Nassau, The Bahamas: World Maritime University expressed congratulations to its final PhD candidate, Ms Kristal Ambrose from The Bahamas, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation, “Contextual Barriers Facing Caribbean SIDS in the Global Governance of Plastic Pollution. Assessing the need for harmonised marine debris monitoring and contextual equity to support participation in the global plastics treaty negotiations by Caribbean SIDS.”
The University further outlined that Marine plastic pollution is of particular significance to Caribbean SIDS as they suffer from a disproportionate incidence of plastic pollution on their coasts. The research of Ms Ambrose assesses marine debris monitoring within Caribbean SIDS, the barriers faced, and considerations needed for unified monitoring efforts that support policy development.
Additionally, the research examines microplastics on the beaches of Caribbean SIDS and highlights concerns over scientific research on this issue being conducted by, and often retained by, extra-regional research teams and institutions.
Ms Ambrose founded the Bahamas Plastic Movement in 2013 to develop solutions to plastic pollution and to educate young people on the importance of a clean and healthy ocean. While enrolled at WMU, she received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2020 for her extraordinary leadership, operating outside of the traditional power structures and marshalling science, advocacy, and youth empowerment to get The Bahamas focused on plastics, including convincing the government to enact a nation-wide single-use plastic ban.
The University further highlighted that she is the final of four women, all from the Caribbean, who defended their PhD dissertations this week. All four conducted their studies within the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute’s “Closing the Circle: Marine Debris, Sargassum and Marine Spatial Planning” Programme that explores challenges and potential solutions to the sargassum and the plastic pollution threat in the Eastern Caribbean. The programme is supported through generous funding from The Nippon Foundation and in partnership with CERMES at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Barbados.
Accordingly, WMU’s PhD programme offers students unrivalled access to international experts both inside and outside academia and to organisations working at the forefront of research and development in the maritime and ocean sectors.