"Being part of such a multidisciplinary team at PML means that the work that I do, collaborating with internal and external partners, helps provide policy-relevant science that can be used to help manage and protect our oceans for future generations."
Dr Samantha Garrard is a research scientist in the Sea and Society group based at Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Her work focuses on understanding the impact of marine plastic pollution on ecosystem service provision of highly productive marine systems around the globe. Her current projects include assessing the impacts of plastic pollution in South America and SE Asia, and understanding the impact of plastic litter hotspots in the North Atlantic.
She is a regular contributor in science-policy engagement for example through participation in sessions of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, the UK Treaty Dialogues convened by the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network (OPLN), and the UK government and Multistakeholder dialogues on the Plastics Treaty. She is a member of the Scientists’ Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty, an international network of diverse, independent scientific and technical experts seeking to contribute with summaries and interpretations of scientific knowledge to decision makers and the public involved in the negotiations towards a global agreement to end plastic pollution.
Sam gained degrees in marine biology and aquatic resource management before completing a PhD based at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (affiliated with the Open University) in Ischia, Italy, where she studied the effect of ocean acidification on plant-animal interactions in a Posidonia oceanica system, using CO2 vents as a natural laboratory. She has since worked as an ecologist and ecotoxicologist, before specialising as a marine ecosystem services researcher, bridging the gap between the environmental and social sciences. With experience working across the globe on a wide range of habitats such as seagrass beds, mangroves, coral reefs, and estuaries, she now applies this knowledge to developing ecosystem services assessments, which can assess both the risk of anthropogenic stressors and the benefit of interventions to restore habitats.
- Pacific Plastics: Science to Solutions. GCRF funded. 2020-2024 (https://www.pacificplasticssciencetosolutions.com/)
- North Atlantic Microplastic Centre (NAMC) Society and Regulation pillar. Funded by Agenda Vestlandet 2020–23.
- Risks and Solutions: Marine Plastics in Southeast Asia. UKRI funded. 2020-23
- The Economics of Marine Plastic Pollution: What are the Benefits of International Cooperation? ESRC funded. 2019 – 2022
Garrard, S.L. 2023. Microplastics discovered in the body tissues of whales, dolphins and seals- sparking concern for human health too. The Conversation. 23 August 2023.
Garrard, S.L. 2023. Check your tyres: you might be adding unnecessary microplastics to the environment. The Conversation, 19 May 2023.
Garrard, S.L., Spicer, J.I., Thompson, R.C., 2022. Tyre particle exposure affects the health of two key estuarine invertebrates. Environmental Pollution 314, 120244
Garrard SL and Beaumont NJ. 2014. The effect of ocean acidification on carbon storage and sequestration in seagrass beds; a global and UK context. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 86(1-2): 138-146
Garrard SL, Gambi MC, Scipione MB, Patti FP, Lorenti M, Zupo V, Paterson DM and Buia MC. 2014. Indirect effects may buffer negative responses of seagrass invertebrate communities to ocean acidification. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 461; 31-38.
Garrard SL, Hunter RC, Frommel AY, Lane AC, Phillips JC, Cooper R, Dineshram R, Cardini U, McCoy SJ, M. A, Rodrigues Alves BG, Annane S, de Orte MR, Kumar A, Aguirre-Martínez GV, Maneja RH, Basallote MD, Ape F, Torstensson A, Bjoerk MM. 2012. Biological impacts of ocean acidification: a postgraduate perspective on research priorities. Marine Biology 160 (8): 1789-1805
Unsworth RKF, Garrard SL, Salinas de Leon P, Sloman KA, Smith DJ, Bell JJ. 2009. Structuring of Indo-Pacific fish assemblages along the seagrass-mangrove continuum. Aquatic Biology 5: 85-95
Unsworth RKF, Salinas De Leon P, Garrard SL, Jompa J, Smith DJ, Bell JJ. 2008. High connectivity of Indo-Pacific seagrass fish assemblages with mangrove and coral reef habitats. Marine Ecology Progress Series 353: 213–244