UQ and the University of Exeter (UK) have partnered to establish the QUEX Institute, a new initiative designed to bolster their joint global research impact.

Through the QUEX joint PhD program, you can receive a scholarship to study at two leading universities on projects linked with the virtual QUEX Institute of Global Sustainability and Wellbeing.

The following QUEX PhD project is being led by Professor Kevin Thomas (QAEHS Director).

3. Dietary exposure to microplastic debris and associated chemicals

UQ academic lead

Professor Kevin Thomas, Director, Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences

Exeter academic lead

Professor Tamara Galloway, Professor of Ecotoxicology, College of Life and Environmental Sciences


Microplastic debris is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant of high global concern. Seafood forms a major protein source for a large proportion of the world’s population, and increasing reports of the occurrence of microplastic in food destined for human consumption raises a major issue for public health. Despite this, we know virtually nothing of the ecotoxicology and human health risks of microplastics and their associated contaminating chemicals.


To determine the comparative human health risks of exposure to microplastic through seafood, using UK and Australian aquaculture facilities as case studies.

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