Thomas Crutchett

Mr, Doctor of Philosophy Student

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Thomas completed his MEnvSc with Distinction at the University of Western Australia in 2019. His Master's thesis focused on the ingestion of microplastics in Western Australian sardines and was later published in Frontiers in Marine Science. This paper reported low ingestion rates and highlighted the challenges with particle analysis, particularly small fibres which were dominant. Thomas worked as a Research Assistant at the Oceans Institute during 2020, before commencing his PhD studies in May 2021.


Thomas's current PhD program focuses on plastic contamination in estuarine environments, using the Perth Swan-Canning Estuary as a study region.

The first project will require a comprehensive assessment of the plastic contamination in the surface waters and shoreline sediments of the Swan-Canning Estuary. Additional focus will be made on small microplastic particles (< 1 mm) which are often excluded from surveys, yet are considered highly pervasive and bio-available for organisms. The second project will involve the development of a workflow for semi-automated Raman spectroscopy to improve operational efficiency and throughput, a key limitation in particle identification. The final project will be the first study exploring plastic ingestion within the aquatic food web of the Swan-Canning Estuary. This information will be examined to determine if oxidative stress correlates to plastic ingestion rates, highlighting the biological impact of aquatic plastic pollution.

Research interests

Thomas is actively working with other researchers in the field of plastic pollution and welcomes any enquiries regarding potential research projects, fieldwork volunteers, processing standards, analytical requirements and general questions. 

Funding overview

Thomas is a recipient of a University Postgraduate Award supported by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulations (DWER).

This project is also supported by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservations and Attractions (DBCA) and ChemCentre.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Research expertise keywords

  • Plastic pollution
  • Microplastics
  • Plastic ingestion
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • FTIR spectroscopy


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