Director-Trash Free Seas, Ocean Conservancy
Nicholas Mallos is the Director of the Trash Free Seas Program and a Conservation Biologist and Marine Debris Specialist at the Ocean Conservancy. Nick has a B.S. in Biology and Marine Science from Dickinson College and earned his Master's Degree from the Nicholas School of Environment at Duke University.
Nick has conducted marine debris research around the world, including field work on Midway Atoll where he examined the impacts of debris on native marine fauna—particularly, albatrosses and the Hawaiian monk seal.
Nick manages a diverse range of marine debris projects for the Trash Free Seas Program including at-sea, plastics and tsunami debris research, an inter-disciplinary working group on marine debris, marine wildlife conservation, and International Coastal Cleanup data analyses. He is also an avid surfer and works hard to catch a wave wherever his travels take him.
Synthetic material has become extremely popular worldwide for usage in apparel due to its affordability and performance as a lightweight and durable material. Yet the small fibers that are shed from these garments are increasingly contaminating marine ecosystems around the world. Similarly, researchers more and more have documented the presence of these fibers in the stomachs of a wide variety of marine organisms. Concern is growing over the presence and proliferation of these fibers and other plastics in the ocean, and current research is focused on how these materials impact the marine food chain and the potential contamination of seafood for human consumption. This presentation will highlight the current state of the science on the scope, scale, and potential impacts of microfibers on marine organisms and ocean and human health.