I’m Randi Rotjan, marine biologist ＆ researcher at Boston University. I study global change in oceans. AMA about microplastic pollution, conservation biology, marine ecology, coral reef health ＆ more
Thank you everyone for writing in – this has been a wonderful conversation! I will try to come back and address any questions that I did not get to today, but I have to log off for now. In the meantime, please feel free to follow me on Twitter at @randirotjan or take a look at http://sites.bu.edu/rotjanlab/
I am the Principal Investigator of the Rotjan lab, focusing on marine ecology and global change (http://sites.bu.edu/rotjanlab/). The main goal of my work is to examine how marine species, communities, and ecosystems respond to the complex stressors emerging in the contemporary world ocean, and how they will respond to the future ocean change that we expect in the coming decades. Recent research in my lab found that some wild corals prefer feeding on tiny shreds of plastic trash, or ‘microplastics,’ over their natural food – even when the plastic is carrying bacteria that can kill them – and that seagrass is littered with microplastics. I am also the co-Chief scientist of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area [PIPA], which is a large (California-sized) marine protected area in the Central Pacific and the largest and deepest UNESCO World Heritage Site. PIPA has coral reef, open ocean, and deep-sea habitat.
Ask me anything about: -How is plastic entering all ocean food chains? - How did our research team come across these plastic discoveries (and harsh reality)? - What is the impact? - How can we help stop this? - How are humans harming the ocean and marine ecosystems? - What is the long-term impact? - How can humans help with ocean conservation? - What action can we take to make a positive, long-term impact? - How do marine protected areas work, and what can they accomplish? - What differences and similarities exist between wild and remote, versus urban and coastal ecosystems?
I am a Research Assistant Professor at Boston University in the Biology Department and in the Boston University Marine Program. I am a member of Women Working for Oceans (W2O) and the Explorers Club, and I’m on the Board of Directors for The Nature Conservancy – Caribbean, and the Friends of the Middlesex Fells.