Global Plastic Ingestion Bioindicators (GPIB) Project

Global Plastic Ingestion Bioindicators (GPIB) Project Logo

Lead Organizations

  • SmartNet

Project Description

The overarching goal of GPIB is to move beyond baseline assessments of plastic pollution to evaluate trends, risks, and effects to species and ecosystems. By fostering collaboration among researchers worldwide, GPIB aims to facilitate knowledge exchange, build robust networks, and foster a supportive community for those investigating plastic debris ingestion by marine wildlife. We aim to evaluate the status of monitoring plans using bioindicators of plastic ingestion globally, identify study species and genera to use as bioindicators moving forward, and promote standardization of methodologies and reporting guidelines. Doing so will enhance our collective understanding to advance towards more effective solutions. During our five-year term (2023-2028), we have several primary outcomes.


Key planned outcomes:

•       Review and evaluate plastic pollution monitoring programs using bioindicators.

•       Inventory plastic ingestion records by all marine fauna, building on previous efforts (e.g., the GLOVE database).

•       Develop and apply a standardized rubric to identify the top bioindicator species or genera as the best sentinels to track the flow of plastic debris though the marine food web (our “global top 10”).

•       For our Global Top 10 we will promote existing methods or develop/adapt new harmonized methods.

•       Develop or augment a data portal to share published information that anyone can access, download, and use as needed.



·       Project Lead: Matthew Savoca (USA)

·       Project Co-leads: Robson Santos (Brazil), Miquel Canals (Spain), Cristina Fossi (Italy), Denise Hardesty (Australia)

·       40 members (and counting!) representing 18 countries on five continents

·       Inclusive of professional history, career stage, gender identity, ethnicity, study species/systems


Get involved!

Email Matthew Savoca ( to learn more!

Related Programs


Project Info at UN Ocean Decade Website

SmartNet UN Ocean Decade Page

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