University microplastics research in the United Nations spotlight

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as a world-leader in microplastics research, University of Newcastle’s Dr Thava Palanisami has been invited to speak at the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues and showcase University of Newcastle-based research on the world-stage.

picture of researcher by a water
Dr Thava Palanisami

The event, organised by the UN’s Geneva Environment Network, aims to facilitate meaningful discussion among stakeholders in International Geneva and beyond to address the plastic crisis.  Research has shown that exposure to plastic is expanding into new areas of the environment and the food chain.

Drawing on the work of the University’s Global Innovative Centre for Advanced Nanomaterials (GICAN), Dr Palanisami will discuss how microplastics could implicate human health and the policy issues that still need to be addressed.

Dr Palanisami is the sole representative from Australia in the Plastics and Health session among an esteemed group of international speakers including Maria Neira, Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, WHO and Monika Macdevette, Chief, Chemicals and Health Branch, UNEP.

Hosted virtually from Europe, the event will be live-streamed at 12am (AEDT) on Friday 22 January.  The community can register to watch the virtual event via Webex.


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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.