School of Civil Engineering and Surveying


Photo of Ms Serena Cunsolo

Ms Serena Cunsolo

  • Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Biological Science, MSc Marine Biology
  • Role Title: Research Student
  • Address: Portland Building, Portland Street, Portsmouth PO1 3AH UK
  • Telephone: +44 (0)23 9284 2918
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Civil Engineering & Surveying
  • Faculty: Faculty of Technology


I graduated with a BSc in Biological Science and an MSc in Marine Biology at the University of Bologna (Italy). I carried out my Master's Thesis at the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) on the consequences and effects of climate change in Cyanobacteria. My academic studies allowed me to acquire knowledge on both fresh and saltwater ecosystems. While working on different conservation projects, I have shown a consistent interest in environmental sustainability with a specific focus on plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems. After joining an oceanographic cruise in the North Pacific Ocean to sample marine plastic debris, I have been researching and investigating the plastic pollution problem as well as its physical effects on sea life ever since.


My PhD focuses on investigating microplastics pollution in wastewaters. Wastewater treatment works are considered a point source of microplastics that are of global concern in the aquatic environment. Deleterious biological effects from the physical accumulation of microplastics and the chemical effects from associated contaminants are gaining recognition through current research. Hopefully, with the results of my research it
will be possible to implement reduction measures to preserve the aquatic environment and improve the technologies to prevent microplastics from entering the marine ecosystems.


“The effect of particle properties on the depth profile of buoyant plastics in the ocean” - Merel Kooi, Julia Reisser, Boyan Slat, Francesco F. Ferrari, Moritz S. Schmid, Serena Cunsolo, Roberto Brambini, Kimberly Noble, Lys-Anne Sirks, Theo E. W. Linders, Rosanna I. Schoeneich-Argent, and Albert A. Koelmans (2016). Scientific Reports, 6, 33882. doi: 10.1038/srep33882

“Changes in gene expression, cell physiology and toxicity of the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa at elevated CO 2 ” – G. Sandrini, S. Cunsolo, J.M. Schuurmans, H.C.P. Matthijs and J. Huisman (2015). Frontiers in Microbiology, 6, 401. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00401


  • Dr Fay Couceiro
  • Professor John Williams
  • Dr Paul Farrell