Dr João Frias

Principal Investigator
+353 (0)91 74 2522

I am currently working in several microplastics projects that target baselines, impacts and policy in Ireland and Europe.

I was the principal investigator in an Irish Research Council and EU Horizon 2020 co-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions project, titled Managing for Microplastics: A baseline to inform policy stakeholders (IMP.act) (2018-2020).

I completed a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies (2011/2015) at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCT-UNL), in Portugal, which was supervised by Prof. Paula Sobral and co-supervised by Prof. Richard Thompson from Plymouth University (United Kingdom). My research interest is associated with the effects and impacts of marine litter and microplastic pollution in the marine environment, a topic on which I have been working 10+ years.

I am a member of the Marie Curie Alumni Association and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2018; and a member of SETAC Europe since 2019. I was recently awarded a JPI Oceans grant for the MicroplastiX project.



Cropped image for project website
This project consists of a literature review of the impacts of microplastics in the marine environment and on the proposal of mitigation and/or reduction policy recommendations to address this global environmental issue. 
This project is investigating the potential of Nephrops norvegicus as a flagship species for plastic pollution in the deep sea.
MicroplastiX (JPI-Oceans) aims to overcome knowledge gaps concerning microplastic weathering, degradation and fragmentation processes.
The IMP.act project is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action COFUND fellowship funded by the Irish Research Council, aiming at developing a long-term management plan for microplastic pollution in Galway Bay and its environs.
Elena's pink bead
This project is addressing some of the knowledge gaps on microplastics in benthic fauna and sediments in Galway Bay.