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

Let’s meet Mario Meier!

About you

Name: Mario Meier
Institution Affiliation: Particle Vision GmbH
Position: Co-Founder and member of executive board
Web URL:
General Research Interest: Characterisation and source identification of particles in the atmosphere and aquatic environments with microscopic methods

Science and plastics

Briefly describe your background:
I’m a Swiss-Mexican environmental mineralogist with a Master’s degree in Earth Sciences from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). The topic of the master thesis was the eruption history of Tlaloc volcano in Mexico. After graduating, I started studying aerosol particles from volcanic emissions, from the Saharan desert and from anthropogenic sources. I co-founded the Particle Vision GmbH in 2011 with the main goal to offer analytical services for particulate pollution. The Round Britain 2017 expedition is a great opportunity for us to apply our methods on samples from aquatic environments.
Why are you interested in plastics (or contaminants) in the marine environment:
Tiny (plastic) particles are potentially harmful for marine ecosystems and human health. It is important to know how abundant these particles are and to study their effects on marine life.
What’s the most interesting thing you have discovered through your research? (Plastics or otherwise!)
In my opinion all new discoveries are interesting and potentially important. I was involved in the development of a software which classifies aerosol particles automatically into chemical classes. This tool helps us every day so much doing our job dealing with the complex mixture of particles in the atmosphere.
What advice would you give citizen scientists?
Never lose your curiosity and stay open-minded

Quick-fire fun!

Who do you admire the most (dead or alive)? My wife Berenice
What’s the most delightful word you can think of? Chocolate
What gives you hope for the future of our marine environment? The eXXpedition team, the eXXpedition participants and all other people doing something for the oceans
What’s your favourite marine creature? Octopus
Recommend a book, article or author, please! The Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch by Terry Pratchett
If you could put just one thing at the top of your bucket list, what would it be? Scuba diving in Socorro

Thank you Mario – 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!