Dr Michelle Bloor
- Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science and Risk (School of Social & Environmental Sustainability)
Michelle is an ecotoxicologist in the arena of chemicals, waste and pollution. She has two undergraduate degrees: BEd (Hons) Science in the Environment (University of Oxford) and BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science (Manchester Metropolitan University), and a PhD in Environmental Engineering (University of Southampton). Over the past 23 years as a government scientist and academic, Michelle has been involved in a plethora of assessments, policy developments, research projects, and other activities related to addressing the sound management of chemicals, waste and pollution, while being employed at the: University of Southampton (2001-2005), Fisheries Research Service (2005-2008), which is an agency of the Scottish Government, University of Portsmouth (2008-2020), Scottish Government Marine Scotland Science (2020-2021), Scotland’s Rural University College (2020-2021), and the University of Glasgow (2021-ongoing) where she is currently employed as a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Environmental Science and Risk.
She is a member of the United Nations Environmental Programme’s (UNEP) Roster of Experts, which was formally known as the Technical Advisory Group to the United Nations Environmental Programme’s (UNEP) Executive Director, Sherpa to the European Commission’s High-Level Round Table for the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, European Commission expert on chemicals, waste and pollution to support the coordination of and synergies between the Green Deal call projects, PIANOFORTE partnership’s Advisory Board member, and UK Government Chemicals Stakeholder Forum member. Michelle is also the Editor-In-Chief of Sustainable Environment journal (Taylor and Francis), Review Editor for Frontiers in Frontiers in Marine Science - Marine Pollution, ‘Women in Toxicology’ Topic Editor for Frontiers Toxicology, Editor for the book series Issues on Environmental Science and Technology (Royal Society of Chemistry) and UK Science Media Centre expert on chemicals, waste and pollution.
Michelle is the Research Director for Scotland’s National Centre for Resilience and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. She is a Past President of SETAC Europe (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry), having served as the President (2021-2022). For the past two years, she has also served as a member of the SETAC World Council (and in both 2021 and 2022 received Presidential Citations from the outgoing SETAC World Presidents for her contribution to SETAC and science), and since 2014, she has been an active member of the SETAC UK Branch governance. Michelle is Chair of the SETAC Advisory Panel on Chemicals Management (CheM) and is SETAC’s Representative for engagement with UNEP’s Open Ended Working Group Science-Policy Panel for the Sound Management of Chemicals, Waste and Pollution Prevention (as SETAC is accredited to the UNEP Scientific and Technical Community Major Group) and she is a member of SETAC Europe’s High Level Round Table Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability Sounding Board.
Linkedin Profile: Michelle Bloor | LinkedIn
- Aquatic and soil ecotoxicology
- Pollution control and mitigation
- Chemical, waste and pollution policy
- Science communication
- Science policy interface
- Stakeholder engagement and analysis
- Waste management
Michelle welcome enquiries about supervision relating to her research interests.
She has received ~£7 million in competitive research funding for projects in her areas of expertise.
Current funded projects include:
2023, Assessing the behavioural and technical responses to textile-derived microplastic pollution (Funding: NERC Discovery, U.K.).
This interdisciplinary research addresses the current magnitude of textile derived microplastic pollution from domestic laundry, working with industry members and the public. This project aims to (1) identify common factors which either drive or prevent the implementation of measures to reduce textile fibre pollution; (2) determine the scale and composition of fibre waste arising from domestic washing of textiles; (3) develop recommendations for washing machine filter standards based on real world observations.
2022-2023, Everyday plastics and water insecurity: a case study based in Kenya (Funding: Glasgow Centre for International Development, U.K.).
Light and durable plastic containers are widely used to carry and store water, but little is known regarding the effects of repurposed plastics on water quality and human health. Plastics degrade over time, and their constant re‐use, abrasive cleaning, and exposure to daylight/ high temperatures are likely to accelerate the release of microplastics. Furthermore, plastics may release biodegradable organic carbon, promoting microbial growth with an impact on the quality and the safety of the water stored. This interdisciplinary project aims to: (1) explore the re‐use, repurposing, recycling and disposal of plastics used for water storage; and (2) assess the impact of plastic bottle reuse on water quality and biological stability.
2022-2023, RIFFLE: The environmental, wildlife, and human health risks of the remobilisation of pollutants from river sediments during flood events (Funding: National Centre for Resilience, Scottish Government, U.K.).
A long-term hazard from flood water is often underestimated: Rivers in spate swirl up pollutants from their sediments that stem from environmental pollution decades or centuries ago. Such harmful substances can not only cause ecological damage in the river, but can also deposit themselves on flooded areas affecting crops, grazing livestock and humans. This project aims to understand the potential risk of river sediments to Scottish agricultural land during flooding incidents.
2022-2023, Heat Balance - Alpha Phase (Funding: Strategic Innovation Fund, Ofgem/Innovate U.K.).
Displacing fossil fuel, primarily natural gas, for heating represents a major challenge for the electricity system due to the huge peak demand for heat and the huge seasonal variation heat demand, requiring network reinforcement. A further challenge arises from the increasing levels of intermittent renewable generation required to support the demand. There are periods during the year when renewable (wind) generation is insufficient to meet demand, and others when it is curtailed at considerable cost to customers and loss of a valuable low carbon energy resource. The main objective of project is to demonstrate the application of large-scale thermal energy storage (LTES) to exploit curtailed wind and support inter-seasonal alignment of wind generation and thermal demand.
- Michelle led a work package on the social and environmental impacts.
2021-2023, POWAN: Pollution at the water-agriculture nexus in southern Scotland (Funding: University of Glasgow Reinvigorate Research, U.K.).
Agriculture sustains and defines our modern lives, but often disrupts natural ecosystems. This is especially true for plant communities, animal populations, soil systems, and water resources. Understanding, evaluating, and balancing detrimental and beneficial agricultural disturbances of soil and water resources are essential tasks in human efforts to sustain and improve human well-being. Such knowledge influences our emerging ethics of sustainability and responsibility to human populations and ecosystems of the future. This project aims to advance understanding of diffuse and point sources of water pollution, from agricultural practices, with specific focus on pharmaceuticals (antibiotics), nitrogen, and phosphorus, in a Southern Scotland context.
2019-ongoing, MIND the gap: Filling the gap for science-based policymaking in integrated environmental assessment and management.
Chemicals are essential for the well-being, high living standards and comfort of modern society. They are used in many sectors, including health, energy, mobility and housing. However, most chemicals have hazardous properties which can harm the environment and human health. This project aims to explore the European Commission's Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, which was published in 2020, and to fill the gaps for science-based policymaking.
A selection of previous projects include, but not limited to:
2019-2021, Development of a novel analytical testing strategy for phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEICT).
2019-2021, Development of hybrid 'green' technology to remove antibiotics from wastewaters.
2017-2020, Salinisation and salinity management: the impact on Asian Delta coastal areas.
2016 - 2019, Fate and effect of pharmaceuticals and personal care products on freshwater.
2012 - 2015, Investigation into the toxicological implications of seven commonly dispensed pharmaceuticals in Nigeria on freshwater environments.
2010-2015, Economics of waste management in Sri Lanka.
2007-2008, Identification of the main types of environmental bottleneck for fish populations in heavily impacted agricultural catchments.
2005-2007, The influence of invertebrate drift on fish productivity and growth.
2004-2008, SUE Waste Project 3 (GR/S79626/01).
2004-2008, CROPGEN (EU FP6-SUSTDEV).
2001-2004, Impact of landfill leachate, from non-engineered chemical landfill site, on the far field aquatic environment, development of a pollution control, mitigation and remediation package.
Michelle has supervised 7 PhD students and 100+ Masters projects. She has also acted as an external examiner and internal examiner for PhDs and MPhils.
Current PhD projects include:
- Alwakdany M Ghazi, Nada
The environmental impact, policy and waste management of single-use plastic in Saudi Arabia (2022-2025).
- MA, Tao
Green Space and Social Wellbeing: identifying how green space perceived, its quality characteristics and value to communities in Scotland (2022-2025).
- MORDI, Ijeoma Jessie
Crude oil pollution-induced shift in microbial community structure and function (2022-2025).
Michelle is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). She has completed Aurora, which is Advance HE's leadership development initiative for women, and she has also completed Advance HE's development programme for external examiners.
In addition to supervising undergraduate and postgraduate research, Michelle is also Course Convenor for: