A photo of a young woman with hair tied back, seated at a table.

Annie Dowse

Loughborough University


Particles, Pollutants & Microplastics: Particle Tracking for Environmental Solutions


  • Professor Joanna Bullard
  • Professor Adrian Spencer 

PhD Summary

Although the number of studies researching microplastic presence in Earth’s natural environments has increased rapidly over recent years, relatively little is known about how microplastics move through the atmosphere and how they interact with other particles and pollutants. Particularly when considering Earth’s changing climate, it is important for us to understand how microplastics are transported through our atmosphere, and what effect they may have on atmospheric processes. I therefore aim to investigate this area of research further during my postgraduate studies. 

Previous activity

I attained an MSc in Pollution and Environmental Control from the University of Manchester and a BSc in Geography and Geology from the University of Manchester. I undertook a year abroad during my undergraduate studies at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada. Prior to starting my PhD, I worked in publishing as an assistant editor for a scientific research journal. 

Why did you choose doctoral research?

After seeing this PhD project advertised I knew it was the perfect way to build upon the research I undertook during my undergraduate and masters studies. My main research interest is in how microplastics are transported through Earth’s natural environments, having previously researched their presence in both the atmosphere and the peatlands of the Peak District. This project allows me to explore this topic in more depth. 

Why did you choose CENTA?

The variety of training opportunities and financial support provided by CENTA made it an attractive way of gaining a PhD. As well as this, being a part of a wider PhD network, meeting doctoral researchers from a variety of universities, interested me in a CENTA studentship.  

Future plans

After completing my PhD I hope to have a career in science communication. I believe the wide variety of training provided by CENTA will help me to achieve this goal.