Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
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BELEN MARIA ALFONSO Last modified date:2022.06.06

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 Reseacher Profiling Tool Kyushu University Pure
website of the center for ocean plastic studies launched in May, 2022 .
Academic Degree
Ph.D. in Biology, Bachelor in Biology
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Yes Bachelor Doctor
Field of Specialization
ORCID(Open Researcher and Contributor ID)
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Outline Activities
Research activities on the Center for Ocean Plastic Studies (COPS) located in Bangkok, Thailand. The field of research is the assessment of plastic pollution in marine environments, including microplastics, and its effect on organisms (bioindicators). One of the main goals of COPS is to strengthen the international bonds in the scientific community, for knowledge exchange, and to improve our information on plastic pollution, which is limited in Southeast Asian marine systems. The final aim is to contribute to the development of policies based on evidence to address plastic pollution
Research Interests
  • Microplastic pollution impact on the Gulf of Thailand: insights from water samples assessment and ingestion by zooplankton as complementary tools
    keyword : microplastic
  • Global microplastic pollution
    keyword : microplastics
Current and Past Project
  • 1- To quantify the presence of plastic microparticles in abiotic components (different depths of the water column and bottom sediments) and biotic components (fish, crustaceans, and bivalves) in different coastal environments of the Southwest region of Buenos Aires: Bahía Blanca Estuary ( EBB) and San Blas Bay (BSB).
    2- Classify the contributions of plastics found according to their shape, size, color, and possible origin (fabrics, foams, rubber, plastic elements themselves, etc.) according to their chemical composition (PU, LDPE, HDPE, PPTE, PVC, etc).
    3- Characterize the impact of MPs on the coastal ecosystems under analysis, emphasizing the communities of fish, crustaceans, and bivalves. Carry out projections and mass balances of the discharge of plastics.
    4- Prepare an executive report including proposals to transfer to local communities integrating various social actors (NGOs and others). Establish a dialogue and participation in the generation of recommendations for the management of this waste.
  • Assessment of the presence and bioaccumulation of microplastic in aquatic trophic webs from Argentina
  • microplastic research
    The project will focus on three main areas of research:
    (1) Surveillance and monitoring of tsunami-generated marine debris landfall;
    (2) Modeling movement of marine debris in the North Pacific; and
    (3) Risk (including potential impacts) from invasive species to coastal ecosystems.
Academic Activities
1. Alfonso María Belén, First evidence of microplastics in nine lakes across Patagonia (South America), Science of The Total Environment, 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139385, 733, 2020.09, Microplastics (MPs) on lakes have been reported mainly from Europe, Asia, and North America. Then, this study aimed to address the quantification and identification of MPs in nine lakes from the Argentine Patagonian Region. Blue colored fibers were dominant, with a size range between 0.2 and <0.4 mm. The mean MPs concentration was 0.9 ± 0.6 MPs m−3, suggesting a low pollution state when compared to other worldwide lakes. Raman microscopy analysis showed a predominance of Indigo Blue Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) particles. The upper-gradient runoff from urban settlements, textiles, and fisheries were identified as the main MPs sources and levels positively correlated with the higher area, shallower depth, and with an end-position in the watershed. These findings fill a gap in the geographical distribution knowledge, setting a baseline that emphasizes the need for better treatment of urban and fisheries wastes in continental lakes..
Membership in Academic Society
  • Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network
  • International Society of Limnology
Professional and Outreach Activities
Participation in the formation of a Center of Excellence for Marine Plastic Pollution Studies in the Southeast Asian Seas (SATREPS)" directed by P.I. Atsuhiko Isobe and financed by the Japanese Science and Technology Agency (JST). The Center for Ocean Plastic Studies (COPS) was established in Bangkok, Thailand, in April 2022, after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Kyushu University (KU, Japan) and the University of Chulalongkorn (CU, Thailand). The former center will contribute to the development of solid international bonds for ocean plastic research, the first overseas satellite research center from KU. The COPS is expected to set a good precedent for the internationalization of not only KU but also Japanese universities and the strengthening of overseas cooperation..