Dr. Patricia Corcoran

Sedimentary Petrology, Microplastics Pollution, Precambrian Geology

Patricia Corcoran

Professor & Department Chair
Ph.D. Dalhousie University, 2001
Office: BGS 0164
Chair's Office: BGS 1028
Labs: BGS 1004, 1024
Phone: (519) 661-2111 x.86836
Chair's Phone: (519) 661-2111 x.86690
Website: corcorangroup.wordpress.com
Email: pcorcor@uwo.ca

Research Interests

Sedimentary petrology; factors controlling the composition and dispersal of natural and anthropogenic sedimentary deposits; distribution, accumulation and degradation of plastic debris in marine and freshwater shoreline, river, and lake bottom sediments; accumulation of microplastics in fish; effects of climate, transport and recycling on sedimentary textures and composition.

Selected Publications

  • Corcoran, P.L., 2021. Degradation of microplastics in the environment. In: Handbook of Microplastics in the Environment (Edited by T. Rocha-Santos, M. Costa, C. Mouneyrac), Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-10618-8_10-1

  • Corcoran, P.L., Belontz, S.L., Ryan, K., Walzak, M.J., 2020. Factors controlling the distribution of microplastic particles in benthic sediment of the Thames River, Canada. Environmental Science & Technology, 54: 818-825. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b04896

  • Corcoran, P.L., Jazvac, K., 2020. The consequence that is plastiglomerate. Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, 1: 6-7. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43017-019-0010-9 

  • Corcoran, P.L., de Haan Ward, J., Arturo, I., Belontz, S.L., Moore, T., Hill-Svehla, C.M., Robertson, K., Wood, K., Jazvac, K. A., 2020. comprehensive investigation of industrial plastic pellets on beaches across the Laurentian Great Lakes and the factors governing their distribution. Science of the Total Environment, 747: 141227. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141227

  • Huntington, A., Corcoran, P.L., Jantunen, L., Thaysen, C., Bernstein, S., Stern, G.A., Rochman, C.M. A first assessment of microplastics and other anthropogenic particles in Hudson Bay and the surrounding Eastern Canadian Arctic waters of Nunavut. FACETS 5: 432–454. doi: 10.1139/facets-2019-004 

  • Belontz, S.L., Corcoran, P.L., Davis, H., Hill, K.A., Jazvac, K., Robertson, K., Wood, K., 2018. Embracing an Interdisciplinary Approach to Plastics Pollution Awareness and Action. Ambio, 48: 855-866.

  • Dean, B.Y., Corcoran, P.L., Helm, P.A., 2018. Factors Influencing Microplastic Abundances in Nearshore, Tributary and Beach Sediments along the Ontario Shoreline of Lake Erie. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 44: 1002-1009.

  • Hill, C.M., Corcoran, P.L., 2018. Processes responsible for the development of soft-sediment deformation structures (SSDS) in the Paleoproterozoic Gordon Lake Formation, Huronian Supergroup, Canada. Precambrian Research, 310: 63-75.

  • Corcoran, P.L., Jazvac, K., Ballent, A., 2017. Plastics and the Anthropocene inEncyclopedia of the Anthropocene, Elsevier, 8pp, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.10000-4.

  • Ballent, A., Corcoran, P.L., Madden, O., Helm, P.A., Longstaffe, F.J., 2016. Sources and sinks of microplastics in Canadian Lake Ontario nearshore, tributary and beach sediments. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 110: 383–395.

  • Hill, C., Corcoran, P.L., Aranha, R.A., Longstaffe, F.J., 2016. Microbially induced sedimentary structures in the Paleoproterozoic, upper Huronian Supergroup, Canada. Precambrian Research, 281: 155-165.

  • Zalasiewicz, J., Waters, C.N., Ivar do Sul, J., Corcoran, P.L., Barnosky, A.D., Cearreta, A., Edgeworth, M., Galuszka, A., Jeandel, C., Leinfelder, R., McNeill, J.R., Steffen, W., Summerhayes, C., Wagreich, M., Williams, M., Wolfe, A.P., Yonan, Y., 2016. The geological cycle of plastics and their use as a stratigraphic indicator of the Anthropocene. Anthropocene, 13: 4-17.

  • Corcoran, P.L., 2015. Benthic plastic debris in marine and fresh water environments. Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, 17: 1363-1369.

  • Corcoran, P.L., Norris, T., Ceccanese, T., Walzak, M.J., Helm, P.A., Marvin, C.H., 2015. Hidden plastics of Lake Ontario, Canada and their potential preservation in the sediment record. Environmental Pollution, 204: 17-25.

  • Corcoran, P.L., Moore, C., Jazvac, K., 2014. An anthropogenic marker horizon in the future rock record. GSA Today, 24: 4-8.   

Courses Taught

  • Earth Sciences 2250Y: Introductory Field Mapping Techniques
  • Earth Sciences 3314B: Sedimentary Petrology
  • Geology 9580A/9680A: Graduate Seminar

Current Students

  • Tim Howe, PhD Geology Candidate
  • Colleen Wardlaw, MSc Biology Candidate
  • Nina Kozikowski, MSc Geology Candidate
  • Jasmine Nieva, BSc NSERC USRA
  • Alex Veilleux, Research Assistant
  • Owen Mueller, Research Assistant
  • Kathleen Reid, Research Assistant
  • Sara Belontz, PhD, Lab Supervisor

Future Students

Dr. Corcoran is accepting MSc and PhD students interested in microplastics pollution in terrestrial and aquatic environments.