Imogen Napper

Marine scientist specialising in plastic pollution, UK.

Dr. Imogen Napper is a Marine Scientist and National Geographic Explorer. She received a PhD at the University of Plymouth and her work helped influence the ban of microbeads in cosmetics internationally, where she found up to 3 million plastic beads could be in one facial scrub bottle. Imogen also produced the first research piece that specifically analysed different fabric types (such as polyester) to further understand how many plastic fibres come off clothes during washing and has also investigated biodegradable plastics bags and found they could still hold a full load of shopping after being submerged in the ocean or buried in soil after 3 years.  In fieldwork, Imogen was a scientist on the National Geographic ‘Sea to Source; Ganges Expedition’ and her work estimated that up to 3 billion microplastics could be discharged into the ocean from a major river system every day. She was also the lead microplastic scientist for the National Geographic ‘Perpetual Planet’ Everest expedition finding the highest microplastics ever recorded near the summit and predicts they were shed from climbers’ clothes. Imogen  is now researching how we can use our knowledge of ocean debris to influence action to mitigate pollution of our orbit. She is writing research to advocate a United Nations Sustainability Development Goal (UN SDG) 18, focussing our Earth’s orbital environment to raise awareness. As well as research, Imogen is keen on spreading environmental awareness and positivity through outreach and presentations. 

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