This week we would like to introduce you to:
Dr Jennifer Lavers
Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies
This seminar will tell the story of the challenges faced by researchers charged with the task of studying plastic in remote corners of the Earth. It will also highlight concerns and help us understand the causes, impacts, and solutions to the plastic pollution problem.
From her 15 years study of seabirds on remote islands, from the Arctic to the tropics, Dr Jennifer Lavers has gained a unique
insight into the health of our oceans. In these beautiful places, she has documented some of the world’s rarest and most poorly studied species, but has also become aware of the increasing footprint human society is leaving on these far flung places. For the past decade, she has been studying plastic pollution in the Tasman Sea using Australian seabirds a sentinels, or bio-indicators. Data collected by the birds tells us the quantity of plastic is increasing with millions of items now posing serious hazards for wildlife. In 2015, she joined the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (UK) on a three-month expedition to World Heritage listed Henderson Island in the remote South Pacific. One of four islands in the Pitcairn Group, Henderson is often caught up in folklore: pirates, ship wreck, and social chaos. With no access to soil or freshwater, Henderson (and so many other islands Jennifer visits) is so hostile to life, it has never been permanently inhabited by humans. Dr. Jennifer Lavers is Research Fellow at the Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies (Hobart). She is an engaging speaker, recently featured on ABC Catalyst, Radio National, and an upcoming (2016) documentary titled ‘A Plastic Ocean’ alongside Sir David Attenborough.