My current research focus is on the impact of microplastics on the marine environment.I  am currently investigating microplastics in sediments and interactions of marine mammals with microplastics.



  • 2015 – present: Guest lecturer and adviser at NUI-Galway. Working on microplastics in marine sediments from Galway Bay. Supervising two MSc students.
  • 2013 – present: PhD student in the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), supervised by Dr Rick Officer and Dr Ian O’Connor. Funded by the Irish Research Council. Resulted in a dissertation entitled Distribution and interaction of microplastics in the North Atlantic. Four of the research chapters are published in peer-reviewed journals and a review chapter published in a peer-reviewed, open access book.


Lusher, A (2015). Microplastics in the marine environment: distribution, interactions and effects. In M. Bergmann., L. Gutow., & M. Klages (Eds.), Marine Anthropogenic Litter (pp. 245–308). Berlin: Springer.
Lusher, A. L., Pope, N. & Handy, R. (Under review). Reproductive effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals, bisphenol–A and 17–β oestradiol, on Cerastoderma edule from southwest England. Journal of the Marine Biological Association.

Lusher, A. L., O’Donnell, C., O’Connor, I. & Officer, R. (2015). Microplastic interactions with North Atlantic mesopelagic fish. ICES Journal of Marine Science. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsv241.

Lusher, A. L., Tirelli, V., O’Connor, I., & Officer, R. (2015). Microplastics in Arctic polar waters: the first reported values of particles in surface and sub-surface samples. Nature: Scientific Reports, 5, 14947.

Lusher, A. L., Hernandez-Milan, G., O’Brien, J., Berrow, S., O’Connor, I., & Officer, R. (2015). Microplastic and macroplastic ingestion by a deep diving, oceanic cetacean: the True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus), Environmental Pollution, 199, 185-91.

Lusher, A. L., Burke, A., O’Connor, I., & Officer, R. (2014). Microplastic pollution in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean: Validated and opportunistic sampling. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 88, 325-333.

Lusher, A.L., McHugh, M. & Thompson, R.C. (2013). Occurrence of microplastics in the gastrointestinal tract of pelagic and demersal fish from the English Channel, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 67, 94 – 99.



  • Member- United Nations GESAMP (Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection) Group 40: Microplastics in the Marine Environment.
  • Member – Society of Environmental Toxicity and Chemistry
  • Member – Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom



  • October 2015 R.V. Celtic Voyager CV15025: Post-graduate training- NUI-Galway (Geography) Galway Bay Lecturer and scientist, applicant. 3 day cruise
  • October 2014 R.V. Celtic Voyager CV14024: Microplastics in the Irish marine environment.
    South and west coast of Ireland Chief Scientist, lead applicant. 7 day cruise
  • June 2014 R.V. G.O. Sars PolarPlastics South west of Svalbard, Norway, Chief Scientist, lead applicant. 2 week cruise
  • April 2014 R.V. Celtic Explorer CE14007: Trans-Atlantic crossing. Galway, Ireland to St. John’s, Newfoundland, Scientist. 2 week cruise
  • Feb 2014 R.V. Celtic Explorer Marine Institute, Gravity Core trials, Rockall bank, North Atlantic Scientist.5 day cruise
  • January 2014 R.V. Celtic Explorer CE14002: Cetaceans on the Frontier V, Northeast Atlantic and Irish Sea, Scientist. 3 week cruise
  • October 2013 R.V. Celtic Explorer CE13015: Celtic Sea Herring Acoustic Survey,
    Celtic Sea, Scientist. 3 week cruise
  • July 2013 R.V. Celtic Explorer CE13009: North-West Herring Survey, Scientist. 3 week cruise
  • April 2013 R.V. Celtic Explorer CE13005: Blue Whiting Acoustic Survey, North East Atlantic, Scientist, 3 week cruise
  • Feb 2013 R.V. Celtic Explorer CE13004: Cetaceans on the Frontier IV,
    Porcupine bank, North Atlantic, Scientist and Marine Mammal Observer. 2 week cruise



Morley, A., Lusher., A. L., & Thompson, R. C. (2016). Deposition and accumulation of microplastics and pollutants in marine sediments from the Irish continental shelf (Geological Survey of Ireland). Co-applicant for funding for a student project at NUI-Galway

Lusher, A. (2014). Microplastics in the Irish marine environment. (Marine Institute, 7 day gift funded research trip, R.V. Celtic Voyager, CV14024)

Lusher, A. (2014). PolarPlastics- an assessment of microplastics in Arctic waters. (EUROFLEETS 2 Polar and Subpolar call 2013)

Lusher, A. (2011). Microplastics and marine fish (FSBI Undergraduate Summer Internship: £1.6k).



Lusher, A. & Tirelli, V. (May 2015). Microplastics in the Arctic. SETAC 25th Annual meeting, Barcelona, Spain
Lusher, A. (March 2015). Marine debris and microplastics. CleanCoasts Roadshow, Galway, Ireland (invited speaker)
Lusher, A. (Jan 2014). Microplastics in the North Atlantic. MIRCO2014, Plouzane, France
Lusher, A. (Oct 2013). Microplastics in the North Atlantic. ICES Annual Science Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland
Lusher, A. (May 2013). Opportunistic microplastic sampling on the R.V. Celtic Explorer. Marine Institute, Galway
Lusher, A. (2012).Oestrogens in the marine environment-interactions with bivalves. Marine Biological Association


Lusher, A. Hernandez-Milian et al., (2015). First report of microplastic in pinnipeds. All Ireland Mammal Symposium 2015, UCC, Cork. (BEST POSTER)
Lusher, A, Fennell, S., O’Connor, I & Officer, R. (May 2014). Microplastics and oceanographic features in the North Atlantic. SETAC 24th Annual meeting, Basel, Switzerland
Lusher, A., O’Connor, I & Officer, R. (Jan 2014). Microplastics and mesopelagic fish. MIRCO2014, Plouzane, France
Lusher, A., O’Connor, I & Officer, R. (Oct 2013). Microplastic ingestion by marine fish. ICES Annual Science Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland



2012–2015: Irish Research Council, PhD studentship, Galway – Mayo Institute of Technology Thesis: Distribution and interactions of microplastics in the North Atlantic.
Supervisors: Dr Rick Officer & Dr Ian O’Connor

2011–2012 MRes in Marine Biology, Plymouth University and the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom