Winnie is a PhD student researching marine microplastic pollution, based in Oban. She's passionate about challenging the stereotype of a scientist as an old white-haired man in a lab coat.
See some of her work below.
Answering emails with my morning coffee, my deep-sea
creature cartoon mug helps me start the day with a smile.
Morning spent in the lab, here I’m looking at microplastic particles (which I extract from different deep-sea samples) under the microscope, Lab work comes in bouts, I might have an intensive week or two spent all day, every day in the lab, followed by a prolonged period spent at my desk analysing data, writing etc .
This is what I am looking for down the microscope; a blue microplastic (small plastic) fibre found ingested by a deep sea starfish, this fibre is only about 0.5 mm in length. If you look carefully you’ll also see a small multi-coloured (red, blue and white) fragment to the right of it.
Microplastics come in all shapes, sizes and colours. This is a small black fragment of plastic, here I’m taking a picture of it under a microscope. This fragment is pretty small, only a bit over 1.5 mm long.
A lunch time stroll on the beach which backs on to the Scottish Association for Marine Science. It's a privilege to work in such a beautiful spot, and I usually get outdoors (for a walk or run) at lunch break to blow the cobwebs away and get refreshed for the afternoon.
Reading scientific articles to stay up to date with current microplastics research
Activity with the local Cub Scout group on the topic of marine plastics/microplastics. The group is about 20 8-10year old boys from the Oban area. I ran an activity looking at microplastics and fibres under a microscope. A fun night was had by all, with lots of questions and interaction from the children.