Dr Olga Pantos
Research Associate
  • ResearchGate
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  • ESR
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Dr Olga Pantos is a Senior Scientist at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), and co-lead of the MBIE-funded project Aotearoa Impacts and Mitigation of Microplastics (AIM2). She has a degree in Marine and Environmental Biology, and PhD in molecular microbial ecology of tropical coral disease and has a particular interest in how human activity affects the natural world. Her research has included the impacts anthropogenic factors such as climate change and pollution have on marine ecosystems and organisms through their effect on the associated microbial communities. Microbes, including viruses, bacteria, archaea and fungi, play a critical role in the health and function of all ecosystems, and factors that disrupt them can result in significant impacts at the individual to the ecosystem level. Her current research examines the sources and levels of microplastic pollution in Aotearoa-New Zealand’s marine and terrestrial environments, and its potential impact on microbial communities and the knock-on consequences for ecosystem health and function. This work also includes the examination of the effects of microbial communities on plastics in the environment and their role in the transformation of macro- to micro- and micro- to nanoplastics. 

In addition to conducting research Dr Pantos has been involved in national and international advisory panels addressing the global plastic pollution problem. These include, Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the United Nations Environment Programme’s From Pollution to Solution: A Global Assessment of Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution’.