School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Student Profiles

Alethea Mountford
Alethea Mountford

  • PhD student
  • Email:
  • Address: School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Room 5.91 Ridley Building 2, Newcastle University NE1 7RU

Project title

Plastic dispersion in the global ocean

Project description

My research uses a ocean global circulation model (NEMO) to investigate the 3-dimensional transport pathways and global distribution of marine plastic pollution.

We are working towards the introduction of more complex pathways for the plastics, such as degradation and biofouling, to see how these processes affect the overall distribution.

I have also sampled for marine microplastics across Drake Passage, in the Southern Ocean, using microscopy to search for microplastics throughout the water column.

I am currently in the 2nd year of my PhD, supervised by Dr Miguel Morales Maqueda and Professor Andrew Willmott.


Marine plastics, physical oceanography, ocean modelling


  • BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Oceanography (Newcastle University, 2013 - 2016)
  • MPhil Physical Oceanography - 'Modelling the three-dimensional distribution of plastic in the global ocean' (Newcastle University, 2016 - 2018)