Gunhild Bødtker, Senior Researcher – NORCE

Gunhild is a microbiologist who has been involved in plastic related environmental research since 2019. Her main scientific experience stems from more than 20 years conducting applied research within petroleum reservoir microbiology. (Petroleum reservoirs are layers of rock that contain oil or gas – and also microbes!) The fact that conventional plastics, and even some biodegradable plastics, are made from petroleum-based building blocks led her to environmental plastic research. Her ongoing research includes assessing the effect of plastic accumulation on soil microbial ecology and activity along the western coast of Norway, and biodegradation rates of biodegradable plastics in cold marine environments in the ‘Built2Biodegrade’ project.



Dr Miriam Weber, Director of HYDRA Marine Sciences GmbH

Miriam is a marine biologist. She studied in the USA, Australia and Germany, and graduated at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen. Miriam has coordinated and attended dozens of research expeditions in lakes, rivers, and the sea, from high-alpine lakes to the Dead Sea; from the polar regions to the tropics, both in the Indo-Pacific and in the Atlantic Oceans. Miriam’s research focuses on developing solutions to pressing environmental problems. For the last 12 years she has been leading research on the biodegradation of plastic in the open environment with a focus on the marine ecosystem.





Gunhild and Miriam were both members of the SAPEA Working Group on the Biodegradability of plastics in the open environment. Find out more about the Evidence Review Report produced by the Working Group.