People > Elaine Fileman

Elaine Fileman

Plankton Ecologist

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)


Elaine Fileman has worked as a Plankton Ecologist at PML since 1989, she is specifically interested in the ecology of tiny single cells known as microzooplankton, what they eat and what eats them. Her research has examined the relationships between these planktonic predators and their prey in a range of ecosystems from the coastal waters off Plymouth to the oligotrophic Indian Ocean and the productive waters of the Antarctic. Her most recent research activities include the application of automated imaging of plankton using FlowCAM to assess feeding rates and diversity of zooplankton communities; an investigation into the occurrence of protective UV-protective compounds in zooplankton; the bioavailability of microplastic particles within the plankton of coastal waters.

Elaine has more than 35 peer reviewed publications, has participated in 12 oceanographic research cruises and has co-supervised 4 PhD students. She is an Education Outreach Officer for Plymouth Marine Laboratory and is the point of contact for schools outreach. She coordinates PML's activities for British Science Week and actively participates in STEM related activities to inspire and encourage children to study science.


Bioavailability and biological effects of microscopic plastic debris in the ocean

Bioavailability and biological effects of microscopic plastic debris in the ocean

Contact: Dr Pennie Lindeque

Every year, millions of tonnes of plastic are discarded as waste, and marine plastic litter is emerging as both a threat to the oceans and a...

Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP)

Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP)

Contact: Dr Paul Somerfield

The Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP) will address key knowledge gaps in marine ecosystem research. By bringing together existing data...

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Recent publications

  • Instrument and Data Technician 

    £23,630 per annum 

    Full Time - 3 year Fixed Term Appointment 

    Do you have a background in building/developing scientific instrument systems and providing specialist technical support? Do you want to further your career in one of the UK’s leading marine research laboratories, making crucial steps to understanding how the oceans and marine atmosphere influence air pollution and climate?

    Plymouth Marine Laboratory has a strong track record in world leading Air-Sea Exchange (ASE) research. In recent years, the ASE group has had considerable success establishing a coastal atmospheric research station at Penlee Point ( and developing the capability to make autonomous direct measurements of air/sea CO2 exchange from ships (e.g. We require a Junior Technologist to help us to build upon these successes.

    As a key member of the ASE team your role will be to maintain and improve remote instrumentation at Penlee and on ships fitted with air/sea flux systems. You will drive forward the automation of remote instrumentation and develop novel methods of data acquisition and delivery using embedded PC technologies (e.g. Raspberry PI) and Python scripting. You will be responsible for data processing and quality control and will contribute to scientific interpretation and research outputs. You will be jointly responsible for the day-to-day running of the ASE laboratory and Penlee facility.

    This post is available immediately and for a fixed term of three years. To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact the air/sea exchange group lead (Dr Tom Bell) via 

    For this role we are open to discuss the possibility of reduced hours, flexible working or possible job share.

    Please see the link for our  Employee Benefits

    Closing date: 5pm on Tuesday 10th December 2019

    Interviews will take place on Tuesday 4th February 2020

    View publication

View more publications

Selected key publications

Cole, MJ, Lindeque, P, Fileman, ES, Halsband, C, Goodhead, R, Moger, J, Galloway, TS. 2013. Microplastic ingestion by zooplankton. Environmental Science & Technology 47 (12), 6646-6655

Cole, MJ, Lindeque, PK, Fileman, ES, Halsband, C, Galloway, TSG. 2015. The impact of polystyrene microplastics on feeding, function and fecundity in the marine copepod Calanus helgolandicus. Environmental Science & Technology, 49 (2). 1130-1137. 10.1021/es504525u

Fileman, ES, Lindeque, PK, Harmer, RA, Halsband, C, Atkinson, A. 2014. Feeding rates and prey selectivity of planktonic decapod larvae in the Western English Channel. Marine Biology, 161 (11). 2479-2494. 10.1007/s00227-014-2520-9

Other activities

  • Member of the ICES working group on Zooplankton Ecology
  • Member of the ICES working group on Integrated Morphological and Molecular Taxonomy