North Pacific 2018

Leg 1

Kristine Marie Berg

Kristine Marie Berg

Norway

Circular Economy Advisor

Kristine [M. Berg] works with upstream solutions to the issues of litter and ocean plastic. She is a Circular Economy Advisor at TOMRA, which is the leading provider of technology-led solutions that optimize resource recovery in the food, recycling and mining industries.

Kristine grew up by and out on the deep Norwegian fjords, but she has also lived on the tropical islands of Hawaii and Bali where she experienced first-hand the devastating impact of plastic pollution. Following her degree in Industrial Ecology, and having studied particularly human impacts on the environment, her passion for the ocean turned into a passion for sustainable infrastructure on land to make sure plastic does not end up in the ocean in the first place. Working in the recycling industry, Kristine shares her experience from eXXpedition North Pacific 2018 to inspire active change within and beyond the industry – advocating for upstream solutions, circular economy and change of mindset to tackle plastic pollution.

Siri Østvold

Siri Østvold

Norway

Designer and Storyteller

SIRI spent a lot of time on sailboats while growing up – she loves being on the ocean and in the surf. As a designer based in Oslo, she is enjoying the long coastline of Norway. Her work involves developing brands, concepts and completing identity processes.

Siri believes in a starting point in research, insight and a curious mind, which might lead to pleasant surprises and sustainable solutions. Driven by personal motivation, she wants to use her expertise and experience within design and storytelling to contribute to a cause that’s close to her heart and affects us all.

Jennifer Russell

Jennifer Russell

United Kingdom

Filmmaker

JENNIFER is a short filmmaker, who has been based in Hong Kong for the past 7 years. She produces short-form content, predominantly for distribution across social media. Jennifer is increasingly teaming up with brands who prioritise sustainability, as well as working for charities & NGOs to tell the stories that matter. As she’s become aware of the sheer volume of plastic in our seas, both in HK and globally.  As a child she was exposed to sailing by her parents and loves being on the water, whether on a boat, stand-up paddleboard or surfboard.

Eleanor Church

Eleanor Church

United Kingdom

Filmmaker and Photographer

A documentary filmmaker, photographer, mother, adventurer, environmentalist and swimmer, ELEANOR been making films for over 15 years, in challenging conditions all over the world. Her work has always focussed on the environment and people, and the impact that they have on one another. Often her work has been linked to the sea – from illegal fishing in West Africa and human rights abuses in the Thai fishing industry, to fish sustainability and pollution. Eleanor’s mission over the years has been to find the most effective and creative way of putting these stories across, to nudge people to see things differently and to bring about change.

Eleanor is currently making a documentary, X Trillion, about the North Pacific expedition.

Emily Duncan

Emily Duncan

United Kingdom

Scientist

EMILY is a PhD researcher at University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory. The research focus is on the Impacts of plastic pollution on marine turtles in research sites in the USA, Cyprus and Australia. Her area of expertise is the scientific background and consequences of plastic pollution on marine organisms and environments and sample collection for investigating plastic pollution in the marine environments, in particular large marine vertebrates (specialising marine turtles). During the eXXpedition North Pacific sail, Emily is planning to consider plastic pollution levels in the context of important development sites for post-hatchling marine turtles; a critical stage in development and recruitment in potentially vulnerable sub-populations.

Michelle Byle

Michelle Byle

United States of America

Designer

MICHELLE is a multidisciplinary designer and art director based in San Francisco, California. She loves to help shape the way people experience the world through design, and believes in the power of visual communication to help educate and expose us to new things. In her career, Michelle has created educational exhibits for museums, and developed branding and corporate identities. She is currently working in marketing and packaging design as a creative lead at People Against Dirty, the parent company of the brands Method and Ecover, which have pioneered using plastic recovered from the ocean in their packaging.

Michelle’s first exposure to the problem of plastic debris in our oceans was as a volunteer at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, where sea lions, elephant seals and dolphins afflicted by entanglements are treated and rereleased into the wild. Her goal is to bring people who aren’t able to join the crew on the boat into the North Pacific, to see the problem first hand through the power of visual storytelling. She aims to use her design skills to raise awareness about what we each can do to reduce the use of plastic in our day-to-day lives, and to use what she learns onboard to influence the packaging industry in a positive way.

Rowan Henthorn

Rowan Henthorn

United Kingdom

Scientist and Communicator

Growing up on the Isle of Man, ROWAN was immersed in the marine environment from an early age. At the age of five, she learnt to dive and snorkel in the waters around the Island. These early experiences created an inherent interest in the seas and led to her study a degree in ocean science and a masters in applied marine science at Plymouth University. Now working as a marine scientist, Rowan is passionate about the health of our marine environment, and is excited to be part of a team of inspiring woman that want to spread the word about plastic pollution to a global audience.

Rowan is a UNESCO Isle of Man Biosphere Ambassador.

Karine Therrien

Karine Therrien

Canada

Teacher and Educator

KARINE is a mother of four, sailor, stand-up paddler and yoga instructor. Passionate about environmental sciences, water protection and having fun in water, she is a strong believer in healthy lifestyles and following our bliss. Having lived along the St-Laurence River and the Great Lakes, Karine is an avid advocate of sustainable agriculture. After her masters degree in agro-environmental engineering deepened her interests around water protection, she advised established farmers on soil management best practices and the future generation by teaching in college.

Education of science (learning and teaching) has always been, for Karine, the best way to bring awareness to people to change their actions. She’s passionate about scientific research, environment protection (mainly water), health, education (teaching and learning) and sailing. Karine is particularly motivated by the post voyage: educating people around the plastic issues in water, the link to our health and the impacts of our actions. She is planning to start by talking directly to children in schools.

Ana Jarc

Ana Jarc

Slovenia

Engineer

ANA is a final year student of Water Management and Environmental Engineering at University of Ljubljana. Coming from Slovenia, she spent all of her summers sailing the Adriatic sea with her family, where her love of ocean and sailing began. Ana is passionate about traveling, because it enables her to experience different cultures, ways of living and take on new adventures. She can’t wait to experience this voyage with these inspiring women from which she says she’s sure that she’ll learn so much.

Sally Earthrowl

Sally Earthrowl

United Kingdom

SALLY is a keen environmentalist, adventurer and ocean advocate. When living in Bali, she saw first-hand the devastating impact and upstream issues around plastic pollution in a developing country. This propelled her to take action, working closely with the local community to educate and raise awareness to bring about change in local waste management systems and behaviours. In 2018, Sally sailed through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on eXXpedition North Pacific gaining first-hand experience of the extent of plastic in our oceans and contributing to ‘science at sea’.
Prior to joining the eXXpedition team, Sally had a 12-year career as a Geography teacher, Head of Department and whole-school Teaching and Learning Coordinator. Sally values the importance and power of education as a key contributor to the sustainable management of global issues. As a teacher, Sally has always been student-focused; nurturing a creative learning environment allowing students to flourish and succeed. Under her charge students have achieved impressive levels of academic progress but most importantly to Sally, they have developed a passion for the planet they call home and a confidence to take action to protect it.
Swapping her classroom for S.V.TravelEdge and the school environment for the planet, Sally is excited about the opportunity to learn and raise awareness amongst crew and in the communities we will visit.

North Pacific 2018

Leg 2

Bimadoshka Pucan

Bimadoshka Pucan

Canada

Anthropologist

Bimadoshka is Saugeen Anishinaabe and is a recent PhD graduate in Anthropology.

She is a mother to three sons, based in Ontario and is very active within her indigenous community. She is particularly concerned about environmental issues impacting Lake Huron and the rapid changes to the water quality in recent years.

By joining eXXpedition North Pacific, Bimadoshka welcomes the opportunity to bond with other like-minded women. As she has never been to British Columbia, she believes that the educational and spiritual experiences on the voyage will be countless.

Bimadoshka is an exxpedition bursary recipient.

Sarah Michler

Sarah Michler

United States of America

Filmmaker and Teacher

SARAH is a film and commercial producer, who is using film and the arts to teach children about the environment. In the past few years, she has traveled all over the world to produce commercials for big brands such as Gatorade, Apple and Google. She aims to create a partnership between brands and filmmakers to help raise awareness on environmental issues and how the brands can make a change. After she finishes her feature film in March 2018, she is partnering with RedBull to create a film in virtual reality that follows the journey of a plastic bag from a child’s school lunch to the stomach of a whale. Sarah believes that film has the power to shock people into action.
In the fall, in order to deepen her knowledge in science, Sarah will be pursuing her graduate degree in Environmental Education. Sarah grew up racing 420s and lasers in Connecticut. She is so excited to get back on the water this summer and is eager to meet and to get to know the incredible women crew.

Meg Tapp

Meg Tapp

United Kingdom

Communicator

MEG is a PR Officer encouraging the public to be more conscious of the food they eat and waste, protecting our planet from harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Her area of expertise is in communications and marketing, using a variety of platforms to communicate messages to a wide customer base. Meg is joining eXXpedition North Pacific to gain first-hand knowledge of the extent of the plastic pollution problem, and take this experience with her into her future work.

Laura Leiva

Laura Leiva

Honduras

Scientist

Honduran Marine Biologist

LAURA is a marine scientist and conservationist. Growing up in Honduras her passion since a young age was the constant exploration of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Throughout the years, Laura witnessed the ongoing deterioration of this beautiful but fragile ecosystem due to irresponsible fishing and plastic pollution, and pledged to be part of the solution by becoming a biologist.

Her area of expertise is marine benthic communities and she’s currently working as a research assistant for marine sponge molecular studies. Laura is interested to explore how nano plastics and micro plastics bioaccumulate, and how toxics biomagnify across the marine food web. Her main goal is to raise awareness of the amount of plastic in the ocean and the threat it poses to marine life and human health. Additionally, she is keen to know how much plastic is floating in the water column and, thus, reaching marine bottom-dwelling organisms. 

Laura Leiva is an eXXpedition bursary recipient.

Nikkey Dawn

Nikkey Dawn

Canada

Storyteller

Nikkey is a freelance creative who lives on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, she can often be found in the kelp forests near her home.

She uses her work as a tool to connect people with the environment and has spent many years working in and with clients in the eco-tourism industry. She sailed as part of the eXXpedition North Pacific 2018 crew and started volunteering as eXXpedition Social Media Manager at the end of 2018.

Beccy Finlayson

Beccy Finlayson

United Kingdom

Filmmaker and TV Researcher

BECCY is an a researcher in television production with a specific interest in environmental conservation. While studying physical geography at university, she gained a greater understanding about the natural world and threats to it. She felt compelled to work towards spreading the environmental message and currently works in factual broadcasting, which involves finding incredible stories and people.

Beccy has always been at home near or on the sea and has crewed aboard various boats, including a square-rigged tall ship from Ireland to Holland. She is taking part in eXXpedition North Pacific because she wants to find out more about how plastic is impacting upon the health of our oceans and ourselves, and aims to broadcast this message through various means – from writing to social media or a short film. On a personal level, she wants to keep up her sailing experience.

Victoria Fritz

Victoria Fritz

United Kingdom

Broadcaster and Journalist

Working Mum & Environmental Champion

VICTORIA is a BBC News journalist and television presenter with a personal interest in environmental affairs. She is a member of Global Women In News (GWIN) and a mentor to school children interested in journalism through the BBC’s School Report program. Victoria is looking forward to getting to know her fellow crew members better and learning about the journeys that have led them to Sea Dragon.

Imogen Napper

Imogen Napper

United Kingdom

Marine Scientist

IMOGEN is a PhD student at Plymouth University researching ‘The Sources and Fate of Plastic in the Marine Environment’. Her research has influenced the ban of microbeads in cosmetics internationally and was also the first to estimate plastic contamination into the marine environment from washing clothes.

Imogen has been mostly lab-based during her PhD, so she is intrigued and eager to see the impact plastic can have both at sea and to coastline communities. She is passionate about science communication and is looking forward to using this North Pacific expedition as a platform to encourage positive change.

Ellise Chappell

Ellise Chappell

United Kingdom

Actress

Ellise is an actress, most known for her leading role as Morwenna in BBC1’s Poldark. She has enjoyed filming by the sea in Cornwall for the past two years. During that time, she has become more and more aware of the issues surrounding plastic pollution, and it has now become a deep-rooted passion of hers. Keen to take a step further in her involvement and eager to become more proactive, Ellise is thrilled to be joining Leg 2 of the eXXpedition North Pacific voyage. She can’t wait to challenge herself, gain new skills, become better informed of the problem, and learn from a group of inspiring, like-minded women from different backgrounds.

Soraya Abdel-Hadi

Soraya Abdel-Hadi

United Kingdom

Sustainability Professional and eXXpedition Operations Manager

SORAYA is a sustainability professional and advocate for women’s rights, who is passionate about creating a holistic approach to improving our planet. After graduating with a law degree, she worked as an equestrian journalist and then as a marketing manager, before returning to university to achieve her One Planet MBA. This business course with a focus on sustainability cemented her desire to integrate sustainable processes into organisations and demonstrate her values through her own actions. But Soraya believes that there is more to sustainability than the environment, it also encompasses culture and diversity, which is why she focused on women in leadership for her final project.

She joined the eXXpedition team in 2016 and was part of the land-based crew for eXXpedition Round Britain 2017. She sailed on leg two of eXXpedition North Pacific in 2018.

Learn more about Soraya's journey here:

Read more

Round Britain 2017

Leg 1

Gail Tudor

Gail Tudor

United Kingdom

Filmmaker and Activist

Filmmaker and founder of Plastic Free Aberporth. Owner of single use plastic-free holiday cottage in Wales.

GAIL runs her own wedding videography business which includes marketing, filming and editing but also has a background in marine science, with a degree in Chemistry with Oceanography from the University of Southampton. Gail has an ongoing interest in the marine environment and volunteers at the Teifi Marsh Welsh Wildlife Centre in Cardigan, Wales and has also provided support to vessel-based surveys of resident dolphin populations in Cardigan Bay where she lives. The marine wildlife of Cardigan Bay is under threat from pollution and disturbance in the conservation area and she is looking to understand more about could and should be done to protect our shores.

Gail has experience in racing dinghies in Indonesia and catamarans in UK inshore waters. Gail is now looking forward to expanding into yacht sailing and gaining some new experience. For Gail, eXXpedition provides an exciting opportunity to combine her passions for the outdoors and sailing while contributing to marine and environmental conservation. Gail is interested in helping people to help themselves improve their health and environment. She hopes to use her skills in filming, editing and in communications and outreach to spread the message about the importance of the marine environment and continue this outreach upon her return.

Deborah Maw

Deborah Maw

United Kingdom

EcoSciArtist

Deborah is an activist, adventurer, artist, dancer, designer, environmentalist, explorer, vegan wild-camping walker who loves to play.

She worked as a Biochemist in UK for a number of years before taking time out to travel the world. When she returned to the UK, Deborah moved to a small community in North Wales where she raised her children. Following this, Deborah went back to college where she studied for a Foundation Degree in Art and Design, specialising in sculpture and mixed media using waste plastic, particularly marine plastic debris. She has used this to teach environmental awareness through art, particularly in youth settings.

For the past 12 years, Deborah has been walking and camping the British coastal trails solo and photographing art from marine plastics. Deborah’s ambition is to travel around the whole British Isles, and eXXpedition will allow her to do this from the seas. Deborah hopes to learn more about the effects of marine pollution on human health, using surveys, assessing results and their implications, to incorporate into her work as a health therapist and incorporate marine pollution research into her work as an environmental artist and teacher. Deborah is passionate about learning to sail and will kick-start her education with a RYA Competent Crew sailing course in May to prepare for the exciting task of all three Round Britain 2017 legs!

Vanessa Stephenson

Vanessa Stephenson

United Kingdom

Ex Fish and Seafood Retail Buyer

VANESSA is the a former fish and seafood buyer at British retailer Waitrose and has a strong commercial background in retail, having been in the industry for 30 years. Vanessa lives in Berkshire and is the mother of two sons, the eldest of which graduated in 2016 with a degree in Conservation Biology and Ecology from Exeter University, and the youngest currently studying for a degree in Politics and International Relations at Birmingham University.

Vanessa is looking forward to reaching out of her own comfort zone and challenge herself physically and mentally and working with a diverse group of like-minded women. Her job is highly sustainability focussed and she hopes that she can raise awareness of the damage we are doing to our oceans and wildlife and encourage more people to take action to influence change. Vanessa has some sailing experience, having been a member of sailing club for a short time, and is excited to expand on this during her time on board.

Tanya Ferry

Tanya Ferry

United Kingdom

Storyteller

Tanya is an aquatic scientist, turned story teller, championing the estuaries which have been lost to policy, regulation and peoples hearts and minds.

She has worked in estuaries and around the coast for 10 years. In addition to working on the coast, Tanya also lives on the coast and her main hobbies, diving, surfing and sailing, are based on water. Tanya spends a large proportion of her time on boats and is a powerboat and rib skipper and also volunteers for her local RNLI Lifeboat Station.

Tanya has become increasingly concerned about the amount of terrestrial litter that ends up in the marine environment. She does whatever she can to influence and improve people’s understanding of the impact pollution can have in the local area but she is now interested in looker at the wider context and issues and studying the interaction between marine litter and marine life.  Tanya is confident that her time on board will be an invaluable experience that, in collecting information during the trip, could help shape the way we lead the way in the UK.  In particular Tanya is keen to understand the UK context that the Thames sits within, working for the Port of London Authority and running the Cleaner Thames Campaign with partner organisation, this expedition will provide valuable insight into the challenges the Estuary faces and how the conversation to bring solutions can be formed.

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Megan Ross

Megan Ross

United Kingdom

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Scientist

MEGAN is currently studying for a BSc in Marine Biology at the University of Plymouth, which is one of eXXpedition Round Britain’s partners. Her main interests lie in algae and conservation, including investigating the effects of microplastics on the marine environment. Megan has previously worked as a beach ranger for the Polzeath Marine Conservation Group in Cornwall, where she gained experience in educating the public on local marine conservation issues and also in leading beach cleans, rock pooling and boat surveys, among other activities. It was during her time as a beach ranger where she first heard of eXXpedition and she could not wait to get involved!

Megan is looking forward to using this opportunity to provide the wider public with an understanding of microplastics and the way that they are affecting the marine environment. Megan is also hoping to collect a data to investigate the relationship between microplastics and potential effects on plankton communities around the UK.

Mani White

Mani White

United States of America

MANI has been fascinated by the oceans since she was a child and used her first allowance to buy an encyclopedia of fish. Following university, Mani took a break from work and sailed around the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic to earn the hours and experience needed to achieve her Yacht Master and boost her scuba diving skills. For her employed life, Mani has been based in the San Francisco Bay Area, working for a number of major tech companies – first building websites, and then moving into project/program management for both websites and software.

After volunteering aboard Sea Dragon for the Ocean Cleanup in 2013 , Mani has been keen to join an expedition. Mani is excited to meet the rest of the incredible women who will be on this journey with her as well as the ideas they will share and the possibility of brilliant new solutions that can hatch in an environment of diverse expertise. Mani hopes to contribute in any way she can to a safe, rewarding and enlightening journey on board, and in possible post-expedition collaborations onshore.

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Sarah Tanburn

Sarah Tanburn

United Kingdom

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Writer and Sailor

SARAH started sailing as a child in dinghies and got into bigger boats in her 30’s.  She has owned two yachts, living aboard and skippering her 12-metre ketch Roaring Girl for nearly 10 years.  Sarah sailed her from eastern England to the Mediterranean and through Morocco, Spain and Italy to Malta and back.  In 2016 she sailed on Bark Europa for two months from Punta Arenas to Cape Town via Antarctica and is experienced in sail handling, watch keeping, navigation and weather.

Sarah is a writer and sailor, and works in environmental and public services. She writes a lot, both policy and fiction, about climate, pollution and the ocean.  Sarah hopes to bring experience in presenting complex issues in ways that stimulate people’s passions and imagination and will create a blog telling the crew’s stories and a follow-on from the Europa story at www.sailingtoantarctica.com. Sarah is looking forward to visiting and revisiting the British coast, and meeting amazing women along the way – “I am delighted to have the opportunity to be part of a mission which both collects data and highlights some of the challenges to our oceans and shores”.  Sarah will be joining all three legs of our Round Britain voyage.

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Lynne Braham

Lynne Braham

United Kingdom

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LYNNE’S career so far has been in Higher Education administration, mostly in assuring academic quality and standards, and in her current role she works to develop academic partnerships. Lynne has expertise in writing formal documents, such as reports, regulations and codes of practice, and less formal communications such as newsletters, guidance and training material. Lynne also has experience of delivering staff development to a range of audiences, including senior managers, staff, students and partners.

Lynne is joining Round Britain 2017 for the adventure! But she also wants it to be a meaningful adventure, not just a journey to the centre of herself. Lynne wants to provide something that connects various local initiatives, such as University research projects and activity at the Deep, telling a story that can be used to inform and inspire others to change their attitudes to the use of plastics.

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Kim Ferran Holt

Kim Ferran Holt

United States of America

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KIM has a background in Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Management with extensive graduate education and field experience in marine ecology and environmental education. She has taught marine biology and ecology to high school and university students for many years. Kim is currently working for the Thames Estuary Partnership (TEP) as their Marine Litter Coordinator.  TEP is part of the Coastal Partnerships Network (CPN) and the Marine CoLABoration working to help people reconnect to and value the ocean. Kim’s role involves liaising with a wide range of academic, regulatory and charitable organisations in the monitoring of plastic litter in the Thames. One of her key priorities is delivery of TEP’s role in the Marine CoLABoration’s #OneLess campaign’ to stop the flow of plastics pollution to the ocean by making London less reliant on single-use plastic water bottles and spreading the refill revolution in London.

Kim is passionate about motivating the next generation of women to become scientists and in order to encourage this is coordinating an education and outreach project for her time on eXXpedition. This includes live streaming and video blogs so that student groups can experience a virtual scientific cruise. Student groups following the cruise online will also be able to join the ship in port to participate in beach cleans and experience science first hand in the field.

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Hannah Thomas-Peter

Hannah Thomas-Peter

United States of America

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Journalist

HANNAH is the New York Correspondent for Sky News and is an accomplished award-winning journalist and experienced visual story teller who loves the ocean. Hannah’s parents live on an island off Vancouver and so she has the use of a small dinghy when staying with them and has spent time sailing with friends on yachting holidays around Croatia and Greece.

Hannah spent the vast majority of the last year covering Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency, but as part of her work across America she has also focused on a series of big environmental stories, including the crisis at Standing Rock, the effect of rising sea levels on native Americans in bayous of Louisiana, the fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the impact of the Alberta oil sands, and the emergence of the fracking boom in North Dakota.

Hannah will be filming the Round Britain eXXpedition on Legs 1 and 3 in order to create a documentary that explores the UK’s glorious, fragile coastline and the threats to the seas that surround it. While she is on board filming the crew and focusing on the scientific mission being undertaken, her team will embark on a simultaneous land based journey around the British coastline, examining the broader issues that are threatening Britain’s seas and the communities that live near them, from plastic and sewage pollution to flooding and storms. The resulting documentary will form part of Sky Ocean Rescue, a major campaign to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean and raise awareness of the myriad threats to ocean health.

You can watch the first documentary in the campaign, A Plastic Tide here.

Round Britain 2018

Leg 2

Carol Devine

Carol Devine

Canada

Writer

CAROL a humanitarian, researcher and writer, who believes we can change the world for the better. Carol works on global health and earth health and her main work is for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) working on migration and climate and health issues. Carol has also done marine debris collection in the Arctic and Antarctic, creating a Sciart project and exhibit “Aquamess”, which was inspired by these two expeditions. Carol led the first civilian clean up expedition to the Antarctic in 1995-6 with The Russian Antarctic Expedition and joined the early civilian clean up expedition, Clean Up Svalbard, in 2015.

Carol is keen to be part of the marine debris survey around Great Britian, the Scottish leg in particular. She loves that eXXpedition links exploring marine debris and women’s health, and contributes to scientific understanding of anthropogenic ocean pollution. Carol wants to stretch herself to learn more about sailing and is looking forward to engaging with communities and getting involved with sciart along the way.

Jessica van Horssen

Jessica van Horssen

Canada

Historian

JESSICA is a Senior Lecturer in North American History at Leeds Beckett University where she specialises in the history of environmental contamination and health. In her academic career, Jessica has published a number of pieces on the history of the Canadian asbestos industry and has a keen interest on the linkages between the environment and human health. Jess uses the past to inform present environmental issues.

Jessica has experience on the water, from speedboats to canoes and kayaks and is now excited about extending this into yacht sailing. Jessica is excited to be part of the all-female crew on board RV Sea Dragon and is looking forward to integrating her academic expertise into the eXXpedition project on plastics, contamination and endocrine disruptors and to use this experience and the data collected in her own research.

Deborah Maw

Deborah Maw

United Kingdom

EcoSciArtist

Deborah is an activist, adventurer, artist, dancer, designer, environmentalist, explorer, vegan wild-camping walker who loves to play.

She worked as a Biochemist in UK for a number of years before taking time out to travel the world. When she returned to the UK, Deborah moved to a small community in North Wales where she raised her children. Following this, Deborah went back to college where she studied for a Foundation Degree in Art and Design, specialising in sculpture and mixed media using waste plastic, particularly marine plastic debris. She has used this to teach environmental awareness through art, particularly in youth settings.

For the past 12 years, Deborah has been walking and camping the British coastal trails solo and photographing art from marine plastics. Deborah’s ambition is to travel around the whole British Isles, and eXXpedition will allow her to do this from the seas. Deborah hopes to learn more about the effects of marine pollution on human health, using surveys, assessing results and their implications, to incorporate into her work as a health therapist and incorporate marine pollution research into her work as an environmental artist and teacher. Deborah is passionate about learning to sail and will kick-start her education with a RYA Competent Crew sailing course in May to prepare for the exciting task of all three Round Britain 2017 legs!

Lucy Gilliam

Lucy Gilliam

United Kingdom

Scientist, eXXpedition Co-Founder

LUCY is a professional changemaker with a Degree in Biology and Phd in Molecular Microbiology. Her career has spanned academia, government, grassroots activism and supranational policy making. Lucy has a life-long passion for tackling climate change and toxic pollution. Currently, she works for Brussels based NGO, Transport & Environment, tackling climate impacts and pollution from shipping and aviation. She has sailed on three eXXpedition voyages and continues to support the project as a technical advisor and ambassador for the cause.

Lucy was Mission Leader for eXXpedition Caribbean 2017.

Sue Weaver

Sue Weaver

United Kingdom

Sailor, activist, ecotherapist, gardener, grandmother! Without doubt Sue’s therapy skills, cooking skills and long held perspective on environmental and community experience will enrich our mission.

Sue is a coastal skipper, used to sailing offshore in scottish waters but never yet beyond St Kilda. This voyage brings together much that she holds dear – women, the ocean, health and the need for deep change and she still feels amazed to have the privilege of taking part. Sue recently left her therapy practice and moved to beautiful scottish Isle of Arran to walk and sail, plant trees, pick up plastic off the beaches and get involved in community activity, particularly around zero waste and local marine environment. After a half a lifetime working as psychotherapist in universities and the NHS, she is ready to refocus and concentrate on the needs of the wider earth and sea community. Ecopsychology supports awareness of the ways in which we relate to the non-human world around us and of the deep physical, emotional, spiritual connections between all beings.

Sue believes passionately in the need to make the connections between the ways we live, environmental pollution and levels of sickness, and values highly the chance to contribute to scientific research in this field. As an ex Greenham woman, Sue trusts the power of women working together creatively to change deeply entrenched systems. Raising awareness and tackling the issues of the huge volumes of plastic waste in our oceans is a great undertaking – immensely important for the deep ocean and its creatures, as well as for humanity.

Sue was Mission Leader for eXXpedition Round Britain Leg 1.

Tegan Mortimer

Tegan Mortimer

United States of America

Marine Biologist and Science Educator

TEGAN is a marine biologist and science educator. When she can’t be found in the classroom she spends her time studying humpback whales (and ocean trash) in New England and teaching people about these amazing animals and their habitat. Tegan was previously a crew member on board eXXpedition Ascension in 2015 and since then has continued her coastal at-sea marine debris research with a strong emphasis on education and outreach work.

Tegan grew up sailing and although she now spends much of her time on board commercial whale watching vessels, she still finds time to sail. Apart from her Atlantic crossing on RV Sea Dragon in November 2015, she also sailed and beach cleaned along the coast of Maine on board RV American Promise last summer. Tegan has said that her time on Sea Dragon was life changing. She would like nothing more than to get back on board and do what she loves – engaging people about the issues that face our oceans – and in a place that is extremely special to her. She would also like to use her time on board to pilot her data collection on marine debris in the biological important waters of western and northern Scotland

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Sarah Tanburn

Sarah Tanburn

United Kingdom

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Writer and Sailor

SARAH started sailing as a child in dinghies and got into bigger boats in her 30’s.  She has owned two yachts, living aboard and skippering her 12-metre ketch Roaring Girl for nearly 10 years.  Sarah sailed her from eastern England to the Mediterranean and through Morocco, Spain and Italy to Malta and back.  In 2016 she sailed on Bark Europa for two months from Punta Arenas to Cape Town via Antarctica and is experienced in sail handling, watch keeping, navigation and weather.

Sarah is a writer and sailor, and works in environmental and public services. She writes a lot, both policy and fiction, about climate, pollution and the ocean.  Sarah hopes to bring experience in presenting complex issues in ways that stimulate people’s passions and imagination and will create a blog telling the crew’s stories and a follow-on from the Europa story at www.sailingtoantarctica.com. Sarah is looking forward to visiting and revisiting the British coast, and meeting amazing women along the way – “I am delighted to have the opportunity to be part of a mission which both collects data and highlights some of the challenges to our oceans and shores”.  Sarah will be joining all three legs of our Round Britain voyage.

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Katie Turnbull

Katie Turnbull

Australia

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KATIE is an Australian born artist working across various media including video, installation and interactivity and app development. Katie is interested in the experience of time, the intangible and the natural environment and playing with contradictions within the act of seeing and looking. Katie explores this idea through the history of the moving image, psychology, computing, climate change and cosmology. She has a particular interest in the intersection of science art and is hoping to integrate her work and her experience with eXXpedition.

Katie lived on a riverboat that ran trips for tourists between the English cities of Bath and Bristol and therefore has experience on the water and general water safety training. She is now looking forward to expanding into the world of coastal sailing on board RV Sea Dragon with eXXpedition.

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Bryony Meakins

Bryony Meakins

United Kingdom

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Marine Conservationist

BRYONY is a keen and experienced sailor, having been brought up on and around boats, racing dinghies and spending summers on board her family’s sailing yacht.  Bryony has crewed on Volvo 60 racing boats and has also sailed across the Atlantic. Her time and experience on the water has instilled an appreciation of the sea that has influenced her career today. After gaining a Masters in Marine Biology and Ecology, Bryony now works in marine conservation for the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, based in Peterborough.

Bryony’s goals for eXXpedition are to learn more about marine plastics and how they are impacting both the marine environment and in turn, our health. Bryony will be documenting her experiences during Round Britain to help spread awareness of the issue on her blog All Things Briney.

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Melina Hoffman

Melina Hoffman

Germany

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Biochemist

MELINA is a biochemist and water addict. She is currently studying for a PhD which involves the development of alternative treatments to replace chemotherapy for breast cancer patients. Her home is Germany where she learned to sail on the largest lake in Europe and absolutely loved it and is an overall  water sports enthusiast.

Throughout her studies she was engaged in a green society spreading awareness to protect our environment. Melina is excited to join the eXXpedition Round Britain team as it will bring together two of her passions: science and sailing. She is looking forward to spreading the word about ocean pollution and how to change it, spending time with an all-female crew and gaining experience sailing in the North Sea.

Round Britain 2018

Leg 3

Melissa Mayhew

Melissa Mayhew

Canada

Scientist

Conserving biodiversity is Melissa’s passion. She is an advocate for science literacy who works with youth, Indigenous peoples, and community members to share perspectives on ways that people can affect the natural world.

MELISSA is based in Toronto, Canada where she currently works as an environmental scientist at Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). Prior to joining the NWMO, she worked as project manager at a global environmental and engineering firm, and as a researcher studying human interactions with terrestrial and marine ecosystems. She has a keen working interest in the environment and has undertaken environmental research in a number of countries. An essential part of her work involves engaging in community learning. She works with youth, indigenous people, and community members to build their understanding of landscape ecology and environmental impact assessment.

Being on, in, or near the water is Melissa’s favourite place.  She is a qualified rescue SCUBA diver, and enjoys sailing on beautiful Lake Ontario on her 9 m cruiser.  Melissa has successfully completed Sail Canada’s Basic Cruising Standard for keelboats, and participates in weekly club racing as crew on a Beneteau 36.7. Although an experienced sailor, Melissa is looking forward to developing her sailing skills, and learning to more confidently handle moderate wind and sea conditions. Melissa is also an advocate for science literacy. She is certain this expedition will provide exciting stories to share with her friends’ daughters, inspiring them to a life of adventure and active participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Liane Fredericks

Liane Fredericks

United Kingdom

Participatory Process Facilitator

LIANE fell in love with sailing in 2004 as a deckhand in the Mediterranean. But she didn’t connect with ocean adventure again until the end of 2015 in The Canaries where she joined the creative and musical crew of a little plywood boat. Together they sailed Moondancer on to The Gambia via the Cape Verde islands. The voyage was a powerful reminder that you can make any dream a reality if you have the longing, and the community. However it was crushing to see plastic washing up on every beach that they anchored in. So Liane intends to use eXXpedition Round Britain to connect our personal stories about plastic with the full lifetime journeys of plastics and encourage positive action.

After gaining an MSc in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, she worked as a Sustainability Officer at The London School of Economics. Besides working as a Project Manager, she has experience in hosting events that use participatory processes and improvisation practices to collectively respond to complex challenges. Though not a scientist her passion for science has led her to: write blogs for Science Art in America, speak at London LASER (Leonardo Art and Science Evening Rendezvous); and facilitate a session at Subtle Technologies: Participatory Practices in Art & Science. Completing her RYA Day Skipper last year with Girls for Sail, Liane is also excited to be part of a growing community promoting environmental action and women in sailing and STEM.

You can follow Liane now and during her time on board here.

Deborah Maw

Deborah Maw

United Kingdom

EcoSciArtist

Deborah is an activist, adventurer, artist, dancer, designer, environmentalist, explorer, vegan wild-camping walker who loves to play.

She worked as a Biochemist in UK for a number of years before taking time out to travel the world. When she returned to the UK, Deborah moved to a small community in North Wales where she raised her children. Following this, Deborah went back to college where she studied for a Foundation Degree in Art and Design, specialising in sculpture and mixed media using waste plastic, particularly marine plastic debris. She has used this to teach environmental awareness through art, particularly in youth settings.

For the past 12 years, Deborah has been walking and camping the British coastal trails solo and photographing art from marine plastics. Deborah’s ambition is to travel around the whole British Isles, and eXXpedition will allow her to do this from the seas. Deborah hopes to learn more about the effects of marine pollution on human health, using surveys, assessing results and their implications, to incorporate into her work as a health therapist and incorporate marine pollution research into her work as an environmental artist and teacher. Deborah is passionate about learning to sail and will kick-start her education with a RYA Competent Crew sailing course in May to prepare for the exciting task of all three Round Britain 2017 legs!

Deborah Siner

Deborah Siner

United Kingdom

Procurement Specialist

Adventurer and Procurement specialist working with manufacturing companies on change management and sustainability within the supply chain.

DEBORAH is a procurement professional working within the manufacturing industry specialising in procurement strategy. Over the past 10 years Deborah has fundraised for Ordinary2extraordinary, travelling all over the world to participate in challenges to raise funds, while taking herself out of her comfort zone and she has a passion for adventure.

Deborah is also passionate about our planet and having seen the impact of plastic in our oceans first hand while trekking along the pristine beaches in the Taman National Ujung Kulon Park in Java, she noticed how much plastic had washed up onto the beaches. She now wants to play a part in raising awareness of this issue and use the experience to discuss the expedition findings and assist companies in making a reduction in the use of plastic and other chemicals. Deborah has some experience on the water with small motor boats and as a passenger on small yachts and is looking forward to gaining a new skill.

Tanya Ferry

Tanya Ferry

United Kingdom

Storyteller

Tanya is an aquatic scientist, turned story teller, championing the estuaries which have been lost to policy, regulation and peoples hearts and minds.

She has worked in estuaries and around the coast for 10 years. In addition to working on the coast, Tanya also lives on the coast and her main hobbies, diving, surfing and sailing, are based on water. Tanya spends a large proportion of her time on boats and is a powerboat and rib skipper and also volunteers for her local RNLI Lifeboat Station.

Tanya has become increasingly concerned about the amount of terrestrial litter that ends up in the marine environment. She does whatever she can to influence and improve people’s understanding of the impact pollution can have in the local area but she is now interested in looker at the wider context and issues and studying the interaction between marine litter and marine life.  Tanya is confident that her time on board will be an invaluable experience that, in collecting information during the trip, could help shape the way we lead the way in the UK.  In particular Tanya is keen to understand the UK context that the Thames sits within, working for the Port of London Authority and running the Cleaner Thames Campaign with partner organisation, this expedition will provide valuable insight into the challenges the Estuary faces and how the conversation to bring solutions can be formed.

Sue Weaver

Sue Weaver

United Kingdom

Sailor, activist, ecotherapist, gardener, grandmother! Without doubt Sue’s therapy skills, cooking skills and long held perspective on environmental and community experience will enrich our mission.

Sue is a coastal skipper, used to sailing offshore in scottish waters but never yet beyond St Kilda. This voyage brings together much that she holds dear – women, the ocean, health and the need for deep change and she still feels amazed to have the privilege of taking part. Sue recently left her therapy practice and moved to beautiful scottish Isle of Arran to walk and sail, plant trees, pick up plastic off the beaches and get involved in community activity, particularly around zero waste and local marine environment. After a half a lifetime working as psychotherapist in universities and the NHS, she is ready to refocus and concentrate on the needs of the wider earth and sea community. Ecopsychology supports awareness of the ways in which we relate to the non-human world around us and of the deep physical, emotional, spiritual connections between all beings.

Sue believes passionately in the need to make the connections between the ways we live, environmental pollution and levels of sickness, and values highly the chance to contribute to scientific research in this field. As an ex Greenham woman, Sue trusts the power of women working together creatively to change deeply entrenched systems. Raising awareness and tackling the issues of the huge volumes of plastic waste in our oceans is a great undertaking – immensely important for the deep ocean and its creatures, as well as for humanity.

Sue was Mission Leader for eXXpedition Round Britain Leg 1.

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Sarah Tanburn

Sarah Tanburn

United Kingdom

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Writer and Sailor

SARAH started sailing as a child in dinghies and got into bigger boats in her 30’s.  She has owned two yachts, living aboard and skippering her 12-metre ketch Roaring Girl for nearly 10 years.  Sarah sailed her from eastern England to the Mediterranean and through Morocco, Spain and Italy to Malta and back.  In 2016 she sailed on Bark Europa for two months from Punta Arenas to Cape Town via Antarctica and is experienced in sail handling, watch keeping, navigation and weather.

Sarah is a writer and sailor, and works in environmental and public services. She writes a lot, both policy and fiction, about climate, pollution and the ocean.  Sarah hopes to bring experience in presenting complex issues in ways that stimulate people’s passions and imagination and will create a blog telling the crew’s stories and a follow-on from the Europa story at www.sailingtoantarctica.com. Sarah is looking forward to visiting and revisiting the British coast, and meeting amazing women along the way – “I am delighted to have the opportunity to be part of a mission which both collects data and highlights some of the challenges to our oceans and shores”.  Sarah will be joining all three legs of our Round Britain voyage.

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Hannah Thomas-Peter

Hannah Thomas-Peter

United States of America

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Journalist

HANNAH is the New York Correspondent for Sky News and is an accomplished award-winning journalist and experienced visual story teller who loves the ocean. Hannah’s parents live on an island off Vancouver and so she has the use of a small dinghy when staying with them and has spent time sailing with friends on yachting holidays around Croatia and Greece.

Hannah spent the vast majority of the last year covering Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency, but as part of her work across America she has also focused on a series of big environmental stories, including the crisis at Standing Rock, the effect of rising sea levels on native Americans in bayous of Louisiana, the fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the impact of the Alberta oil sands, and the emergence of the fracking boom in North Dakota.

Hannah will be filming the Round Britain eXXpedition on Legs 1 and 3 in order to create a documentary that explores the UK’s glorious, fragile coastline and the threats to the seas that surround it. While she is on board filming the crew and focusing on the scientific mission being undertaken, her team will embark on a simultaneous land based journey around the British coastline, examining the broader issues that are threatening Britain’s seas and the communities that live near them, from plastic and sewage pollution to flooding and storms. The resulting documentary will form part of Sky Ocean Rescue, a major campaign to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean and raise awareness of the myriad threats to ocean health.

You can watch the first documentary in the campaign, A Plastic Tide here.

Samantha Sutton

Samantha Sutton

United Kingdom

SAMANTHA joins Leg 3 on behalf of Selfridges and their Project Ocean campaign with ZSL. She is a senior finance analyst within their Finance team in London and is currently working on the Finance Transformation Project to implement a new finance system. Alongside this, she is also a Values Ambassador and plays an active role in supporting the Green Warriors and helping to drive sustainability within the business.

She has a growing concern about plastics and the damage it has on our oceans, particularly as her favourite pastime is to be next to the sea but has noticed the increasing amount of rubbish ending up on the shores. Her reasons for joining this Round Britain 2017 are to learn more about these issues, to have her first sailing experience and make a lot of memories with some inspiring ladies.

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Nicole Gordon

Caribbean 2017

Grenada to St Lucia

Oksana Lane

Oksana Lane

United States of America

Scientist

Wildlife biologist, focusing on contaminants.

OKSANA is a wetlands program director in Portland, Maine, USA-based non-profit organization called Biodiversity Research Institute (www.briloon.org).

Oksana has a Masters degree from the University of Minnesota in Environmental Biology and over the past 20 year has been involved in multiple projects focusing on mercury exposure and assessment in biota and people. Her research interests include wildlife toxicology, conservation on a global scale, coastal avian communities and plastics pollution.

Oksana’s concern for the marine environment has grown over the years since firsthand observing and collecting the astoundingly large amounts of trash and micro plastics during 2012-2014 mercury sampling campaigns in the Mediterranean Sea and while working on a “Limpia Guerrero” project in Mexico.

Oksana hopes to join eXXpedition 2017 to help collect data, spread awareness, share the science and work to reduce pollution and contaminants in our wetlands and in marine environments. Oksana grew up in Minsk, Belarus and now lives in Maine with her son.

Elaina Breen

Elaina Breen

United States of America

ELAINA  is a OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner whose clinical focus included reproductive health and the social determinates of health. Her career has spanned private practice in Alaska, academic research with the University of California-Irvine in preventing preterm births and the clinical management of birth defects. She currently conduct U.S. Federally-mandated non-financial data audits and analysis of how health insurance companies provide health care services for their enrolled members.

Elaina is an avid sailor and life-long outdoors woman, and is concerned about the impact of chemical toxins on food supplies. Her goal through the eXXpedition experience is to gain a greater understanding of the potential solutions to toxic exposure and of the challenges to their implementation.

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Rhiannon Moore

Rhiannon Moore

Canada

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Coastal Outreach Specialist

RHIANNON is a Coastal Outreach Specialist for the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation in Ontario, Canada.  There, she is responsible for education and outreach and teaches visitors about coastal conservation.  She has coordinated a number of projects on marine debris, shoreline clean-ups and plastic pollution.

Rhiannon is a keen adventurer and has led a number of extended wilderness canoe trips, and is also a keen artist in her spare time and uses this passion to raise environmental awareness. She hopes to learn new sailing skills through eXXpedition and expand her knowledge around microplastics and toxins in the marine environment and use this experience to inform others and hopefully protect our coastal and marine environment for future generations. She also hopes to squeeze in a painting or two whilst on board RV Sea Dragon!

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Sophia Noel

Sophia Noel

United Kingdom

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Biologist

SOPHIA is a Species at Risk Biologist in New Brunswick, Canada where she produces status reports and assessments for endangered species and undertakes habitat mapping to facilitate their protection.  Sophia has a strong background in aquatic biology, animal physiology, microbiology and environmental management and has also field experience in Coastal Marine Ecology.

Sophia is comfortable on the water but is also looking forward to learning how to sail with eXXpedition.  She is also looking forward to applying her experience during Caribbean 2017 and learn new skills in environmental monitoring that she can apply to real-world issues and give back to the community of Grenada, where she grew up for 16 years.

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Agathe Bernard

Agathe Bernard

Canada

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Photographer and Filmmaker

AGATHE is a photographer and film maker specialising in female adventures in mountainous environments and ocean conservation. She has had her work published by several outlets including National Geographic, Canadian Mining Journal and Canadian newspapers. Agathe grew up in the mountains north of Quebec City as well as in Switzerland, seeking adventure as often as possible and always with a camera in hand. In the winter she works as a back country guide (tailguide) and professional photographer / filmmaker in the snowy British Columbia Mountains. She is also Director of Communications for the North Columbia Environmental Society, a NGO located in the hearth of the Columbia Mountains who aims at promoting community resilience, conservation and educating local populations.

Her purpose is to share her experience and knowledge as an earth scientist in an effort to inspire people to be responsible, innovative and proactive in their decision-making while empowering people to live the life they have always dreamed of. She also has an interest in the effects of toxins on human health, having worked as an Environmental Specialist correlating blood lead levels in children and environmental exposure. To join a team of women in support of a project, adventure and dream such as this is not only empowering for her, it sends a positive message to future female athletes, photographers, scientists and environmentalists that she thinks is much needed and incredibly valuable.

You can find out more and see some of Agathe’s work here.

Stephanie Hellings

Stephanie Hellings

United Kingdom

STEPHANIE is an IT professional and currently works at the London School of Economics (LSE) in the UK. Her role involves managing technical change, risk and developing disaster recovery plans. Here, she also chairs the department Green Impact team, which last year won a Gold award for a project they ran to raise awareness of the unsustainability of fast fashion. This year their focus was on raising awareness of technology waste. They ran an event that taught people how to repair their own devices, encouraging people to fix broken devices rather than replace them. They also provided information on the options for proper disposal at the end of their life.

Since taking over the Green Impact team a couple of years ago, she has become eager to become more involved in sustainability projects that make a difference. She sees eXXpedition as a great opportunity to get started. Stephanie is looking forward to working with a diverse group of women and to meeting organisations and individuals along the journey. She is also looking forward to learning from the crew so that she can continue the mission after returning by sharing their message. She hopes to partner with the LSE geography department and discuss environmental policy and outreach initiatives upon her return

Caribbean 2016

Leg 1

Sigrid Skjerdal

Sigrid Skjerdal

Norway

Manager for music festival Vinjerock and Journalist

Trying to make the festival business cleaner and greener! Compost is her new favourite word.

A fresh-out-of-school journalist, working with climate and weather until eXXpedition Carribean departs from Trinidad. I grew up in a mountain farm in Norway, and have spent a whole lot more time in the mountains than in the ocean.

Finding litter and waste in the nature pisses me off. The past year I have learned that there is a whole lot more of this under water, where we cant see it. Attending eXXpedition I want to learn more about how the way we live our lives impacts not only the climate on the globe above surface, but also under it. And most importantly – I want to help telling the stories of how our plastic pollution affects life in the oceans.

I will be documenting the journey and the results of the research through blogging, articles, photos and video. After the journey I will use the information and stories we collect through the eXXpedition to, hopefully, open an eye or two to what is going on.

I hope to understand how people on the other side of the globe are experiencing plastic pollution in their day to day life. Our lives may seem different, but we all have the oceans in common, right?

I am excited to work with experienced scientists, artists, filmakers and other inspiring women from all over the world, and learn how we together can find solutions on the problem of marine pollution.

Hopefully I can use my profession help open other peoples’ eyes and minds. I have a degree in journalism, and a passion for outdoor life. That will not help me do the scientific research, but I can do my best to convey the information we collect!

Megan Evans

Megan Evans

United Kingdom

Educator

I am a Learning Manager at Earthwatch Europe, I work to connect educators with scientific research, empowering and inspiring the next generation to take action for the planet.

MEGAN was born and raised in Wales, UK and was on the water from a young age. The marine and coastal environment has played a huge part in her life learning to sail at age 7 she took that onto compete internationally representing Wales and Great Britain. Megan is a qualified sailing instructor having worked at home and in the UAE and spends most free time surfing, wake boarding and windsurfing. Recently graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of the West of England Megan is now keen to take this onto a career in marine research and conservation to help protect the environment she is most passionate about to ensure irreversible damage is not done.

Whitney Sanford

Whitney Sanford

United States of America

Writer

Professor Emerita at the University of Florida and kayak/paddle/board/sailing devotee

WHITNEY spent her childhood summers playing in the tidal areas of Tybee Island near Savannah, Georgia. When she moved to Florida, it was like coming home to an ecosystem she loved and missed. Florida’s rivers, barriers islands, springs, and ocean waters are their wilderness, and she and her husband Kevin spend as much time as possible exploring the waters by SUP, kayak, and sailboat. Whitney has kayak camped in the Keys and the 10,000 Islands, surfed her kayak in the Atlantic, and has recently learned to SUP surf. Whitney and Kevin and are longtime volunteers with Paddle Florida. Even though Florida is blessed with what looks like an abundance of water, its rivers, springs, and aquifer are threatened by pollution and over-consumption, among other things. So while she enjoys playing and surfing, she also works protect Florida’s waters.

When Whitney am not paddling, surfing, or sailing, she is a faculty member in the Religion Department at the University of Florida. She teaches and conducts research in UF’s Religion and Nature program, a unit that both asks how religious traditions understand the natural world and how religious traditions are responding to environmental crises such as pollution and climate change. Her classes, including Religion and Sustainability and Women and Religion, help students understand the various dimensions of human relationships to the natural world and our obligations to it and each other. Her work lies at the intersection of religion, environment, and social justice.

She recently completed a book entitled Being the Change: What I Learned from Intentional Community (Forthcoming, University of Kentucky Press, 2017) that explores how communities come together to live sustainably and harmoniously. She is just beginning a project on the ecoheritage of the St. Johns River in Florida which explores why communities, past and present, have come to love and protect the river and her springs. Whitney plans to start ethnographic and historical research on this project in spring 2016.

Whitney is interested in how environmental degradation affects people differentially, and women often bear the brunt of pollution, for example, especially in developing countries. She hopes to learn more about these issues in a transnational context and is eager to work with a diverse team on the issue of women and water. In Florida, the Caribbean, and beyond, we face enormous problems around water, and some refer to these as “wicked problems”, meaning that they are difficult to solve and require multiple solutions and approaches. Working with others and learning new viewpoints will help her own work, and Whitney will bring what she has learned to her research and to her students at the University of Florida.

Jennifer Pate

Jennifer Pate

Canada

Filmmaker

Jen is a geographer and filmmaker fascinated by human-environment interaction. She has a BA in Geography (2:1) and an MSc in Environment, Science & Society (Distinction) from the University College of London. Her academic research explored environmental management and experience, film as an emancipatory tool for environmental education, as well as geographies of health and biological identity. She has been involved in several research, filmmaking and sport expeditions in a diverse range of roles. In 2009, she led a UCL-funded research expedition to British Columbia and in 2010 was a member of the Lost World Project documentary-making expedition to Venezuela’s Mount Roraima.

Following this expedition, Jen set up her film company, Your Frontier (www.yourfrontier.co.uk) to raise awareness of worldwide expeditions as well as social and environmental responsibility projects. She has since been Marketing Manager and Head of Media for several world-first expeditions including Row Zambezi (2011) and the Yangtze Adventure (2013). For the past year she has worked at the UK Energy Research Centre at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment, bringing together academic, industrial and political groups/individuals to bridge gaps in understanding and action around UK energy issues and climate change. She is also a Relationships Manager for Ibex Earth’s ‘Our World: Our Choice’ initiative, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of preserving global biodiversity and find ways to offer support to environmental and conservation charities including the Galapagos Conservation Trust, the World Land Trust and ZSL’s EDGE of Existence Programme.

She is passionate about health, well-being and outdoor fitness. She is a keen runner and paddleboarder, certified as a SUP and PaddleFit Instructor. She is also Co-owner/Operator of an environmentally sustainable outdoor recreation park in Canada called Windmill Lake (www.windmill-lake.ca) which she hopes will be a springboard for community health initiatives in South-Western Ontario. The mission and aims of the Atlantic eXXpedition hold personal significance for Jen due to the diagnosis, care and loss of several family members and close friends to cancer. She is very excited to be a part of this incredible project that will allow her to explore her own health, behaviour and relationship with the environment while encouraging others to do the same. She is passionate about producing a wide range of high impact film-based outputs from this expedition and showcasing them internationally through different forums. This is a unique opportunity to have a tangible impact on the communication and understanding of human/environmental health and she can’t wait to get onboard!

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Marika Dubé

Marika Dubé

Canada

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MARIKA has 5 years of experience in public affairs, working for a communications consulting firm as well as in both Quebec provincial politics and Canadian federal politics.

In the past year, Marika has become very interested in environmental issues and has taken steps to gain more knowledge and insight into them. A few months ago, she went diving for the first time (not the last!) in Thailand and it absolutely changed her whole world view forever. She gained a sense of how beautiful and important our underwater ecosystems are, and now feels a responsibility to do something to protect them. She’s had the chance since then to attend a conference by Sylvia Earle and her inspirational message has convinced her further that making conservation a central part of her life is something she needs to do.

Right now, Marika works for a public relations consulting firm in Montreal as a Project Manager and takes biology classes at University to deepen her understanding of conservation, ethical and animal welfare issues. She loves helping people tell their stories and aspires to one day be able to do just that for the causes she cares about the most.

Upon her return, Marika would love to offer professional public relations services pro bono for conservation and animal welfare organizations. She’d also like to spread the message in Quebec about “making the unseen, seen” through different communication methods: blog, web series, as well as government and community relations.

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Natalie Small

Natalie Small

United States of America

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Surfing, sailing, diving, open ocean swimming, kayaking, and even living aboard her 28 ft sailboat Mi Corazon docked in San Diego…. NATALIE sees water as an integral part of her life and thus spurs her passion about its conservation and helping others fall head over heals in love with it like she is! With a love for womping in the waves comes a passion to keep the waves womp-able; thus Natalie founded 1Bag1World this past year with the mission to restore beauty to women and waves through plastic upcycling handicraft projects with women survivors of trafficking and abuse around the world, empowering them to be leaders in the wave of change to plastic free living in their own communities.

Natalie has a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, licensed in California, and First Aid Arts training in the use of expressive arts for trauma recovery. As the San Diego branch Coordinator of the Wahine Project, she provides therapeutically minded surf clubs for girls struggling with poverty, family stressors, physical abuse, trauma, and trafficking in San Diego, Peru, Philippines, and Baja. She is looking forward to leading a team of Wahine women on a surf expedition to Cuba in February to bring the gift of surfing to the girls there as well. “I see fostering empowered relationships with the ocean as an opportunity for therapeutic healing for the individual. the community, and our water”.

Natalie hopes to bring the 1Bag1World creativity with plastic upcycling aboard the eXXpedition to find unique ways to eliminate the plastic waste of crew and locals we encounter. Through her travels she has learned that many small island communities don’t have the infrastructure to properly recycle so, she looks forward to getting creative with them about how they can reduce, reuse, and up-cycle their plastic waste to keep their oceans and bodies healthy and happy! Her time with the eXXpedition crew will be book ended with Wahine Project surf clubs in Cuba and sail-hopping her way back to San Diego brining the 1Bag1World message to coastal communities along the way. …..and of course if waves are found she’ll be the first to grab some boards to teach the crew and locals the art of surfing!

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Jannica Haldin

Jannica Haldin

Finland

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As a child my father would take me and my brother treasure hunting. Waking up, in a tent on a beach, in the bunk of a sailboat or in the old fisherman’s cabin on our tiny island, we would get in the boat, lunchpacks, towels and all, and go for an Adventure. With a capital A.
We’d steer for one of the hundreds of wild islands and skerries in the outer belt, and the Hunt would begin. The prize: flotsam. Odd looking pieces of wood, twisted, saltsoaked boards, and the biggest prize of all: fishing floats or the occasional plastic bottle with foreign lettering. The latter two would be brought home with pride, rarities to be treasured.

I’m now 31 years old , a sailor, a marine biologist and a scientific diver. Six weeks before writing this I gave birth to my first child, a daughter. She will never get to play this game. The rocky beaches where we went hunting 25 years ago are now littered with plastic, in all its shapes and forms. I know, I went back to see for myself.

However, most people don’t. Get to see for themselves that is. And as the saying goes: out of sight, out of mind. Whether it’s previously pristine beaches or out in the world’s oceans, in the seafood we eat, in the water we swim in, if you can’t see it, it is of small importance. Except, in this case, it isn’t.
The contaminants in the fish on your dinner table, a plastic bottle on the beach or an accumulation the size of a country in one of the oceanic gyres, are all symptoms of the same problem. And the first step in fixing a problem is acknowledging that it exists. I hope that by being part of eXXpedition I can be part of bringing to people’s attention the magnitude of this problem, both the visible and the invisible, and show that it affects all of our lives.

“People protect what they love”. It’s as true now as when Jacques Cousteau first coined it. For the last 10 years I have been working for the marine environment and its conservation. Mapping underwater ecosystems around the same islands where I used to play. Coordinating international work on assessing the threat to marine species. Assisting multinational research groups when taking on questions on the sustainable use of the marine environment.
All of this I have done for myself, because the sea is what I love. But now, now I do it for my daughter. Because everyone deserves treasure hunts in their life. And because women are adventurers. With a capital A.”

Alice de Castro

Alice de Castro

Portugal

The story goes that on my first trip to the beach, still a toddler, I sneakily crawled straight into the water, ‘encouraging’ my dad to take an unforeseen rescue dip into the rough and cold North Atlantic! Since then, my relationship with the Ocean has evolved from attraction to love, boldness to humbleness and admiration to awe.

Originally from Porto in Portugal, I pursued this early curiosity with the natural world, and particularly a fascination with sea turtles, by studying Biology at University of Madeira. I then returned to Porto in 1999 to study Pharmaceutical Sciences and worked there as a qualified pharmacist. I loved the contact with the community and how I could make a difference in people’s lives. However, my love for science led me to the UK in 2006, and back to the lab, to pursue a Masters and then a PhD in the biology of ageing. I earned a doctorate from the University of London where my research focused on finding specific biomarkers for a particular pathway of senescence in skin cells. Then, I worked on developing cell culture models in which to study mechanisms of chemical carcinogenesis; in particular how Nickel causes cells to bypass senescence towards cancer.

Alongside the love for science, a passion for sports and physical expression has always been a constant in my life. After being introduced to gymnastics at an early age, I spent my fun time as a teen playing water polo and surfing. Whilst at university I competed in martial arts, against both men and women, and was National and Iberian champion in the Brazilian art of Capoeira for 3 years in a row. In 2006, I became the first Portuguese woman in my group to receive the belt to teach. Over the following decade I found my way from injury into Yoga and now, at 37 years old, I am a yoga teacher dedicated to generating a positive impact in my students lives.

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Katie Hardyment

Katie Hardyment

United Kingdom

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The thing I love more than anything is understanding the world and the people in it – why things are the way they are, and how people think and why they do what they do.

My career so far has given me the chance to work on fascinating projects in this area with inspiring people and organisations. I currently work at BBC News, helping create strategies to get news and current affairs to more people in more places.

Before the BBC, I worked for almost six years as a sustainability consultant for organisations like Disney, Kellogg’s and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, helping them create strategies for social and environmental impact – from sustainable farming programmes to behaviour change campaigns around women’s health.

My background is as a geographer – keen on human geography (I specialised in international development and my first job was with an NGO) and the intersection with physical geography, especially where it helps us understand why things are how they are e.g. climate influences on migration.

Through these experiences, I’ve built skills in strategy, research and communications, and I can’t wait to put them into action for eXXpedition.

I’m joining the expedition in the hope of having a memorable experience with a bunch of interesting women who are equally interested in issues, solutions and creating change.

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Caroline van Wijngaarden

Caroline van Wijngaarden

Netherlands

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CAROLINE is a bon vivant, privateer, creative person, adventurer and sailor. She is 42 years old and trying to give her life a different turn to go. She wants as much as possible doing sailing voyages, preferably combined to a good cause. That is why she now is going with eXXpedition to see if she wants to go there more in the future and to draw attention to the great project in Netherlands.

Caroline last year crossed the Pacific from the Galapagos Islands to the Marquesas Islands, Tuamotu archipel and Tahiti. She has been on Svalbard (Spitsbergen) also and the Barentszsea crossed over to Norway.

As a photographer and film maker (short videos for social media) she comes in worlds where they otherwise would not come. In addition, she has a company in wood and leather processing. Especially with recycled materials she designs beautiful products. A number of days in week she is a teacher. If she can follow her dreams fully one day, she will.

Check out her website and Facebook to see her work!

Caribbean 2016

Leg 2

Megan Evans

Megan Evans

United Kingdom

Educator

I am a Learning Manager at Earthwatch Europe, I work to connect educators with scientific research, empowering and inspiring the next generation to take action for the planet.

MEGAN was born and raised in Wales, UK and was on the water from a young age. The marine and coastal environment has played a huge part in her life learning to sail at age 7 she took that onto compete internationally representing Wales and Great Britain. Megan is a qualified sailing instructor having worked at home and in the UAE and spends most free time surfing, wake boarding and windsurfing. Recently graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of the West of England Megan is now keen to take this onto a career in marine research and conservation to help protect the environment she is most passionate about to ensure irreversible damage is not done.

Ina Weidmann

Ina Weidmann

Germany

Environmentalist and Artisan

Through her travels and studies Ina learned about the pressing environmental challenges and became passionate about giving back by speaking up and taking action for nature and the ocean, raising awareness and inspiring the people she meets on her path to join the movement for a healthy planet and future.

Ina is a passionate traveler and loves the ocean. Hence most of her journeys are directed to where there is endless water and horizon. Being outdoors and especially at the ocean with all its beauty and hidden marine wildlife, inspires her to put a different view on (everyday) life. It struck her that despite all enchanting beauty, there was barely a place she traveled to, that is not threatened by (longterm) impacts from man-made pollution or exploitation. Be it the Andes, the Amazon, the Okavango Delta, the Andaman Sea or the Galapagos Islands to name but a few. So Ina changed from a casual visitor to an involved protectionist. She took a course on Antarctic and Marine Science and learned about life circles, pollution, acidification, climate change and other impacts on the ocean. Now she wants to get involved further and raise awareness so people will notice that their own footprint matters, but also that there is always something one can do to minimize the impact.

Ina is a Master of Environmental Science candidate, following a BSc in Human Geography and Business Administration. She was born and lived most of her life in Berlin, Germany before she moved to Switzerland where she works as an analyst and researcher in aviation.

Jennifer Pate

Jennifer Pate

Canada

Filmmaker

Jen is a geographer and filmmaker fascinated by human-environment interaction. She has a BA in Geography (2:1) and an MSc in Environment, Science & Society (Distinction) from the University College of London. Her academic research explored environmental management and experience, film as an emancipatory tool for environmental education, as well as geographies of health and biological identity. She has been involved in several research, filmmaking and sport expeditions in a diverse range of roles. In 2009, she led a UCL-funded research expedition to British Columbia and in 2010 was a member of the Lost World Project documentary-making expedition to Venezuela’s Mount Roraima.

Following this expedition, Jen set up her film company, Your Frontier (www.yourfrontier.co.uk) to raise awareness of worldwide expeditions as well as social and environmental responsibility projects. She has since been Marketing Manager and Head of Media for several world-first expeditions including Row Zambezi (2011) and the Yangtze Adventure (2013). For the past year she has worked at the UK Energy Research Centre at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment, bringing together academic, industrial and political groups/individuals to bridge gaps in understanding and action around UK energy issues and climate change. She is also a Relationships Manager for Ibex Earth’s ‘Our World: Our Choice’ initiative, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of preserving global biodiversity and find ways to offer support to environmental and conservation charities including the Galapagos Conservation Trust, the World Land Trust and ZSL’s EDGE of Existence Programme.

She is passionate about health, well-being and outdoor fitness. She is a keen runner and paddleboarder, certified as a SUP and PaddleFit Instructor. She is also Co-owner/Operator of an environmentally sustainable outdoor recreation park in Canada called Windmill Lake (www.windmill-lake.ca) which she hopes will be a springboard for community health initiatives in South-Western Ontario. The mission and aims of the Atlantic eXXpedition hold personal significance for Jen due to the diagnosis, care and loss of several family members and close friends to cancer. She is very excited to be a part of this incredible project that will allow her to explore her own health, behaviour and relationship with the environment while encouraging others to do the same. She is passionate about producing a wide range of high impact film-based outputs from this expedition and showcasing them internationally through different forums. This is a unique opportunity to have a tangible impact on the communication and understanding of human/environmental health and she can’t wait to get onboard!

Rigmor Reppen Solnes

Rigmor Reppen Solnes

Norway

Law Student

Law Student currently working for ELSA Norway and working on Law Students Without Borders Worldwide and Norway

RIGMOR has not got much sailing experience except from a whole lot of ferries in the western part of Norway, and occasional fishing trips with dinghys. Nevertheless, she’s raised along the Sognefjord in Norway, and have always loved the nature and especially the ocean. Living in Kristiansand near the ocean for several years has also made her deeply passionate about the ocean. A course in surfing in Hawaii sparked an interest of surfing.

In High School Rigmor studied Biology and Anatomy/Physiology, and went along with one year of Biology at the University of Agder. After a couple of years working in nursing, she changed career path to Law, and is currently a second year Law student at the University of Agder. In the summer of 2015, Rigmor studied ‘Introduction to English Law’ at the University of Exeter. Rigmor also took a course by ELSA in Copenhagen ‘Media Law in the 21th Century’.

Rigmor hope to make up for the lack of sailing experience by being reporting and writing about the eXXpedition trip on social media and in her online magazine iiinspiratus.com.

She hopes to bring awareness to this hidden and underdiscussed topic – pollution and the use of plastics and the consequences it has on the ocean and in us humans. Rigmor want to inspire others to reduce – reuse and recycle plastic, but also find alternatives to plastic, such as bamboo – by writing and discussing the topic in her lifestyle magazine iiinspiratus.com and in social media. Additionally, Rigmor want to bring awareness about microplastic that exist in a lot of cosmetic products.

Rigmor would like to combine the passion for the ocean and Law in the future, and advocating for a healthy ocean.

Sabrina Bellotti

Sabrina Bellotti

Italy

Technologist, researcher and photographer

Sabrina is a curious technologist who is passionate about leveraging innovation and collaboration to tackle the world’s difficult challenges.

Originally from Italy, Sabrina is a technologist and experienced sailor now living in San Francisco. Her passion for the water started when she was born. She spent a lot of time on sailboats as a little girl. Her father sparked her interest in sailing from a very early age and since then she has always loved to be on sailboats crossing the whole mediterranean. She started racing on dinghies, cruising offshore and she worked as a sail instructor for few years before she moved to San Francisco. She is now sailing in the ocean and in the beautiful San Francisco Bay. Sabrina is an active and enthusiastic person, she feels at ease in the water and enjoys all water sports like swimming, scuba diving, surfing and kite-surfing.

“When I was a child the sea seemed to me infinite and rich. Today, the seas of my childhood no longer exist. Sailing long distances has given me a deep awareness of the negative impact that human behaviour has had on our seas. We need to protect what we love, the nature, our lives and our health”.

Sabrina is an engineer specialized in internet security and holds a MSc in Telecommunication Engineering from Politecnico di Milano in Italy. She also earned a MA in Development Economics from the University of San Francisco with a focus on social and environmental issues.

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Tilly Heathwood

Tilly Heathwood

United Kingdom

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Originally from East Sussex, I’ve always been close to the sea, my dad is a keen sailor and has passed on his passion down to me. My love for the ocean has always been a running theme in my life and in 2014 I started a degree in Marine and Natural History Photography. This degree has allowed me to expand my knowledge not only in the visual arts but has also ignited a love for science. I love how these subjects can be combined and complement each other, in raising awareness to the important environmental issues of the world. My area of expertise lies within the visual arts, I love documenting experiences and moments with photography and film. I feel its the best way to get vital messages across in the current, modern world.

My goals and aims for the expedition are to expand my own knowledge and understanding of the current state of our oceans. I aim to contribute to the best of my ability in all aspects of the trip, whilst documenting using film and photography to be able to educate and demonstrate to different communities. This investigation will allow me to grow as an independent person as well as taking a step onto the path towards my desired career.

 

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Sara Mirabilio

Sara Mirabilio

United States of America

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My passion for the ocean has existed since I first started forming solid memories. This passion carried through my childhood all the way to Long Island University’s Southampton College, where I majored in marine science, and on still further to William & Mary’s School of Marine Science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, where I earned a master’s in marine science.

If you had asked me at age 12 what I wanted to be, it would’ve been dolphin trainer or sea turtle biologist. But as I grew and learned, it became apparent to me that the world ocean is in trouble. My career focus became how to strike the balance between economy and resource protection. My graduate research was directed towards the vitellogenic cycle of fish as a biomarker of environmental contamination and reproductive disruption.

In 2002, I tried my hand at Washington, D.C. policy-making as a National Sea Grant Office John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow. But, salt water runs in my veins, and I soon turned in my business suits and high-heels for oilskins and flip-flops, joining North Carolina Sea Grant in August 2003 as a fisheries extension specialist in their Manteo Office.

My ongoing work includes cultivating cooperative research with the commercial and recreational fishing industries. Working together, fishermen and scientists can improve our understanding of the complex interactions between fishery resources and fishing practices. And of late, I have been trying to turn the tide on derelict fishing gear and other marine debris, which can smother and crush sensitive salt marsh habitat. Beginning in 2014, with support from NOAA’s Marine Debris Program and North Carolina Sea Grant, the North Carolina Coastal Federation began an annual sounds and shorelines cleanup. The effort is a public-private partnership between fishermen, N.C. Marine Patrol officers and the general public.

When I saw the expedition goals — making the unseen seen, from toxins in the ocean to toxins in our bodies, and raising the visibility and voices of women in science along the way, I knew I had to be a part of this endeavor.

As a female, marine scientist in what still is a male-dominated field, I am deeply devoted to empowering women in science (admittedly only one of the underrepresented minorities, but the one I have been most involved with).

This voyage also will provide a chance to revisit my early career focus on environmental toxicology and participate in scientifically documenting the extent of marine pollution in the Caribbean. More rewarding will be educating others about the potentially harmful effects of various chemical, biological and physical agents on marine ecosystems.

But most personal of all is, I just celebrated my second year as a breast cancer survivor. At the mere age of 37, I was diagnosed with stage 2 hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. One will never know the cause of their cancer, but research strongly suggests that exogenous, man-made chemicals that mimic estrogen can alter the functions of the endocrine system and cause various health defects including cancer. My story has a happy ending, or at least I’m determined to make it so. I feel blessed to have detected my cancer early, and so my mission is, like that of eXXpedition, to stamp out late detection of breast cancer.

Candy Medusa

Candy Medusa

United Kingdom

Artist

Candy Medusa is an artist, illustrator, marine biologist and loudmouth, constantly confused as to why bios are supposed to be in the third person.

Specialising in mixed media and upcycling, she draws much of her inspiration from nature and is passionate about the environment. She mostly makes art between midnight and 4am when the kids are asleep.

Candy has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally, including with the Royal Society of Marine Artists at Mall Galleries in London, and with Creative Action Network in America and Bahrain. She was also resident artist aboard the Sea Dragon in the Caribbean.

Candy is the founder of the eXXhibition project, raising awareness of plastic pollution, organising beach cleans and workshops, and upcycling beach litter into art.

Learn more about Candy's journey here:

Read more

Alyona Simikina

Alyona Simikina

Russia

ALYONA was born in Russia in 1982. Raised in Caucasus Mineral Waters’s area, specially preserved ecological zone in the South of Russia, in the town of Kislovodsk. From her early years was interested in ecology, researching of the ways to saving natural resources of planet.
In 1999 entered journalism faculty in Southern Federal University in the city of Rostov-on-Don. Worked as a reporter for news and other regional programs. After graduation in 2004 moved to Moscow. For the last 10 years have been working as a documentarist on Russian TV. On RTDocumentary from 2011 as a director of documentary.

Svenja Angenendt

Svenja Angenendt

Throughout my life I have been fascinated by the diversity of marine life and the power of the ocean. I became passionate about marine sciences very early in highschool and I soon recognized how quickly the marine environment is changing due to human impacts. In order to better understand the pocesses and the development of the earth system, I started a degree in geological sciences.

During my studies in Germany and California at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography I discovered my passion for marine research expeditions and participated in a number of cruises on research vessels off Namibia, off the Californian Coast and the Northern Sea. In particular I focused on climate change and biogeochemical cycles and the impact on our oceans and ecosystems. With the master’s degree and the motivation to communicate scientific knowldege about the importance of our oceans, I became the head of office of the German Ocean Foundation last year, fighting for the protection of the marine environment everyday. Besides my scientific career I am really enthusiastic about diving, surfing, climbing, travelling and exploring.

I think it is crucial to increase the public awareness about the importance of the health of the oceans for all of us and to pull together to protect the environment. Therefore I am very excited to join eXXpedition in the Carribean and to contribute to research and communication about the issue of plastic pollution and toxins.
In fact It wasn’t until I saw the vast destruction of our environment by plastics in Indonesia two years ago with my own eyes that I realized the impact of our consumption life style.

Furthermore I am really thrilled to improve my sailing skills on the beautiful Sea Dragon and to meet all the inspiring women from the fields of science, arts and more. I think that our combined skills can strenghten a change in our society and inspire people to change their personal life style. I hope I can take a part of the power and motivation back to Germany.

Amazon 2015

Brazil to Guyana

Rachel Labbe Bellas

Rachel Labbe Bellas

Canada

Environmental Scientist and Advocate

Rachel is a Marine Ecologist and has a BSc. in Biology from McGill University and a MSc. in Ecology from UFSC in Brazil. During her studies she gathered international experience, working at places such as Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and more recently as a Research Associate at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Her passion for ocean advocacy led her to work with Sylvia Earle Alliance-Mission Blue, and participate in a 21-day all-female research voyage about ocean plastics and health impacts with eXXpedition. Rachel is currently working in development and science program management for 5 Gyres Institute, and spends her free time in entrepreneurship for her plastic pollution reduction start-up in Canada, The Green Stop.

Shannon Frier

Shannon Frier

United Kingdom

Sailor

Nautical enthusiast dedicated to protecting the marine environment and encouraging more girls to get into sailing.

SHANNON has saltwater in her blood. Growing up in St. Mawes, Cornwall, she had the privilege of growing up on the water. An enthusiastic sailor, Shannon currently holds the title of Helms Woman 2014 at St. Mawes Sailing Club.

Shannon is currently studying a degree in Natural and Marine Photography at Falmouth University, bringing together her love of the ocean by learning about science communication, through photography. Most recently she has been focusing on making short films that communicate the effects of marine ecotoxicology to a wider audience.

From this expedition Shannon plans to write her dissertation on the sociology of marine ecotoxicology, which will in turn contribute as research for her final project which will include short documentaries that eXXpedition can use as an educational resource, filming the expedition whilst on-board.

Katrina McQuail

Katrina McQuail

United States of America

Organic Farmer and PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor

Katrina is passionate about the environment and our oceans, showing that she cares through her organic farming, PADI open water scuba teaching and participating in awareness raising and educational opportunities like eXXpedition.

KATRINA currently farms using draft horses and ecological practices in Huron County, Ontario.

Born and raised there, her love of nature was imbued from the get-go. Katrina’s passion for water and the aquatic world started in elementary school when she adopted a humpback whale in lieu of birthday gifts. She recently went a step further and became a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor with Float N Flag, to share her awe, passion and love of the aquatic world with others.

Committed to social justice, community building, and everything food, Katrina has worked in higher education, as a cook, in social change organizations, for governmental agencies and for businesses. With a focused interest in sustainability and building stronger communities, she keeps herself engaged by volunteering, travelling, running youth programs, cooking, and taking over her family’s farm.

Her interests are eclectic and diverse, spanning from road tripping to quilting and she is rarely found without a cup of tea. She has a passion for extreme sports and enjoys skydiving, downhill skiing, scuba diving and motorcycles to keep her adrenaline pumping.

Katrina holds a degree in Business and Non Profit Management from a small, liberal arts university where she minored in French.

Erika Braccini

Erika Braccini

Italy

Positive designer-maker activist

Erika strongly believes in the power of design to be one of THE solution to overcome environmental and social issues in a positive way.

ERIKA  likes to call herself an activist, environmentalist and happy designer.

Erika believes that design is a new form of positive activism that has the potential to become a powerful tool to tackle environmental and social issues. She is driven by a real, genuine and strong motivation to develop design projects that can highlight existing problems and potentially solve them.

While travelling in Asia she discovered for the first time the beauty of the underwater world and she completely fell in love with such splendour and peace. During these trips Erika could see closely the consequences of manmade actions to the oceans and how waste and plastics are now an integral part of such environment. She could not believe that such an important resource, which covers 70% of the world and from which people depend, is threatened and did not want to just stand and watch this new horrible scenario.

With this research expedition Erika is hoping to develop a design project that can sensitise people in respecting the environment more, stop generating waste and ultimately, and most importantly protect the oceans and its wildlife.

Stella Marina Stabbins

Stella Marina Stabbins

United Kingdom

STELLA is an Artist, Mariner and classic-boat restorer and lover of the mountains. Her hope for the upcoming eXXpedition is to become an ambassador for cleaner oceans around the world.

Whilst sailing across the Pacific in 2014 Stella became truly aware of the consequences that our everyday actions are having on the planet as a whole and she realised that she must help to create change.

In Stella’s practice as an artist and print-maker, she seeks to create a sense of immersion for the viewer, to draw them into a feeling or atmosphere emotive of new ways of thinking. Previously, a central theme in her practice has been the progressive relationship that humans have with the natural world and Stella’s work has explored the precarious balance between natural systems and our own man-made ones, seeking to demonstrate the fragility of our existence.

As Artist in Residence for eXXpedition, Stella is excited to share her vision for a cleaner world through the eyes of her artistry.

Once on board Sea Dragon, it’s Stella’s aim to produce ways to visually process and communicate the data that will be collected to a wider audience, in particular future generations. She also hopes that through creativity we are able to find beautiful and practical means of navigating around the everyday use of plastic in our lives. Stella passionately believes that it is only by raising awareness of the unseen effects of toxins and micro-particles on both our bodies and the environment that we can hope to generate discussion and change around the topic.

Barbara Drigo

Barbara Drigo

Australia

BARBARA graduated in Biological Science, has a Masters in Bio-Medicine, a PhD in Microbial Ecology and I she is currently a research fellow at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE).

HIE’s diverse portfolio of research is renowned to bring excellence to decision-making in natural and managed ecosystems centring on ecosystem functioning in Australia and internationally. In a changing world, Barbara aims to understand the effects of rapid change in altered ecosystems and on the communities of living organisms ranging from the smallest microbes to the tallest forest trees.

On the Sea Dragon research vessel, she will use an automated microbial sampling and communication device (OSMO) developed by Indigo V Expeditions. The Indigo V Expeditions is a multi-national scientific and sailing initiative based that aims to gauge the health of the worlds’ oceans by taking water samples and looking at the relative health of the microbial communities in that sample.

Since 2013, Indigo V Expedition is effectively crowd-sourcing the collection of oceanographic data by harnessing the existing fleet of private sailing yachts. Their work has been awarded by the UNESCO, NBC news, Australian Research Council and presented in the most prestigious venues around the world. The data collected by Barbara in the Amazon eXXpedition will be coupled with the ones collected by Indigo V Expeditions across the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean and the Amazonian terrestrial ecosystems.

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Ana Stanic

Ana Stanic

Slovenia

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ANA is an Energy and International Lawyer and a Law Lecturer at the University of Dundee.

She advises governments, financial institutions and companies around the world on EU law, International law and Energy law. Having worked for a decade for the large US and UK law firms she set up her own law firm in London eight years ago.

Unlike traditional law firms Ana puts teams of lawyers and other experts together to create tailor-made teams for each specific project. Her practice spans the EU, Eastern Europe and CIS countries. She has worked in Africa in the past as well.

Ana has been passionate about Gaia ever since she studied tree dieback in Central Europe and the effects of the raise in sea temperature on marine plankton in the Gulf of Trieste at the United World College of the Adriatic.

She loves sailing scuba diving and hiking in the mountains. She is a trustee of Resurgence/Ecologist magazine.

Ana has been fascinated by the Amazon since she was a little girl watching David Bellamy’ s nature programmes. She wanted to grow up being just like him. She was reading Jay Griffiths book “”Wild”” when she learned about the eXXpedition. She immediately applied and could not believe her luck when she was selected.

Having spent all her summers in the last decade on a remote island off the Dalmatian coast of Croatia which was littered in plastic and other rubbish she has become acutely aware of how polluted the world’s waters are. The trip to the Amazon will give Ana an opportunity to study the issue of water pollution first hand. Ana hopes to use this first-hand knowledge to help draft international treaties and domestic legislation to better regulate the production, disposal and reuse of plastic.

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Lisa Rider

Lisa Rider

United States of America

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LISA is a proud eastern North Carolina native and she sees that with that pride comes responsibility to make sure the coastal community environment is managed in a sustainable way, while making the connection between the local economy and ecology.

Born and raised on the water, she is an avid sailor, surfer, paddleboard yogi, beach sweeper, and scuba diver certified as a PADI divemaster.  She specializes in coastal community environment resource conservation.

Lisa works as a Solid Waste Assistant Director for local government (Onslow County, NC) with a focus on proper resource management at the coast including proper disposal, marine debris prevention and removal, environmental education, waste reduction, and recycling.  Lisa also initiated and coordinates the NC Marine Debris Symposium  and Earth and Surf Fest.  In her spare time, Lisa writes conservation articles for Beach Carolina Magazine, volunteers for the local Surfrider Foundation Chapter, is a volunteer diver for the Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina Aquarium, and fills in as needed as a PADI Divemaster at Olympus Diver Center in Morehead City, NC.

Lisa has received several awards during her career, including the North Carolina Environmental Educator of the Year in 2011 and the Carolina Recycler of the Year in 2014.

You can get involved and become an Ocean Advocate too by supporting Lisa’s GoFundMe Campaign here or keep updated with Lisa’s conservation mission across the world, over on her blog Coastinista – it’s a ‘must-read’ for anyone interested in our oceans.

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Tania Nyberg

Tania Nyberg

United States of America

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TANIA works as a Creative Director, Artist/Designer, Professional Photographer, and Environmentalist.

Tania grew up in Norway with an active lifestyle from the ocean to the mountains. Skiing/snowboarding, surfing, diving, paddle boarding, and sailing to travelling around the world, Tania has a spirit for adventure and thrives on challenges.

While working on her anthropology dissertation with Bedouins in Sinai, Egypt, Tania was inspired by their respect for nature. There, she was introduced to the Red Sea Diving College, which sparked her enduring passion for diving and underwater photography. Her photographs from this experience have been exhibited and sold at well-known galleries in London.

Tania has worked with Smithsonian ocean research expeditions in South America. From the density of the jungles in Guatemala, to the depths of the sea bordering Belize, Tania participated in studies focusing on ocean pollution, learning about the challenges of nature in the wake of human consumerism.

Her Masters of Art in Photography dissertation was based on imagery expressing the ‘The Means of Consumption,’ using art to visualize patterns of waste disposal problems, specifically ocean waste. This inspired her to found the Norwegian based non-profit organization Sea Sick Fish, focusing on ocean waste solutions and biodegradable packaging. Her fascination with the effects of waste and pollution on ocean species has galvanized her to work extensively with a variety of projects for community sustainability, education, recycling, and consulting on ocean-friendly product development.

Tania is also presenting and sponsored by The Cup, creating awareness for the amazing natural reusable Menstrual Cup helping girls in poverty with their hygiene and female sanitation. Many poor young girls miss school or drop out due to their periods, ending up finding solutions that become infectious or harmful. The Cup is healthy for your body and also reduces excess non biodegradable plastic additives in tampons and pads ending up in ocean. Tania will be educating women and girls about the cup at schools and in villages along the way.

Tania combines creativity with science, and passion with cause in all of her endeavours. Her goal for eXXpedition Amazon 2015 is to be inspired to develop innovative waste solutions and strategies and document the trip with her unique photojournalistic style.

eXXpedition_Australia_ocean_plastic_

Sarah Richardson

Sarah Richardson

Canada

eXXpedition_Australia_ocean_plastic_

SARAH first fell in love with the coastal waters of British Columbia when she was eight and spent the summer with her family lighthouse keeping on Bonilla Island, located in Hecate Strait about 50 miles south of Prince Rupert. It was here, roaming the beaches, that she discovered the incredible biodiversity that can exist when ecosystems are left undisturbed. She would watch keenly and help as the lighthouse keepers took their readings and measurements. The experience remains a reminder of the rich splendour that the ocean has to offer.

Fast forward and for the last twelve years Sarah has lived on Quadra Island, part of the Discovery Islands off the inside coast of Vancouver Island.

Sarah works from home as a Jane-of-all-trades; raising her two daughters, 6 and 8, part-time home-schooler, sitting on multiple community boards, driving tractor trailers and answering phones for the family business. For fun she loves to be outdoors. As a triathlete, she prefers open water swimming because it is so liberating and there is always so much to see happening under the water.

An extroverted personality type, Sarah loves being around others and collaborating on ideas, always willing and ready to brainstorm, explore, expand and discover new ideas, concepts, and ways of seeing the world.

Ascension 2015

Senegal to Brazil

Amanda Dendys

Amanda Dendys

Canada

Scuba Diving Instructor and Commercial Diver

Scubaholic working to better the management of marine and coastline sustainability.

AMANDA simply loves the outdoors, growing up North of 60 in Whitehorse, Yukon Canada. Whitehorse was named after the breath taking Rapids that resembled the flowing main of a white horse. The Yukon is mainly known for its rich history from the Klondike gold rush, today mining still remains an important industry. Amanda experienced first hand the world of mining threw her parents family business, and was always surrounded by natures simple beauty.

She is a High School Graduate, Dive master, equestrian rider, and sailing advocate, and developed a need to always be outdoors riding her horse and embrace every opportunity for adventure from a very young age. Her passion for the ocean began on a few family vacations to Maui, Hawaii, where she couldn’t get enough of the salt water and marine life while diving.

Through multiple outdoor and experiential school programs such as Class Afloat: an international school aboard a Traditional Tall Ship. The crew sailed the Great Lakes of Canada followed by two South Atlantic Crossings with many ports of call through the semester.

Amanda understood the great power of the seas and saw first hand the pollutants that were being dumped of the coast of under developed countries that simply could not afford to dispose of it properly. She gained her confidence to expand her goals to having a global impact once realizing the varsity and remoteness of the ocean.

Sarah Mooney

Sarah Mooney

United Kingdom

Myth Maker

Creator of new myths for new times.

SARAH has been resident storyteller onboard the S.S Great Britain in Bristol, UK for the last five years, creating stories, characters and games about life onboard, and tales of the high seas.

Sarah is narrative director and performer with the Whispering Wood Folk, an outdoor ritual and performance company that tours around woodlands.

She is dedicated to womens’ work, holding various red tents, moon lodges and circles.

Sarah is passionate about creating narratives that provoke thought, compassion and stewardship for the natural environment and Mother Earth, and she hopes to use her time onboard Sea Dragon to expand her understanding of plastics research, and translate this through the power of storytelling, to reach a wider audience once her feet are back on the earth.

Heather Peters

Heather Peters

United States of America

HEATHER is a retired sheet-metal worker from San Francisco, California.

She worked for thirty years in the building trades and says she is very handy to have about!

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Heather believe life is made up of a series of opportunities, and it’s our job to grab hold of them with both hands and grow.

In April 2015 she reached Everest Base Camp 5,364 metres (17,598 ft) deep into the heartland of Nepal. Heather completed her greatest challenge to date via Kongma la Pass after being forced down the mountain the previous October due to snow.

Jan Brant

Jan Brant

United Kingdom

JAN is a marine chemist from the UK, and has over 17 years experience, carrying out and managing research into contaminants in the marine environment, focusing on identification of toxic (particularly endocrine disrupting) chemicals in marine sediments, and the development of new technologies designed to detect and identify emerging chemicals in sediments and water.

She is an experienced sailor, having started sailing with her parents as a child.

Fiona Edwards

Fiona Edwards

United Kingdom

An advocate of thoughtful minimalistic living. Passionate about healthy living from all aspects particularly ocean health as it has such huge impact on all living species. Loving learning different ways to become involved with solutions for plastic problem .Networking with other likeminded inspirational people to gain impact on the situation.

Tegan Mortimer

Tegan Mortimer

United States of America

Marine Biologist and Science Educator

TEGAN is a marine biologist and science educator. When she can’t be found in the classroom she spends her time studying humpback whales (and ocean trash) in New England and teaching people about these amazing animals and their habitat. Tegan was previously a crew member on board eXXpedition Ascension in 2015 and since then has continued her coastal at-sea marine debris research with a strong emphasis on education and outreach work.

Tegan grew up sailing and although she now spends much of her time on board commercial whale watching vessels, she still finds time to sail. Apart from her Atlantic crossing on RV Sea Dragon in November 2015, she also sailed and beach cleaned along the coast of Maine on board RV American Promise last summer. Tegan has said that her time on Sea Dragon was life changing. She would like nothing more than to get back on board and do what she loves – engaging people about the issues that face our oceans – and in a place that is extremely special to her. She would also like to use her time on board to pilot her data collection on marine debris in the biological important waters of western and northern Scotland

Simone Machamer

Simone Machamer

United States of America

SIMONE read a book in college called Our Bodies, Ourselves now published in 30 languages. It was revolutionary. Published by 12 women in the late 1960’s it discussed women’s bodies, health and sexuality which challenged the medical establishment of the day.

It also changed the patient doctor relationship for the better for everyone in the U.S. Since then I decided I wanted to do something that made a positive impact on people’s lives and realized progress for women is fought for, usually by women.

Finding strong women role models making big changes like those authors would be very inspiring. After short jobs with the U.S Forest Service, commercial fishing, abalone and sea cucumber diving in Alaska Simone worked in video production.

She began making in-kind promotional videos and public service announcements for charities, T.V and non-broadcast. Simone became a Board Member of the local women’s shelter and the United Way of Anchorage which helped her find out about the needs in the community.

One example is Susan Butcher who won the Iditarod consecutively, a 1,500 mile sled dog race in the freezing Alaska wilderness and climbing Denali aka Mt. Mckinley by dog sled. Simone’s most memorable endeavors were a T.V news style program called Young Alaskans where the positive achievements of teenagers were highlighted, a promotional video for a charity Moving Mountains in Kenya to assist Nairobi’s street children to attend school and Kham Aid Foundation to help marginalized Tibetans living in the Autonomous Region of Tibet.

Although she has not worked in the video industry for some time since she is raising two home birthed boys, she is still involved in the community. Most recent hosting a fundraiser to assist sex trafficked women and supporting a center for abused children.

Simone is very inspired about the research, message and achievements of the other crew with eXXpedition. This is the first time her activist spirit combines with her hobby of sailing. When not cruising with the family in the summer Simone takes care of her eighty-nine year old mother and runs an art gallery in Sarasota, Florida.

Since then she decided she wanted to do something that made a positive impact on people’s lives and realized progress for women is fought for, usually by women.

Her goals are to learn about the ocean research so that I may be able to do the same with her family on their Camper Nicholson 35 foot sailboat. She also hopes to assist with the video needs and increase her sailing knowledge to prepare for her Yachtmaster Offshore and Ocean exam.

Simone will be teaming with Suncoast Waterkeeper during the next year to raise awareness about the toxics in our seas. Based out of Sarasota, Florida it has a similar mission to eXXpedition. Suncoast Waterkeeper is protecting and restoring Florida Suncoast’s waterways through enforcement, fieldwork, advocacy, and environmental education for the benefit of the communities that rely upon these precious coastal resources.

Katie Johnson

Katie Johnson

United Kingdom

KATIE loves wild places. Born and raised in South Yorkshire, on the edge of the Peak District, she graduated from Bournemouth University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Safety, Health and Environmental Management.

After graduating Katie followed her passion for conservation and stewardship of our natural environment, and focused on delivering educational training and implementing environmental management systems for businesses, specialising in the food, drink, and manufacturing industries. Her work has taken her to all four corners of the UK and across Europe. Katie has worked across all sectors of business in her consultancy roles, for non for profit organisations, private  industry, local government, and the Environment Agency.

She has lobbied government on many issues related to packaging and waste legislation and has regulated and licenced producers, reprocessors and compliance schemes in line with the fulfilment of the Producer Responsibility Regulations for Packaging, Batteries and Waste Electronics.

Katie has a diverse history of non-profit work, from advocating and fundraising for wounded veterans in the UK and USA, community engagement with under privileged children in Marrakesh, and more recently she has pledged her commitment to help rebuild the Children of the Universe orphanage, destroyed in the April 2015 Nepal earthquakes.

No stranger to expedition life, in 2010 Katie got the bug for high altitude exploration when she trekked to Everest Base Camp, through the Khumbu Valley of Nepal. Last summer she reached her highest point to date when she summited Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest mountain, and one of the 7 Summits.

Now based in the South West of England, Katie founded the Intention Project in 2015,  a platform that inspires change through engaging, educating, and empowering people to focus their Intention to create a  sustainable future. Katie is a firm believer that we all have a unique gift to share with the world, and she is passionate about connecting people with their unique purpose, to unlock and reach their full potential.

When she’s not exploring, Katie loves all pursuits that allow her to be creative, anything from painting and jewellery design to yoga, blogging and cooking. Clean living is her highest priority, and Katie hopes that through eXXpedition she can better understand the implications of this up and down the food chain, and also champion more conscious consumer choices amongst her peers.

Katie is a proud and passionate Plant Powered athlete, and as Head Chef aboard Sea Dragon, she is excited to show off the benefits of a clean, organic, plant based diet. Our mental and physical well-being all start with our food choices, and Katie is keen to explore and carry out research into the diet and lifestyle choices of the crew, to compare the levels of pesticides present in their bodies before setting sail and again after docking in Recife, following a 23 day ‘sea-tox’

Katie believes that connecting people to the natural environment through the power of story telling and creating a dialogue around the unseen affects of ocean pollution, and the affect this has on human health and wellbeing is critical to the future of conservation. Only when people realise their own health is damaged when the health of the oceans are damaged, will people take responsibility and act to instigate change.

Jess Donald

Jess Donald

United Kingdom

JESS loves adventure, exploring and learning about the world. Having always been a sports enthusiast, the outdoors and being active is her favourite pastime.

Jess was born in London, but shortly after moved to Germany. The first language she spoke was German in Kindergarten, and can credit her operational efficiency to her german schooling! Living so close to Austria, Jess started skiing at the age of 3 and has loved it ever since.

Once back in the UK, Jess went to school in Berkshire, played Lacrosse for Junior England, learnt to sail in South Devon, went to Exeter University, carried on sailing in South Devon, and graduated with a BSC in Psychology and a MSC in Tourism Development and Events Management. Since 2008, she has been working as an operations project manager on large scale, international events such as the FIFA World Cup, Asian Football Cup, Olympics and Rugby World Cup. These events have enabled her to live in cool places around the world and given her time to travel and experience many countries in between events, fulfilling a major passion of hers.

Christine Spiten

Christine Spiten

Norway

As senior advisor in WWF Christine is working on making Norwegian corporations and sports plastic free!

She is the co-founder of Blueye Robotics, the company making the Blueye Pioneer Underwater drone which lets you explore the ocean down to 150m deep from your own smart phone. She is also Captain of Entrepreneurship One, a former Norwegian champion in sailing, living onboard her sailboat and focusing on increasing care for the sea through empowering ocean exploration, learning and understanding through the use of technology – based on the belief that “You take care of of what you love.

Christine has been named by Forbes Magazine as 30 under 30 most important Tech Founders’ and 30 under 30 and ‘World’s Top 50 Women in Tech 2018’, ‘Norway’s 50 most important female tech founders’ 2017 + 2018 , and ‘Top 10 Norwegian female tech entrepreneurs 2018’.

Christine will be Mission Leader for Round the World voyages Cairns to Darwin and Darwin to Perth.

Atlantic 2014

Lanzarote to Martinique

Caterina Falleni

Caterina Falleni

Italy

Product Designer

Lead product designer for Accessibility.

Caterina is an industrial and strategist designer, technology lover and sailor.

She graduated in product and communication design at ISIA Firenze and worked at WAACS Design & Consultancy in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in Tanzania as interior designer and photographer and studied Product Design in Finland. She is currently living in Milan and working at Design Group Italia as industrial designer, UX researcher and strategist. Her daily job is to design experiences, research trends, map new technologies and look for market opportunities for clients as 3M “Innovative technology for a changing word”, Pepsico and Unilever. Caterina is a multi-awarded designer in national and international design contest her projects are based on future vision possibilities, new technologies and new way of living in favor of clean, natural, sustainable and healthy ways of living. Caterina is an experienced speaker having presented at conferences around the world as TEDx and Ciudad De las Ideas in Mexico.

In 2012 she won the Singularity University / Axelera Global Impact Competition in Italy with ‘Freeijis project’ for a full scholarship for the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University, NASA Ames Research Center in California a transdisciplinary program which combines 10 weeks of outstanding business leaders and academics from around the world to develop solutions to solve the greatest challenges facing humanity. Caterina is the Executive Director of Axelera an italian non-profit whose aim is to inspire future italian leaders, entrepreneurs and technologists by spreading knowledge about exponential technologies and the importance of addressing the widespread global challenges. Caterina has sailed all her life. She was in the italian national team for 3 years and she sailed for national and international regattas around the world. You can find more information about Caterina at: http://www.caterinafalleni.com/

Malin Jacob

Malin Jacob

Norway

Marine litter matchmaker

Sector manager at SALT Lofoten AS.

From direct action to stop oil drilling in Norway to representing her country in International Climate negotiations, our latest recruit Malin is a girl with a global mission. Great to have you on board!

Malin Jacob is a Norwegian environmentalist. Currently she is studying political science at the University of Oslo, Norway, where she is writing her bachelor paper on environmental policy in the Arctic. Besides this she is also a blogger at Grønne Jenter (gronnejenter.no) (“Green Girls”), a blog by ten girls who focus on eco-friendly everyday life, consumer questions, and politics. In 2008, when she was 18 years old, she was awarded “Environmental Hero of the Year” by one of the largest newspapers in Norway (Aftenposten). The jury decided to award her on the background of her participation in stopping Hydro from drilling for oil along the southern coast of Norway. During the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Malin was the Norwegian youth delegate. She has also been a judge in a climate-based TV show on the Norwegian state channel, NRK.

After ten years as a desk based environmental activist, Malin found that she had to get out of the office and experience nature. She recently received a sponsorship spanning six months to write about outdoor activities, to raise awareness about nature, ecosystems, and climate change. Check out her web page: www.malinjacob.no. Malin has no sailing experience, and expects to spend quite some time over the gunwale, feeding the crabs. However, she also expects this will be the adventure of her life!

Diana Papoulias

Diana Papoulias

United States of America

Scientist

Currently, using my experience and training in aquatic toxicology and fish biology to monitor, protect, and remediate ecologically sensitive areas of the globe adversely impacted by extractive industries, especially hydrocarbons a raw material of plastics.

Diana was eXXpedition Science Advisor from Atlantic 2014-North Pacific 2018. She continues to provide invaluable support to our science programme.

She was Mission Leader for Ascension 2015, Amazon 2015 and Round Britain 2017 Leg 3. 

Jenna Jambeck

Jenna Jambeck

United States of America

Engineer, Waste Management

Professor of Environmental Engineering and National Geographic Fellow

Jenna is a Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Georgia (UGA). She received her PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida. She then worked for the US EPA Office of Research and Development in Research Triangle Park, NC as an ORISE post-doc. She became a research professor at the University of New Hampshire and then moved to the University of Georgia in 2009. She is passionate about her work and has been conducting research in solid waste issues for 17 years with related projects on marine debris since 2001, especially projects related to location and spatial analysis, waste (debris) characterization, and mobile device usage (mapping, etc.). She has published numerous papers, several book chapters and given talks in many countries. She was PI of the NOAA partnership the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative (SEA-MDI) and co-developer of the mobile app Marine Debris Tracker, a tool currently being used to log marine debris throughout the world.

Marine Debris Tracker will be used to log any visible debris items on the voyage, and data will be presented in real time on the website. Jenna will also be helping the team to sample microplastics in conjunction with other ongoing research related to plastic fragmentation and size distribution. While she has been on smaller sampling vessels and much larger cruise ships, Jenna has never been on this type of sailing ship, nor taken this kind of adventure before. She hopes to raise awareness about how waste generation, characterization and management relate to plastic in the oceans. As an engineer, she also wants to inspire and encourage women to enter STEM disciplines. She will speak to both her students at UGA and her young son’s classes about plastics in the ocean while out on the water and when she returns. More on Jenna and her projects can be found here: http://jambeck.engr.uga.edu/. Follow on her adventures on Twitter @JambeckResearch, @DebrisTracker or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenna.jambeckhttps://www.facebook.com/MarineDebrisTracker

Lucy Gilliam

Lucy Gilliam

United Kingdom

Scientist, eXXpedition Co-Founder

LUCY is a professional changemaker with a Degree in Biology and Phd in Molecular Microbiology. Her career has spanned academia, government, grassroots activism and supranational policy making. Lucy has a life-long passion for tackling climate change and toxic pollution. Currently, she works for Brussels based NGO, Transport & Environment, tackling climate impacts and pollution from shipping and aviation. She has sailed on three eXXpedition voyages and continues to support the project as a technical advisor and ambassador for the cause.

Lucy was Mission Leader for eXXpedition Caribbean 2017.

Laura Coleman

Laura Coleman

United Kingdom

Laura Coleman is the Director of The ONCA Trust, an environmental arts charity based in Brighton. Laura is a graduate of the University of East Anglia and has a Masters Degree in History of Art from the University of York. She has worked for six years on grassroots conservation projects, predominantly in Greece, Spain, Norway and South America. In Bolivia she worked for Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi, rehabilitating animals rescued from black market trade.

On her return to the UK, she founded ONCA – One Network for Conservation and the Arts – with the view to setting up a space in which to explore ecology through art, storytelling and performance. The ONCA Gallery now runs programmes of exhibitions and workshops that initiate conversations and ask creative questions about our changing environment, whilst raising funds and awareness for frontline conservation projects.

As well as running The ONCA Trust and Gallery, Laura is an artist, curator, conservationist, teacher and explorer. You can find more information about Laura and ONCA at www.onca.org.uk.

Constança Belchior

Constança Belchior

Constança graduated in marine biology in Portugal and she has been working with marine and coastal ecosystem management ever since. Holding a Masters Degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of São Paulo, her life path has led her to bridge between science, policy and society keeping sustainability at its core.

She is currently living in Copenhagen, Denmark working on marine issues at the European Environment Agency (EEA). The EEA is a European public institution that supports environmental and climate policy implementation and assessments. Contaminants and marine litter are part of her core work. She is also leading a citizen science project to collect data on beach litter throughout Europe – Marine LitterWatch. Synchronicities and a great desire to grab opportunities and dive into the unknown have led her to join eXXpedition. An adventure Constança decided to take in her personal time, as she sees it as a unique opportunity to reconnect to the sea and herself. She also hopes to gain live insight about the interconnection between healthy seas and human well-being – and be inspired to take it to new realms! The sea is her passion and also one of her greatest fears. Her life drivers are love, family, friends, good times and trying to make the world she can touch a better place for all.

Sue Weaver

Sue Weaver

United Kingdom

Sailor, activist, ecotherapist, gardener, grandmother! Without doubt Sue’s therapy skills, cooking skills and long held perspective on environmental and community experience will enrich our mission.

Sue is a coastal skipper, used to sailing offshore in scottish waters but never yet beyond St Kilda. This voyage brings together much that she holds dear – women, the ocean, health and the need for deep change and she still feels amazed to have the privilege of taking part. Sue recently left her therapy practice and moved to beautiful scottish Isle of Arran to walk and sail, plant trees, pick up plastic off the beaches and get involved in community activity, particularly around zero waste and local marine environment. After a half a lifetime working as psychotherapist in universities and the NHS, she is ready to refocus and concentrate on the needs of the wider earth and sea community. Ecopsychology supports awareness of the ways in which we relate to the non-human world around us and of the deep physical, emotional, spiritual connections between all beings.

Sue believes passionately in the need to make the connections between the ways we live, environmental pollution and levels of sickness, and values highly the chance to contribute to scientific research in this field. As an ex Greenham woman, Sue trusts the power of women working together creatively to change deeply entrenched systems. Raising awareness and tackling the issues of the huge volumes of plastic waste in our oceans is a great undertaking – immensely important for the deep ocean and its creatures, as well as for humanity.

Sue was Mission Leader for eXXpedition Round Britain Leg 1.

Jennifer Pate

Jennifer Pate

Canada

Filmmaker

Jen is a geographer and filmmaker fascinated by human-environment interaction. She has a BA in Geography (2:1) and an MSc in Environment, Science & Society (Distinction) from the University College of London. Her academic research explored environmental management and experience, film as an emancipatory tool for environmental education, as well as geographies of health and biological identity. She has been involved in several research, filmmaking and sport expeditions in a diverse range of roles. In 2009, she led a UCL-funded research expedition to British Columbia and in 2010 was a member of the Lost World Project documentary-making expedition to Venezuela’s Mount Roraima.

Following this expedition, Jen set up her film company, Your Frontier (www.yourfrontier.co.uk) to raise awareness of worldwide expeditions as well as social and environmental responsibility projects. She has since been Marketing Manager and Head of Media for several world-first expeditions including Row Zambezi (2011) and the Yangtze Adventure (2013). For the past year she has worked at the UK Energy Research Centre at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment, bringing together academic, industrial and political groups/individuals to bridge gaps in understanding and action around UK energy issues and climate change. She is also a Relationships Manager for Ibex Earth’s ‘Our World: Our Choice’ initiative, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of preserving global biodiversity and find ways to offer support to environmental and conservation charities including the Galapagos Conservation Trust, the World Land Trust and ZSL’s EDGE of Existence Programme.

She is passionate about health, well-being and outdoor fitness. She is a keen runner and paddleboarder, certified as a SUP and PaddleFit Instructor. She is also Co-owner/Operator of an environmentally sustainable outdoor recreation park in Canada called Windmill Lake (www.windmill-lake.ca) which she hopes will be a springboard for community health initiatives in South-Western Ontario. The mission and aims of the Atlantic eXXpedition hold personal significance for Jen due to the diagnosis, care and loss of several family members and close friends to cancer. She is very excited to be a part of this incredible project that will allow her to explore her own health, behaviour and relationship with the environment while encouraging others to do the same. She is passionate about producing a wide range of high impact film-based outputs from this expedition and showcasing them internationally through different forums. This is a unique opportunity to have a tangible impact on the communication and understanding of human/environmental health and she can’t wait to get onboard!

Maria Arceo

Maria Arceo

Spain

Artist

Maria is the latest addition to the crew. She graduated with a BA Hons in Fine Art from Camberwell School of Art & a Postgraduate degree in Art & Design Education from Goldsmith’s University, London. She is passionate advocate and lover of all things related to water. Maria’s work explores interactions between human manipulation of the natural world and vice versa trough the use of installation, sculpture, photography and film. By seeking human footprints upon water environments, and by using man-made objects that, subjected to randomly altering circumstances reveal hidden historicities, she questions our ability to identify and project knowledge backwards and forwards through time and space. Beachcombing and mudlarking the Thames has led to an obsession with plastic debris entering fluvial and marine environments.

Since the 2011 Japanese earthquake, Maria has been intensively following numerous research on the Great Pacific garbage patches and producing 3Dimensional artworks made from plastic collected from several locations in the Atlantic and the Thames. Maria has collaborated with various architects on environmental projects. These include the Biomimicry-based: ‘ecoMachines _World Dubai Marine Life Incubators’, with EcologicStudio & the Architects Association, culminating in a book publication in 2011. The brief was to design a series of purpose-built underwater structures using Biomimicry and computer technology, to encourage the growth, expansion and adaptation of a healthy coral reef connected by sensors to a Scientific Research & Education Centre. ‘Empooling Landscapes’, with the University of East London, dealt with the exploration of the long-term effects of salt crystals on different building materials within the marshlands of the Coto de Doña Aña National Park, in Andalucía. Her role as artist on the expedition will be to produce a series of artworks that, in response to the trip’s findings, highlight the disruptive effects of microplastics as hormonal disruptors to both humans, and marine organisms. Maria is working on various ideas that as well as conveying this poignant message, will utilise these samples as literal Fossilised Time-Capsules-artworks providing alternative ways of preserving information for future study.

Learn more about Maria's journey here:

Read more

Elaine McKinnon

Elaine McKinnon

Canada

Elaine is an avid sailing enthusiast who has always felt the call of the ocean. Living in the centre of a large continent, however, means that she currently sails in the freshwater lakes of Ontario, enjoying the incredibly unique and fragile ecosystem of Georgian Bay (a UNESCO biosphere reserve). Her experiences and continuing education on the state of our oceans and freshwater systems have made a remarkable impression and led her to act on this. As a clinical neuropsychologist, she is also well aware of the accumulating evidence of how much exposure to toxics is leading to a worrisome increase in health concerns in children and adults both. As a parent to three children, two of whom are young women, this concern is particularly focused on their risks for cancer and reproductive problems in the coming years.

Joining the Pangaea expedition is a first step in realizing several goals: contributing to the scientific study of the state of our oceans; studying the effects of the accumulating toxics and pollutants on health; and crossing an ocean in the company of knowledgeable, empowered women. Elaine hopes that through this experience, she will be able to contribute to further discussion on these critical issues among children and adults in her community, to both heighten understanding and to bridge the gap between understanding and much needed action.

Anne Baker

Anne Baker

United Kingdom

Sailor

The only person in the world who will ever be able to say ‘I was the 2nd Mate on the inaugural eXXpedition voyage across the Atlantic in 2014’

My story is like a three-legged stool. As a yatchmaster involved in sail training, mainly with all girl crews and with thousands of sea miles this trip, from a sailing prospective, is a dream chance to cross the Atlantic with an all women crew. Then there is the women’s health element; I have a niece, who is a teenage (female specific) cancer patient. Being part of a team trying to understand in more detail how environmental and specifically ocean toxins affect women’s health is a wonderful opportunity. For my own health and also to share this through the female branches of the youth organisations I work with, principally girl guides and scouts.  My third leg, comes from my recent agricultural studies during which I realized the effects of human intervention on the environment, both land and sea and highlighted the fine balance of the environmental and the impact of farming.

Anne was Mission Leader for eXXpedition Round Britain 2017 Leg 2.