People > Professor Pennie Lindeque

Professor Pennie Lindeque

Head of Science: Marine Ecology and Biodiversity

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)


Pennie Lindeque is a highly motivated UKRI NERC Band 4 Merit Scientist working part-time (80% FTE), leading and undertaking excellent and innovative research in the areas of molecular biology, plankton ecology and marine contaminants. Pennie is Head of Science for the Marine Ecology and Biodiversity Group and, alongside Science Team, helps to direct PML strategy.

Pennie is a molecular biologist with >25 years expertise in the development, systematics and trophic interactions of eukaryotes, in particular zooplankton. She pushes frontiers in utilising novel molecular approaches for a wide range of eukaryotic ecological applications. She applies this expertise in different context, e.g. using Next Generation Sequencing to characterise mixed zooplankton assemblages, and to make robust scientific judgements about highly complex problems, e.g. to unravel previously unknown predator-prey relationships for jellyfish. Current focus includes i) developing molecular techniques for identification of holoplankton and meroplankton, including Next Generation Sequencing technologies, ii) investigation of trophic interactions through molecular gut content analysis and iii) combining field and laboratory experiments to investigate the response in key zooplankton species of vital rates to changes in environmental parameters and environmental pollution.

Since 2010 Pennie has developed and then lead a new area of research at PML; the ecological impacts of microplastics as emerging pollutants. Current focus includes investigating the bioavailability and impact of microplastics and other anthropogenic pollutants such as antifouling paint particles, tyre road wear particles and biodegradable bioplastics on marine organisms, ecological processes, and estuarine and coastal ecosystems. More recently, Pennie has been interested in how natural ecological processes can play a role in mitigating anthropogenic problems such as plastic pollution. Her work on the impact of microplastics in the marine environment has directly influenced policy in the UK and around the world, including the UK ban on microbeads in cosmetics.


Removing marine microplastics with mussel power
Removing marine microplastics with mussel power

Contact: Dr Matthew Cole

Removing marine microplastics with mussel power is a one-year feasibility study funded by Waitrose Plan Plastic to develop an ecological solution...

Optical Methods for Marine Litter detection (OPTIMAL)

Contact: Dr Victor Martinez-Vicente

Marine litter consists predominantly of plastics and is an increasing global concern because of its worldwide distribution and its impacts on the...

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Other key projects

  • NERC Highlight topic grant, 2020-2024; Biodegradable Bioplastics - Assessing Environmental Risk (BIO-PLASTIC-RISK).
  • NERC Discovery Grant, 2021-2024; Lost at Sea: Where are all the tyre particles? – Tyre-Loss.
  • GCRF funding 2021-2024; Reducing the impacts of plastic waste in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • Personal recipient of philanthropic donation from March Marine Initiative, 2019-2021; Nature-based solution for marine microplastics.
  • Newton-Paulet Fund Research Link Workshop, 2018.
  • NERC Changing Arctic Ocean Programme 2017-2021; Mechanistic understanding of the role of diatoms in the success of the Arctic Calanus complex and implications for a warmer Arctic (DIAPOD).


Selected key publications


PK Lindeque, M Cole, RL Coppock, CN Lewis, RZ Miller, AJR Watts, A Wilson-McNeal, SL Wright, TS Galloway. 2020. Are we underestimating microplastic abundance in the marine environment? A comparison of microplastic capture with nets of different mesh-size. Environmental Pollution, 265, 114721. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114721


Nelms, SE; Galloway, TSG; Godley, BJ; Jarvis, DS; Lindeque, PK. 2018. Investigating microplastic trophic transfer in marine top predators. Environmental Pollution, 238: 999-1007. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.02.016


Lindeque, P.K., Parry, H.E., Harmer, R.A., Somerfield, P.J., Atkinson, A. 2013 Next generation sequencing reveals the hidden diversity of zooplankton assemblages. PLoS ONE 8(11): e81327. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081327


Cole, M.,Lindeque, P.K., Fileman, E., Halsband, C., Goodhead, R., Moger, J., Galloway, T.S. 2013. Microplastic ingestion by zooplankton. Environmental Science and Technology, 47(12): 6646-6655. doi: 10.1021/es400663f


M Cole, PK Lindeque, C Halsband-Lenk and T Galloway (2011). Microplastics as contaminants in the marine environment: A review. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 62 (12), 2588-2597. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.09.025

PK Lindeque, RP Harris, MB Jones and GR Smerdon (1999). Simple molecular method to distinguish the identity of Calanus species (Copepoda: Calanoida) at any developmental stage. Marine Biology, 133, 91-96.

Other activities

  • Board member for the GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership
  • Board member of the North Atlantic Microplastic Centre
  • Member of the ICES Working Group on Integrated Morphological and Molecular Taxonomy (WGIMT)
  • Member of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic research (SCOR) Working Group 157: Toward a new global view of marine zooplankton biodiversity based on DNA metabarcoding and reference DNA sequence databases (MetaZooGene).