School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology
I am a marine ecologist and post-doctoral researcher in the Southern Seas Ecology Laboratories. I work broadly across environmental issues in the marine space, including science communication and education. Currently I am working across multiple projects to do with marine plastic pollution, as well as recently enhancing my research in blue carbon and restoration. I also have strong skills and passion for communicating science effectively, and enjoy sharing my research with stakeholders, students and the general public.
I am a diverse and flexible researcher, with a number of key areas where my research is currently focused.
Marine plastic pollution
Plastics broadly are recognised as causing havoc to the marine ecosystem. My research focuses on plastic particularly from a seafood angle, where we quantify the amount of plastic and microplastic found in seafood species globally; analyse the potential effects of plastic on seafood species and fisheries and work with the seafood industry to help develop solutions to this growing plastic problem. Within the Gillanders Lab group we have a range of plastic related projects, including quantifying plastic in mangroves and seagrass, developing methods to analyse the chemical components of plastic in the marine environment, and learning more about the plasticsphere. We are currently working on developing a set of standard operating procedures for best practices of microplastic sampling in Australia.
Blue carbon ecosystems
Coastal carbon ecosystems (seagrass, mangrove and saltmarsh) can sequester and store carbon at much higher quantities than terrestrial areas. I work alongside a team of researchers from around Australia (led by Deakin University) to develop a best practice guide to assessing the success of coastal wetland restoration projects using a framework known as Environmental Economic Accounting (EEA). I am particularly focused on developing the cultural account, to ensure the accounting system can appropriately account for Indigenous benefits and services of coastal carbon ecosystems.
Sharing knowledge and information to the general public, and particularly school students is something that I am particularly passionate about. I work alongside a team of researchers from the School of Social Sciences to teach school students about out fabulous blue backyard. This project, named 'Finding the Fab Five', travels to regional and remote schools around South Australia to help young people understand the importance of our marine environment, what we are doing to protect it, and how First Nations' People have been protecting their Sea Country for thousands of years. As part of the school workshops, students create artworks to display their learnings - you can find an online gallery of some of the artworks here.
Date Position Institution name 2022 - ongoing Postdoctoral Research Associate The University of Adelaide 2022 - ongoing Research Officer The University of Adelaide
Language Competency English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
Date Institution name Country Title 2019 - 2021 The Univeristy of Adelaide Australia PhD 2017 - 2017 The University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science (Honours) 2014 - 2016 The Univeristy of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science
Year Citation 2023 Ogunola, S. O., Reis-Santos, P., Wootton, N., & Gillanders, B. M. (2023). Investigating microplastic contamination and biomagnification in a remote area of South Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 74(11), 917-927.
2023 Wootton, N. (2023). Book details: Field guide to the seashores of South-Eastern Australia. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 147(2), 1-3.
2022 Wootton, N., Nursey-Bray, M., Reis-Santos, P., & Gillanders, B. M. (2022). Perceptions of plastic pollution in a prominent fishery: Building strategies to inform management. Marine Policy, 135, 1-9.
DOI Scopus9 WoS6
2022 Ogunola, S. O., Reis-Santos, P., Wootton, N., & Gillanders, B. M. (2022). Microplastics in decapod crustaceans sourced from Australian seafood markets.. Mar Pollut Bull, 179, 1-9.
DOI Scopus10 WoS9 Europe PMC1
2022 Wootton, N., Sarakinis, K., Varea, R., Reis-Santos, P., & Gillanders, B. M. (2022). Microplastic in oysters: A review of global trends and comparison to southern Australia. Chemosphere, 307(4), 9 pages.
DOI Scopus13 WoS12 Europe PMC1
2021 Wootton, N., Ferreira, M., Reis Santos, P., & Gillanders, B. M. (2021). A Comparison of Microplastic in Fish From Australia and Fiji. Frontiers in Marine Science, 8, 12 pages.
DOI Scopus31 WoS28
2021 Wootton, N., Reis Santos, P., Dowsett, N., Turnbull, A., & Gillanders, B. M. (2021). Low abundance of microplastics in commercially caught fish across southern Australia. Environmental Pollution, 290, 1-11.
DOI Scopus30 WoS25 Europe PMC4
2021 Wootton, N., Reis Santos, P., & Gillanders, B. M. (2021). Microplastic in fish – A global synthesis. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 31(4), 753-771.
DOI Scopus50 WoS46
|Funding body||Project title||Investigators||Years||Amount|
|Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water - Ghost Nets Innovative Grants||Toys for Turtles: Reducing marine debris through education and outreach||N. Wootton, B.M. Gillanders, M. Nursey-Bray||2023-2025||$297,470|
|Fisheries Research Development Corporation||Attendance at the 2022 Microplastics and Seafood: Human Health Symposium in the UK||N. Wootton||2022||$9,400|
|National Environmental Science Programme (NESP)||Advancing national standards and best practices to monitor key marine values and pressures||R. Przeslawski, B.M. Gillanders, P. Reis Santos, N. Wootton||2022-2023||$110, 273|
|Fisheries Research Development Corporation||A global review on implications of plastic in seafood||B.M. Gillanders, N. Wootton, P. Reis Santos||2022-2023||$60,513|
|Fisheries Research Development Corporation||A preliminary assessment of the prevalence of micro plastics in Australian seafood||B.M. Gillanders, N. Dowsett, N. Wootton||2019-2020||$145,666|
|Association of Commonwealth Universities||Blue Charter Fellowship||N. Wootton||2018-2019||$13,178|
|Nature Foundation South Australia||Quantifying fish assemblages in South Australian marine parks||N. Wootton, B.M. Gillanders||2017||$2,500|
- I have lectured the 3rd year course Frontiers in Marine Biology (coordinated by Prof. Bronwyn Gillanders and Dr Patrick Reis-Santos) giving a lecture titled 'Plastic Pollution in the Marine Envrionment'
- I demonstrated practicals in the 2nd year Zoology course for 3 years (2018-2020)
- I have delivered tutorials into the 2nd year Zoology course
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