This is part of our on-going series to introduce the fantastic scientists behind the science of eXXpedition Round Britain

Let’s meet Christopher Green!

About you

Name: Dr Christopher Green
Institution Affiliation: Brunel University London
Position: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Web URL:
General Research Interest: Ecotoxicology

Science and plastics

Briefly describe your background:
I am an aquatic ecotoxicologist interested in multi-disciplinary research to assess environmental threats, their impact on wildlife and humans and how they can be mitigated. I have conducted research on endocrine disrupting chemicals and the feminisation of fish in UK rivers and how to mitigate this with advanced sewage treatment, as well as projects in parasitology and more recently plastics. I have provided scientific advisory to the film A Plastic Ocean, submitted evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry on microbeads and conducted research on public perceptions of plastic pollution as an environmental issue.
Why are you interested in plastics (or contaminants) in the marine environment:
A healthy marine environment is essential for a healthy human society. However, despite its importance and despite the vast range of services that the ocean provides, it is increasingly exposed to a range of human threats. Plastics and chemical contaminants in general present a threat by themselves to wildlife and ecosystems, as well as our own society and economy both directly and indirectly. They also risk reducing the resilience of marine ecosystems to cope with and adapt to other threats, such as climate change. As an ecotoxicologist and a passionate SCUBA diver this is of interest to me both personally and scientifically.
What’s the most interesting thing you have discovered through your research? (Plastics or otherwise!)
Increasing human population and a reduction in river flow under climate change projections for 2050 could double the concentrations of steroid oestrogens in UK rivers. These include natural oestrogenic hormones and the contraceptive pill hormone which are excreted and enter rivers via wastewater treatment works where they have been implicated in the feminisation of wild fish populations.
What advice would you give citizen scientists?
Your work is really important so make sure you conduct it as rigorously as possible to make sure that the data you produce is the best it can be and will have the impact it deserves.

Quick-fire fun!

Who do you admire the most (dead or alive)? Cliché but David Attenborough.
What’s the most delightful word you can think of? Sun
What gives you hope for the future of our marine environment? The connection that people from all over the world have with the ocean.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Love is the answer
What’s your favourite marine creature? I am a big fan of sharks but nudibranchs are up there too.
Recommend a book, article or author, please! The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
If you could put just one thing at the top of your bucket list, what would it be? Dive the Barrier Reef

Thank you Christopher – for answering our questions and for helping us with eXXpedition Round Britain!

Keep your eye on our blog for more scientist and crew interviews, as well as regular crew updates as our team sails Round Britain!