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

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)

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

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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