Our People

Dr Chiarina Darrah
Senior Consultant
I carry out research on litter and marine plastics. This fits within a wider interest on plastics and the circular economy, and sustainable consumption more generally. I am a keen gardener and veg grower which keeps me in touch with nature through all the seasons.

Chiarina is a Senior Consultant with expertise in the evaluation and development of policy and other kinds of interventions in the environmental sector.

She also has experience in assessing the policy context and its influence on the market for environmental services and technologies, as well as on the outlook for future environmental initiatives, regulation and legislation. She has delivered projects involving cost benefit analysis, impact assessment, cost efficiency assessment, legislative gap analysis, knowledge gap analysis, and the production of policy recommendations, using both desk-based and stakeholder research methods.

She primarily works in the fields of marine, land based and aquatic litter, waste and resources, natural resources and ecosystem services. Her scientific training gives her a strong foundation in working with large and complex datasets, critical thinking and synthesis, and for communicating findings and context clearly.


Recent Experience

Chiarina has conducted extensive research into marine and land-based litter, and co-authored a number of reports on its impacts and potential solutions. Over the past year she has spoken at several meetings and discussion groups on the subject.

In 2017-18 Chiarina provided supporting research to support the European Commission’s  Plastics Strategy and proposed Directives on single-use plastics and fishing gear. This involved assessing the barriers to circularity in the use of plastics in several different sectors, assessing policy measures to tackle these, as well as researching mass flow of marine litter to input into the modelling of the impacts of selected measures.

In 2016 she worked with DG Environment on a project on the mitigation of marine debris from sea-based sources and primary microplastics. This involved the development and cost benefit analysis of future implementation scenarios for the collection of waste generated by ships as well as methods for reducing fishing waste in the sea.

Other litter related work includes

  • reviewing consumption of single-use plastic items and legislative measures for addressing this for Seas at Risk
  • reviewing global and European legislative and intergovernmental processes for addressing marine litter for OSPAR and HELCOM.
  • assessing methodologies for the monitoring of litter reaching the freshwater aquatic environment and its sources and pathways for the Clean Europe Network;
  • investigating the impact of marine litter on migratory species for UNEP;
  • assessing the current state of research regarding marine litter and ocean clean-up schemes for a large private client
  • assessing the direct and indirect costs of litter in Scotland for Zero Waste Scotland;
  • assessments of the indirect costs of litter in England and Northern Ireland for Keep Britain Tidy and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful;
  • research and analysis of community-based options for litter prevention for Zero Waste Scotland.

Chiarina has contributed to the redesign of the European Data Centre on Natural Resources website and the publication of the Resource Efficiency Indicator scoreboard for Eurostat, the European Commission’s statistics directorate. For this project, she undertook an extensive review of existing resource data, assessing data availability, quality and its policy context, as well as generating website content.

A recent market assessment for the VITAL Project, which supports the creation of university spin-offs, on technologies for removing nutrients from water and wastewater involved analysis of the interplay between policy mechanisms and market dynamics as well as a review of currently marketed technologies and their applications.

Chiarina has contributed to a variety of projects and proposals on topics ranging from, plastic film recycling and collection, permitting for waste treatment facilities, Site Waste Management Plans, the WEEE directive, material flow analysis, refuse derived fuel, and inshore fisheries conservation.


Career History

Chiarina has a degree in Biological Sciences and a PhD in Plant Sciences from the University of Oxford. Prior to joining Eunomia in 2012, she was a postdoctoral researcher on biofuel feedstock improvement funded by Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project and hosted in the Bioenergy lab at the VIB (Flanders Institute of Biotechnology), Belgium. She has published both original research and literature reviews in peer-reviewed journals.