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Invited Speakers


Shaping Environmental Action, Switzerland

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Julien Boucher is founder and director of EA, an eco-design centre based in Switzerland ( and well as senior scientist within the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland.

He has developed a strong expertise in the field of marine plastic pollution and plastic footprinting. Through collaborations with the IUCN and UNEP, Julien’s work includes the development of models to predict the leakage of plastics and microplastic from different sources.
Julien’s goal is to contribute closing the knowledge gap in this field and develop pragmatic tools to support countries and industries on their way towards closing the plastic tap.
Recent work has focused on regional models at global scale or focusing on specific areas such as the Baltic Basin, the Mediterranean basin or Lake Geneva as well as the development of guidelines on how to include plastic footprinting within the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework.

As a background, Julien is an expert in environmental modelling and life cycle assessment. He studied environmental engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), and holds a PhD in environmental chemistry. Julien is also an innovative entrepreneur, having founded several associations and companies, including Quantis International, one of the leading global consultancy specialised in LCA.


Plastics Europe, Belgium

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Anne-Gaelle is Senior Manager Environmental Affairs, based in PlasticsEurope Headquarters in Brussels, where she has led the Marine Litter Solution project since October 2017.

For the previous 13 years, she worked as Director for Environment and Sustainability at the UK’s Chemical Industries Association (CIA), being based in both London and Brussels. Prior to this, she was an Energy Analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in London.

She was a Research fellow at both Imperial College London, focusing on nanomaterials, and at University College Dublin, focusing on physical organic chemistry.

She holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering, with a specialisation on coal and biomass gasification for new power generation.


Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Naples, Italy

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Dr Roberto Danovaro was born in Genoa, where he obtained the degrees in Biology in 1988 and the PhD in Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Pisa in 1993. RD became Assistant Professor in 1994-1995 (at the University of Ancona), Associate Professor in 1998 (University of Bari) and Full Professor in 2001 (University of Padua, but immediately called at the Polytechnic University of Marche). Member of the Doctorate in Marine Biology and Ecology and Coordinator of the International Master degree in Marine Biology. Founder of the first Laurea Specialistica in Italy (Master Degree) in Environmental Sustainability and Civil Protection.

Director of the Department of Marine Sciences (2004 to 2010), Director of the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (2011 to 2014) at the Polytechnic University of Marche, Dean of the Faculty of Science till 2014. Pro-Rector (delegated to the Research) at the Polytechnic University of Marche until 2013.

RD received different international Prizes and Awards, and he is the First Italian winner of the ENI Award “Protection of the Environment”. From 2013 is President of the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (the oldest research institution in Italy founded in 1872, the only one with seat in the South of Italy).


National Research Council of Italy (CNR) - Institute of Anthropic Impacts and Sustainability in marine environment (IAS), Italy

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Marco Faimali, PhD in Marine Environmental Sciences, is a research scientist at the National Research Council of Italy. He has been working for more than 20 years in the field of marine sciences on the study of the interactions between technologies and the marine environment. Since 2015, he is the Head of Genoa research unit of Institute of Anthropic Impacts and Sustainability in marine environment (CNR-IAS).

Nowadays his activity is focused on two principal research lines : i) the characterization and validation of new systems, with a low environmental impact, to protect materials from corrosion and marine organism settlement (biocorrosion, biofouling and biodeterioration) and ii) the development of innovative techniques to analyze environmental impacts and monitoring the effects of anthropic activities on the marine environment (marine ecotoxicology).

He is currently a member of the European Marine Board Communication Panel (EMBCP), the pan-European platform for marine science communicators to promote Marine Board activities, and CNR referent for the Italian Ministry of the Environment thank to the expertise in marine ecotoxicology and anthropogenic impacts.
To date he has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles, more than 30 articles in national journals and 6 book chapters. He has produced 45 oral presentations and over 84 posters at international and national conferences. He has been involved in 37 national/international projects, being project leader of 16.


University of Siena, Italy

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Maria Cristina Fossi is Full Professor of Ecology and Ecotoxicology at the University of Siena (UNISI) and since 2000 is Scientific Director of the Biomarker Laboratory (CIBM). Her research has focused on: development of ecotoxicological test in bioindicator organisms for off-shore and on-shore oil extraction (ENI-IT), evaluation of endocrine disruptors in marine species, assessment of cetacean ecotoxicological status in Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of California, Indian Ocean, investigation on presence and effect of microplastics and plasticizers in Mediterranean ecosystems.

Thanks to her work on skin biopsies, she is a world reference for the assessment of ecotoxicological risk in cetaceans. In 2012 she provided the first evidence worldwide on the effects of microplastics on baleen whales.

She is author or co-author of over 600 original papers, H-index = 35. She is involved in several international scientific organizations (e.g. Past-president of SETAC Italian Branch, International Whaling Commission, SC Pelagos Sanctuary, SC One Ocean Foundation, etc).

Since 2013 she has been the scientific coordinator of the "Plastic Busters", project elected as Flagship Project of Mediterranean-SDSN, The project, devolved to monitoring and mitigating the impact of plastics in the Med, has received the "label" in 2016 from Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and recently financed by Interreg MED EU Programme.


University of Paris, France

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In 2006 Johnny Gasperi obtained a PhD in Environmental Sciences at the National School of Civil Engineering (Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées). During his PhD, he studied micropollutant sources and transfer within the Paris combined sewer system, both during dry and wet weather conditions. When he became assistant professor at Université Paris Est Créteil (UPEC), he started new scientific research projects on the fate of emerging micropollutants both in urban area and at the scale of the Seine river catchment.

Since 2014, he has started new research activities on plastic debris in aquatic environment, including both macro- and microplastics. He is currently supervising several research projects on this topic (such as Plastic-Seine, Macro-Plast...). The specific aims of these projects are the study of the sources, the fluxes, and the fate of plastic debris in urban area and in freshwater continuum, from river to estuary.

Since 2019, Johnny Gasperi is head of a federation of research teams, named Ile-de-France Federation for Environmental Research (FIRE), aiming to promote interdisciplinary research activities in environmental sciences.

Johnny Gasperi is co-author of 61 peer-reviewed papers and 6 book chapters. He has supervised 8 PhD students.


King's College London, UK

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Professor Kelly holds the chair in Environmental Health at King's College London, where he is Director of the Environmental Research Group, Director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit on Environmental Hazards and Deputy Director of the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment & Health.
Prof Kelly leads a substantial research activity which spans all aspects of air pollution research from toxicology to science policy. He has led studies of the urban airshed within London including the impact of the introduction of London’s Congestion Charging Zone and Low Emission Zone. Other work examines the toxicity of PM associated metals and quinones, diesel and biodiesel exhaust emissions, wood smoke and the identification of biomarkers of exposure. More recently he has investigated ambient microplastics including their identification and potential human health effects.
Prof Kelly has published over 350 peer-reviewed papers as well as many conference papers and books (as author or editor) on the toxicology and health effects of ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particulate pollution. In addition to his academic work Prof Kelly is past President of the European Society for Free Radical Research and past Chairman of the British Association for Lung Research. He has provided policy support to the WHO on air pollution issues and he is Chairman of COMEAP the UK’s Department of Health’s Expert Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants.


UNEP/MAP, Greece

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Gaetano Leone graduated in Political Sciences in Italy and specialized in International Relations. He has a strong and diverse experience of political and inter-organizational affairs, inter-governmental processes, leadership and management, and partnerships, especially in the field of sustainable development. After three years in the private sector, in 1988 he joined UNDP in Uganda and has since covered UN assignments of increasing responsibility in several African and European countries and in the USA.

Gaetano has moved across 9 duty stations, has worked for 4 agencies (UNDP, Unicef, UN-Habitat and UN Environment) and has been hosted at the World Bank and WMO.

He was Deputy Secretary of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during the process leading to the approval of the Fifth Assessment Report.

Since June 2014, Gaetano is the Coordinator of the United Nations Mediterranean Action Plan-Barcelona Convention Secretariat, based in Athens, Greece. From October 2018 until January 2018, he was also appointed as Acting Director, Europe Office of UN Environment.


Università Politecnica delle Marche, IT

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Francesco Regoli, Full Professor in Applied Biology and Vice Director of the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (DiSVA) at Polytechnic University of Marche. Chair of "Ecotoxicology" and of "Biological and Ecological Risk Assessment”, Director of the Master Degree Program in “Environmental Risk and Civil Protection”.

Editor-in-Chief of Marine Environmental Research and Member of Editorial Board of Aquatic Toxicology, Chemistry and Ecology, Journal of the Brazilian Society of Ecotoxicology.

His research activity is mostly focused on the use of marine organisms as bioindicators of chemical pollution and environmental disturbance, with particular emphasis to molecular and cellular responses, adaptation mechanisms, vulnerability of polar areas, impact of dredging and off-shore activities, ecological risk assessment. He is an expert on several classes of emerging pollutants including pharmaceuticals and microplastics in the marine environment.

He has been responsible for several projects at international and national level; he recently coordinated the field activities on distribution of microplastics in marine food webs within the EPHEMARE project, Ecotoxicological Effects of Microplastics in Marine Ecosystems, funded by JPI-Oceans (2015-2018).

He is author of approximately 190 peer-reviewed publications in international journals and book chapters. He has an h index= 59, i10-index= 145 with 11173 citations (from Google Scholar,; h index=51 with 8214 citations (from Scopus).


Shaw Institute, USA

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Dr. Susan D. Shaw is an American environmental health scientist, marine toxicologist, explorer, and author.

She is an adjunct Professor, School of Public Health, SUNY-Albany and Founder/President of the Shaw Institute, a nonprofit scientific institution with a mission to improve human and ecological health through innovative science and strategic partnerships.

Shaw is globally recognized for pioneering high-impact environmental research on ocean pollution, climate change, oils pills, and plastics that has fueled public policy and societal change over three decades. Her 1983 book, Over Exposure, written with landscape photographer Ansel Adams, exposed the health hazards of photographic darkroom chemicals and transformed the field.

Shaw dove into the 2010 BP oil spill and influenced the national debate on the dangers of dispersant chemicals. She now heads an international team assessing the combined impact of global warming and pollution on the survival of marine mammals across three oceans. In 2012 Shaw launched the first studies of microplastics in the Gulf of Maine that led to state and national bans of microbeads.

Today, the Institute is partnering with the Plastics Health Coalition to advance understanding of the human health effects of microplastics and promote effective plastic reduction strategies. The recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Shaw is the 19th Gold Medalist of the Society of Woman Geographers.


University of Plymouth, United Kingdom

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Richard Thompson, head of the International Marine Litter Research Unit at the University of Plymouth, is Professor of Marine Biology and Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Plymouth University.

He obtained his first degree from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1992, followed by a PhD from Liverpool University in 1996. Much of his work over the last decade has focused on marine debris.

He was a co-author of the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive text on marine litter and has recently prepared reports on this topic for the United Nations Global Environment Facility and United Nations Environment Programme.

He has been a member of numerous international working groups on marine litter including GESAMP, NCEAS, UNEP, UNIRP.

In 2014 he presented his research to the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, at his Our Ocean meeting in Washington, to OECD nations and G7 nations. He is currently working with G7 nations on the monitoring of marine litter.

In 2017 he received the Marsh Award for Marine and Freshwater Conservation from the Zoological Society of London and in 2018 he has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year Honours.
credits: BVERSE Srls