Dr Max Kelly

Dr Max Kelly

Research Fellow (GCRF PISCES) Environmental Science

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



Post-Doctoral research fellow within the International Marine Litter Research Unit.

Max is working within an international, multi-disciplinary team as part of the GCRF Systems Analysis Approach to Reduce Plastic Waste in Indonesian Societies (PISCES) project. PISCES will research sources, pathways and fates of plastic waste in the environment on a national scale using state-of-the-art modelling to estimate the volumes of plastic reaching land, rivers and seas in Indonesia.

Max is developing and leading novel litter surveys across Indonesia to categorise litter from the point of release into the environment and at increasing distances from source to sea. The research is providing empirical evidence towards the abundance and types of plastic pollution across different road types throughout Indonesia; to help inform targeted interventions and help reduce plastic pollution.

Max's previous research has included:

  • Understanding plastic microfibre release during laundry; creating a novel small-scale plastic microfibre quantification method to evidence the importance of hydrodynamic water flow towards microfibre release.
  • The fate of plastic in the environment; assessing the colonisation and biodegradation of microorganisms in extreme environments. Utilising Illumina MiSeq sequencing and bioinformatics to identify new plastisphere communities.
  • Developing state of the art Bioimaging methods to improve the specificity of detergent enzymes.






Bacterial colonisation of plastic in the Rockall Trough, North-East Atlantic: An improved understanding of the deep-sea plastisphere

MR Kelly, P Whitworth, A Jamieson, JG Burgess
Environmental Pollution 305, 119314

Importance of water-volume on the release of microplastic fibers from laundry

MR Kelly, NJ Lant, M Kurr, JG Burgess
Environmental science & technology 53 (20), 11735-11744

Optimisation of bioimpedance measurements of neuronal activity with an ex vivo preparation of Cancer pagurus peripheral nerves

COAR Chapman, TM Smith, M Kelly, J Avery, T Rouanet, K Aristovich, ...
Journal of Neuroscience Methods 327, 108322