Invited Speaker Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Australasia 2021

Reflections on a decade of seabird pollution monitoring on Lord Howe Island (#152)

Jennifer Lavers 1
  1. University of Tasmania, Newnham, TASMANIA, Australia

Flesh-footed and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters have been the focus of much research on Lord Howe Island. Over the past decade, our team has documented a variety of sub-lethal effects associated with ingested plastic pollution, including increased exposure to organic and inorganic chemicals, reductions in body mass and other key metrics likely to influence survival to breeding age, and alterations to blood parameters such as cholesterol and uric acid which may reflect organ and tissue damage. Ten years on, we reflect on the knowledge gained, consider the many fundamental questions that remain unanswered, and discuss the emotional cost researchers face when studying environmental degradation.