Miss Geetika Bhagwat

Miss Geetika Bhagwat

Research student

Career Summary


I have recently completed my Ph.D. (Biological Sciences) and currently working as a researcher in a "Toxic Alage bioremediation" project with Dr. Thava Palanisami.

In 2017, I received the prestigious Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship to pursue my doctoral research.

My major research areas are

  • Metagenomic analysis of microbial biofilms
  • Microplastic pollution
  • Toxic contaminant monitoring and risk assessment
  • Aquatic Microbiology and environmental health

Since 2019, I have been working as a STEM mentor with the HunterWISE group at the University of Newcastle.


  • Human health research
  • agricultural sciences
  • aquatic biosecurity
  • aquatic microbiology
  • biofilms
  • environmental pollutants
  • microplastic research
  • molecular biology


  • Marathi (Mother)
  • English (Fluent)
  • Hindi (Fluent)

Professional Experience

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
10/9/2011 - 7/11/2012 Junior research fellow

I was given the responsibility to prepare double and single over expression constructs of stress responsible genes of high alitutde plants and transform Arabidopsis to develop abiotic stress resistance.

CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology
15/2/2021 -  Researcher

Bioremediation of toxic algae

Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment - The University of Newcastle (Australia)
School of Engineering

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
4/5/2011 - 28/7/2011 Research Assistant

I was appointed to collect field data on wildlife status along the rivers of the state of Uttarakhand in India.

Wildlife Institute of India
17/4/2019 -  HunterWISE Ambassador

Geetika works with high school female students to solve local community issues whilst helping them develop STEM skills.

7/9/2015 - 11/11/2016 Senior Project Fellow

>Providing high-level administrative and research support at the division of crop improvement
>Molecular testing of leaf curl virus-resistant tomato introgression lines

Indian Council of Agricultural Research, India
9/9/2013 - 31/10/2014 Senior Project Fellow

>Developing strategies to investigate biocontrol efficiency of Trichoderma fungus in castor plant
>Supporting Project Leader in preparing progress reports, plans and strategies and training modules

University of Hyderabad


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Journal article (6 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Senathirajah K, Attwood S, Bhagwat G, Carbery M, Wilson S, Palanisami T, 'Estimation of the mass of microplastics ingested A pivotal first step towards human health risk assessment', Journal of Hazardous Materials, 404 (2021) [C1]

The ubiquitous presence of microplastics in the food web has been established. However, the mass of microplastics exposure to humans is not defined, impeding the human health risk... [more]

The ubiquitous presence of microplastics in the food web has been established. However, the mass of microplastics exposure to humans is not defined, impeding the human health risk assessment. Our objectives were to extract the data from the available evidence on the number and mass of microplastics from various sources, to determine the uncertainties in the existing data, to set future research directions, and derive a global average rate of microplastic ingestion to assist in the development of human health risk assessments and effective management and policy options. To enable the comparison of microplastics exposure across a range of sources, data extraction and standardization was coupled with the adoption of conservative assumptions. Following the analysis of data from fifty-nine publications, an average mass for individual microplastics in the 0¿1 mm size range was calculated. Subsequently, we estimated that globally on average, humans may ingest 0.1¿5 g of microplastics weekly through various exposure pathways. This was the first attempt to transform microplastic counts into a mass value relevant to human toxicology. The determination of an ingestion rate is fundamental to assess the human health risks of microplastic ingestion. These findings will contribute to future human health risk assessment frameworks.

DOI 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124004
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Maddison Carbery Uon, Thava Palanisami
2021 Bhagwat G, Carbery M, Anh Tran TK, Grainge I, O'Connor W, Palanisami T, 'Fingerprinting Plastic-Associated Inorganic and Organic Matter on Plastic Aged in the Marine Environment for a Decade.', Environmental science & technology, 55 7407-7417 (2021) [C1]
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.1c00262
Co-authors Ian Grainge, Thava Palanisami
2021 Bhagwat G, Zhu Q, O Connor W, Subashchandrabose S, Grainge I, Knight R, Palanisami T, 'Exploring the Composition and Functions of Plastic Microbiome Using Whole-Genome Sequencing', Environmental Science & Technology, 55 4899-4913 (2021) [C1]
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.0c07952
Co-authors Ian Grainge, Thava Palanisami, Suresh Subashchandrabose
2020 Bhagwat G, Gray K, Wilson SP, Muniyasamy S, Vincent SGT, Bush R, Palanisami T, 'Benchmarking Bioplastics: A Natural Step Towards a Sustainable Future', Journal of Polymers and the Environment, 28 3055-3075 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1007/s10924-020-01830-8
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Thava Palanisami
2020 Fred-Ahmadu OH, Bhagwat G, Oluyoye I, Benson NU, Ayejuyo OO, Palanisami T, 'Interaction of chemical contaminants with microplastics: Principles and perspectives', Science of the Total Environment, 706 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135978
Citations Scopus - 51Web of Science - 42
Co-authors Thava Palanisami
2013 Bhardwaj PK, Kapoor R, Mala D, Bhagwat G, Acharya V, Singh AK, et al., 'Braving the attitude of altitude: Caragana jubata at work in cold desert of Himalaya', SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 3 (2013)
DOI 10.1038/srep01022
Citations Scopus - 15Web of Science - 14
Show 3 more journal articles

Miss Geetika Bhagwat