Josie Russell

Senior Scientist Marine Litter

Josie Russell obtained her MSc in Tropical Coastal Management from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK in 2012. She has over ten years experience working across disciplines of marine ecology, waste management and marine litter. She is a researcher and scientific advisor on issues relating to marine litter pollution.

Currently working in the monitoring group based at Cefas’ Lowestoft laboratory, Josie works as Principal Investigator on national and international programmes relating to marine litter pollution. She provides advice and recommendations for approaches to mitigate against inputs of marine litter into the marine environment and reduce their potential impacts.  Her work focuses on scientific research on marine litter and using this as evidence to inform policy.

Josie is Principal Investigator for two European Interreg projects, Clean Atlantic and OceanWise and has been part of the team delivering international programmes such as the Commonwealth Litter Programme and Ocean Country Partnership Programme over the last five years. Working with governments and stakeholders from all over the world, including Europe, South Pacific, Caribbean, South- East Asia, and Africa. Areas of work focus on monitoring and research on macroplastics, specifically seafloor and beach litter.  Bringing together work across disciplines at Cefas including mapping, modelling, monitoring, ecotoxicology, socio-economics, waste composition analysis, awareness & education, ALDFG, invasive species, data analysis, policy advice and best practice dissemination to produces comprehensive advice and evidence on marine litter. 

Publications: Josie Russell‬ - ‪Google Scholar, Josie Russell (

Selected publications:

Barry, J., Russell, J., van Hal, R., van Loon, W.M.G.M., Norén, K., Kammann, U., Galgani, F., Gago, J., De Witte, B., Gerigny, O., Lopes, C., Pham, C. K., Garcia, S., Sousa, R., Rindorf, A. 2022. Composition and Spatial Distribution of Litter on the Seafloor. In: OSPAR, 2023: The 2023 Quality Status Report for the North-East Atlantic. OSPAR Commission, London.

Bakir, A., Doran, D., Silburn, B., Russell, J., Archer-Rand, S., Barry, J., Maes, T., Limpenny, C., Mason, C., Barber, J. and Nicolaus, E.E. 2023. A spatial and temporal assessment of microplastics in seafloor sediments: A case study for the UK. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9, p.2722.

U. Binetti, B. Silburn, J. Russell, N. van Hoytema, B. Meakins, P. Kohler, M. Desender, F. Preston-Whyte, E. Fa'abasu, M. Maniel, T. Maes. 2020. First marine litter survey on beaches in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, South Pacific: Using OSPAR protocol to inform the development of national action plans to tackle land-based solid waste pollution. Marine Pollution Bulletin. Volume 161, Part A, 111827.