Richard Thompson is Professor of Marine Biology at Plymouth University, UK. He specialises in the ecology of shallow water habitats. He obtained his first degree from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1992, followed by a PhD from Liverpool University in 1996. Much of his work over the last decade has focused on marine debris with numerous publications on this topic. In 2004 his team reported on the presence of microplastics in the environment in the journal Science. Subsequent research examined the extent to which microplastics were retained upon ingestion and potential for microplastics to transport pollutants to organisms. He was lead guest editor for a 200 page volume of the scientific journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, focusing on Plastics the Environment and Human Health. He is a co-author of the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive text on marine litter and has recently prepared reports on this topic for the United Nations Global Environment Facility. In 2014 he presented his research to the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, at his Our Ocean meeting in Washington.