching from plastics, the flavors of plastics that cause plastics to be consumed, the impacts of consumption on animals eating plastic and the role of plastics as platforms for delivery of biologically active molecules to animals and for removal of biologically active molecules from animals. The lab’s goal is to inform policy and manufacturing processes.

Thomas Schultz

Thomas Schultz

Assistant Professor of the Practice of Marine Molecular Conservation; Director of Undergraduate Studies, MSC
Marine Science & Conservation Division
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Jason Somarelli

Jason Somarelli

Assistant Professor in Medicine
School of Medicine
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Dr. Somarelli’s team is trying tackle the plastic waste pandemic in the following ways: 1) developing new enzymes and microbial systems to biodegrade plastic, 2) using bioinformatics to identify enzymes with plastic degrading capability, 3) understanding the influence of plastic ingestion as a carrier of environmental toxins, and 4) engaging students in research aimed at improving societal understanding of humanity's negative impacts on the environment and human health.