© João Frias, 2015

© João Frias, 2015

João was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1984. 

He completed a bachelor degree in Environmental Engineering (2002/2006), a master's degree in Ecological Engineering (2006/2010), and a PhD in Environmental Studies (2011/2015), focused on marine litter, microplastics and ecotoxicology.

All degrees were conducted at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCT-UNL). The master’s and doctorate work was conducted under supervision of Prof. Paula Sobral.

During the master's degree, João enrolled for one semester in the Transboundary Water Management Master at Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Netherlands, as part of the Erasmus programme; and during the doctoral degree he enrolled at Plymouth University, United Kingdom, to conduct a biochemical biomarkers and histology training under the co-supervision of Prof. Richard Thompson.

João's research focuses on marine litter and microplastics, and he has been working on this topic for 10+ years, including his PhD. He has worked on projects such as POIZON (FCT UNL), Azorlit (MARE IMAR DOP), and BASEMAN (JPI Oceans).

He was recently awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND Collaborative Research Fellowships for a Responsive and Innovative Europe (CAROLINE), where he is currently working on the IMP.act project - Managing for Microplastics: A baseline to inform policy stakeholders.

João is a member of the Marie Curie Alumni Association and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2018; and a member of SETAC Europe since 2019.

João is the co-founder of the Portuguese Marine Litter Association (APLM), a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that is liaising the creation of the Portuguese Partnership on Marine Litter, as part of the vision signed at the Honolulu Declaration in 2011, and the 2012 United Nations Manila Declaration.

He was always involved in many volunteering activities from outreach and awareness campaigns and beach cleanups to acting and theater performance in Germany, Ireland, United Kindgom and Portugal. 

João's personality is ENFJ-A. He is also a KIVA lender.