An accountant by training, an entrepreneur and community connector by choice, living in an island city, Aarathi believes that life is a journey worth learning. Her work includes curating events and content for families, children and the larger community, in an effort to break boundaries and strengthening bonds.
Aarathi felt compelled to join the crew because given the climate changes we have witnessed in these short 10 years, we no longer have the choice BUT to be interested in how we treat our waste, particularly in the way we dispose of plastics and other seemingly harmless materials that actually create toxic waste in our oceans and lands. As a member of our communities we all have to be bothered about how we can BE that change.
Aarathi is not a personality or anyone famous and you don’t have to be. She believes an opportunity like this offers regular citizens around the world, a chance to contribute toward a legacy that benefits all.
Marine Biologist and Fisheries Scientist
Adele is a marine biologist and fisheries scientist. In 2018, Adele completed her Master’s on the reproduction of deepwater elasmobranchs, she has unexpectedly become an expert in sperm storage in female sharks and rays. Adele’s research gained substantial media coverage, and has driven her to use her science background to bring science to society through quality and engaging science communication.
Adele has worked in marine and fisheries science for the last nine years, experiencing firsthand the effects of human impacts (e.g. fishing, plastic pollution etc.) on the oceans. Her passion for the oceans, the interactions we humans have with the world around us and the interconnections between the two is what drives her. Adele’s experiences and research have also highlighted the biases within science towards organisms with phalluses, both in the workforce and as study subjects. This has led her to want to drive change in STEM to become more diverse and accepting, and to shift her scientific focus towards evening out the balance. She truly believes that women have a place in science, in the ways in which it is communicated, and as subjects that can deepen our understanding of the world around us.
Adele is also a multi-media artist, using her art to empower women and express her love and respect for the ocean.
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.
United States of America
Corporate sustainability professional
Alex Michalko has worked in corporate sustainability for more than a decade, helping large companies from the media, retail, and technology sectors drive positive environmental and social change. She also served as a Research Fellow at Project Drawdown, an initiative led by Paul Hawken to measure the expected environmental and financial impact of accelerating the adoption of the 100 most substantive solutions to climate change. Alex received her MBA and Master of Environmental Management degrees from Duke University, where her master’s thesis focused on consumer goods eco-labelling. She also holds a BA in International Relations from Stanford University. She is based in Seattle, where she spends her free time exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
United States of America
Professor of Science Education
Raised in Las Vegas and Bermuda and currently a science education professor at the University at Buffalo, Alexandra is excited to represent her communities on this voyage!
She’s a parent of two great children and a lover of oceans and freshwater. In her work, she teaches environmental and science education and research youth participation in citizen science.
Outside of work, Alexandra enjoys kitesurfing and cycling.
Alice de Castro
Alice de Castro
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.
Alice is the Founder of The Lowdown – www.theldown.com – the world’s first review platform for contraception. She is based in London and has worked in the media and digital product development for the past eight years.
Alice built The Lowdown when she realised she couldn’t find user-based data on women’s experiences and side effects from contraception at scale, anywhere. So, she decided to do something about it and create the ‘Trip Advisor for contraception’. The site launched in Feb 2019 has already received thousands of anonymous reviews, and coverage from The Times, Stylist magazine, Marie Claire and Radio 1.
A fierce advocate for women’s health, Alice wants to use her eXXpedition experience to understand the impact of endocrine disruptors on our reproductive health – and leverage The Lowdown community to spread the word to others.
Whether it’s sailing, surfing or scuba diving, Alice absolutely loves the ocean and can’t wait to challenge herself and become better informed about the issue of plastic pollution through this experience.
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.
Sailor & Photographer
Amélie Marchand’s life is a joyful mess but it would make far less interesting stories if it was any other way! After a few years working in the music industry, as the musician who can play any instrument you put in her hands, her desire to make the world a more sustainable place pushed her to study environmental sciences. Growing up in a family of travellers and professional mariners, her grandfather tales of gigantic waves and seafaring adventures inspired her wandering spirit and her profound respect of the ocean. She discovered traditional sailing when she was 22 years old and it is now her favourite way to wander around. Between her fight against her evil enemy, plastic pollution, her salty travels and her university life, she still manages to be a freelance photographer, has learnt how to speak 4 languages, volunteers at a handful of local organisations and practices violin. In case you haven’t guessed, her biggest fear is to be bored.
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.
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.
SVP Global Ocean Freight - Trade Management
Born and raised at the Baltic coastline in Germany, the element of water created fascination from an early age : swimming, rowing, diving, surfing and sailing have been favorites ever since. Not a surprise that also her professional career had to be related to Ocean Freight.
It was during extensive travel around the globe as well as during her several years living in China and Southeast Asia that she has become deeply aware about the sheer amount of plastic in the Ocean and consequences in the environment from toxic pollution.
Anja is passionate about raising the awareness level about plastic and toxic pollution and to motivate for solutions. Her leadership role in the ocean logistic industry provides a solid platform to reach out to various stakeholders and stimulate the topic. Anja is married with two sons. Her family backs up her project and is keen seeing her on this female adventure.
Founder and Director, Asociación PLAYA PATROL
“When young children present me with their first bottle of discarded cigarette butts that they’ve collected at a beach clean up or enthusiastically share a story about why plastic is harmful to the sea, their eyes light up and they get very excited to tell me something important. That’s how I know that what we do with PLAYA PATROL is important at a grassroots level because it inspires people of all ages to change their relationship with single-use plastic. I am both excited to join eXXpedition and fearful to witness first-hand the harm that our relationship with plastic has on our fragile planet.
Ann is originally from Canada and now lives in La Herradura, which is located in Costa Tropical, Spain. In October 2018, she hosted her first beach clean up which attracted 350 volunteers. That propelled her to create a non-profit association which focuses on large scale community beach clean ups in order to educate families, schools and business about the harm that single-use plastic has on our sea and our planet. Ann is looking forward to the challenges and rigor of two weeks at sea and is excited to share her on-board experience when she returns to Spain.
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.
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.
United States of America
Barbara was raised on the North Shore of Massachusetts and some of her earliest and happiest memories are from time spent on the beaches on the eastern shoreline. Her father took her out sailing and fishing when they were young and she grew to love the ocean. About 20 years ago she moved to Marblehead, Massachusetts for the sailing and scuba diving. She has always enjoyed the outdoors and her spirit is never happier than when she is out on the water. She often tells people, insurance is her profession but sailing and gardening are her passions.
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.
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.
Bonita was born and raised in London and worked in finance. She learnt to scuba dive and for many years dived in the English Channel and abroad, and because of her fascination with the underwater world, became a dive instructor so that she could share her passion and make people aware of the delicate ecosystem. Due to her love of the water she also learnt to sail.
As a Paramedic she has a focussed awareness of our health issues and through documentaries has become very aware how plastic pollution is affecting an environment she loves.
Bonita now wants to raise awareness and inspire future generations to protect our planet.
Bonita is elated to be part of a team of passionate women who want to make a difference through research and collaboration on the detrimental effects that plastic is having on our oceans, wildlife and our health.
United States of America
Senior Citizen Care Coordinator
Based in Los Angeles, Brittany has been practicing zero waste living for nearly 4 years now. Through this voyage she is hoping to learn how to make more of an impact on a global level against plastic pollution.
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.
Camila De Conto
Camila De Conto
Camila is Brazilian by birth, Italian by blood and world citizen by heart. Currently living in the Caribbean island of Curacao, in where she found her peace close to the ocean.
She is a Process Engineer, working in the Pharmaceutical sector. Besides her daily job, she’s a member of the company’s sustainability team and her role is to work on measures to improve their sustainable culture.
When she is not at work, you can find her practicing yoga by the beach or you can find her at the sea: sailing, diving, swimming, snorkeling, volunteering for the Coral Restoration Foundation, for the Curacao Sea Turtle Conservation Foundation or for the sea scouting helping with sailing lessons for the community kids.
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.
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.
Caroline van Wijngaarden
Caroline van Wijngaarden
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.
Carry is the founder and Global Operations Director of Fashion Revolution, a a global movement calling for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry. Inspired to act after the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013, Fashion Revolution is now the world’s largest fashion movement with teams in over 100 countries and millions of people participating each year.
Previously, Carry set up her multi-award winning fashion brand Pachacuti in 1992 after a Masters in Native American Studies. Pachacuti pioneered radical supply chain transparency and was the world’s first Fair Trade Certified company. Earlier this year, Lyst named her as one of the 8 Sustainable Icons Revolutionising the Fashion World, alongside names such as Emma Watson, Stella McCartney and Meghan Markle.
Carry learned to sail on the J-Class yacht Velsheda and has sailed square riggers on the Tall Ships Race and a transatlantic voyage. Carry will use her experience to feed into Fashion Revolution’s 2020 campaign which will focus on the unseen impacts of the industry, such as micofibre pollution.
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/
Journalist and Public Affairs Consultant
Catherine trained as a journalist and is experienced in research & innovation, transport, energy and environment sectors. She works on improving stakeholders relations and ensuring visibility to EU Programmes within the EU community and beyond, through a large network of contacts.
Catherine offers a combination of counsel in public affairs and policies, with an experience in managing communications campaigns, including media relations, events, digital & print communication, social media and corporate branding. Working with passion to support the construction of Europe, she has embraced the challenge of the EU Green Deal to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent.
Catherine is a keen amateur sailor and through her sailing voyages she has become increasingly aware of the plastic polluting the oceans. Joining the eXXpedition journey is a way for her to explore further and come up with solutions as a citizen and policy influencer.
Vice Principal of an International School
Catherine is currently a Design and Art teacher at an International School in Japan as well as a Vice Principal and mother of two. During her time teaching, she has become increasingly aware of the issues that her students and children will face as they embrace an unknown future. Catherine hopes to find and create opportunities for herself and those around her to make this world both healthy and beautiful.
Natural Resources Management Specialist
Celine spends her days exploring ways to protect wildlife, forests and the ocean. Hailing from Singapore, Celine works at the World Bank, supporting the governments of Mozambique and Indonesia to tackle marine plastic pollution and move towards a plastics circular economy through policy, partnerships and local innovations. Her other projects aim to maximize the value of natural resources for local communities for their sustainable management. Previously, Celine lived and worked in the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon, advocating for forest conservation and indigenous rights.
Celine loves diving, backcountry camping and learning languages – and she recently picked up the ukelele. She is excited to exchange ideas on eXXpedition with other strong women leaders and changemakers on solving the plastics problem.
Freelance Event Producer | Part-Time Student | Actress
This sea-fearing landlubber dons multiple maverick guises: part creative – actor, director, scribbler; part organiser, producer; part ‘wholing-facilitator’.
Hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa, Chantal’s currently saturated in a Creative research Masters, investigating grief in the shadow of the Sixth Extinction. She believes that to change our global narrative we need to tell new stories. Personal experience creates resonance in others, and so she is seeking ways to communicate the enormity of the consequences of oceanic degradation on all Beings.
Veterinary Surgeon & Conservationist
Originally a Veterinary surgeon from the UK, Christina spent several years working and travelling around the world and eventually settled in Vanautu where I have lived for the last 12 years. After completing her masters in Veterinary conservation medicine, she founded a conservation NGO – the Vanautu Environmental Science Society in 2014. With a focus on threatened species conservation, she works with local communities to conserve animals such as dugongs and the endemic flying foxes as well as conducting scientific studies to fill the data gap on the knowledge of these animals. Christina is a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Sirenia Specialist Group. Animals need their habitat and so she also work to protect seagrasses, coral reefs and forests. Plastics in the environmental affects all these habitats and animals which is why she has picked up a lot of rubbish! We organise cleanups with data collection which have been used by politicians as evidence to support the plastic bans that have come into force in Vanuatu. She continues to work on the issue of plastic pollution and finding solutions that work for the small island country. She is also a scuba instructor and partner in a dive shop in Port Vila and conduct underwater cleanups. After a devastating cyclone there in 2015 she removed over 12 tonnes of boat debris from boats wrecked in the storm in the harbour. Another project she is currently working on is with the Global Ghost Gear initiative on validating a model for where lost gear accumulates and removing ALDFG. She is also controlling a Crown-of-thorns-starfish outbreak on the reefs by injecting them with vinegar. She inherited a love of sailing from her father and as a child sailed in the Mediterranean. As an adult she have completed a couple of ocean crossings – one from LA to Hawaii and more recently crewed for a boat delivery from here in Vanautu to Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands.
Grown in the french countryside, raised by an organic winemaker and single mom, Claire is both passionate about environmental issues and women empowerment.
Illustrator, graphic designer, traveller, and master of sociology, she first heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch during her master degree of environmental sociology in Lisbon. As an artist, she is fascinated by the variety and the beauty of marine creatures, from the tiny plankton to the majestic whale.
She hopes to raise awareness about plastic pollution and why oceans are so important for our survival as a species through her art.
Born in midlands Ireland, Claire didn’t grow up with much exposure to or experience of the sea. That all changed in 2014, when an idle pub conversation with her partner got out of hand… and they bought a boat. Two short years later she found herself immersed in a wholly new experience – as an amateur diesel mechanic in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! The couple successfully completed a 9 month North-Atlantic circumnavigation via the Caribbean, and ever since, Claire has been hooked on the sea.
As a contemporary artist, Claire investigates the structures that connect us to the world and each other, and makes work that reflects on themes of connection and collaboration. Having directly witnessed the prevalence of plastic debris in the most offshore regions of the Atlantic, the eXXpedition Round the World mission sparked an interest to do more. This voyage will inform a new body of research in which Claire will explore the symbolic role of the Ocean in our collective cultural psyche, as a means to investigate how ocean pollution may be causing psychological as well as environmental harm.
Clara has an MSc in economics and works with sustainable finance at the Swedish Ministry of Finance. She is originally from the west coast of Sweden and grew up on the northern shores of lake Vänern. She has always loved being in nature and discovered her passion for the ocean and ocean health through scuba diving. Clara studied economics to learn more about the relationship between nature, economy and society. She is now, in her current position, excited to explore the role of financial markets in the context of plastic and toxic pollution in the oceans.
Claudia loves being on and in the ocean as much as freshwater lakes, rivers and caves. She is into diving, windsurfing, canoeing and sailing. As a passionate diver and dive instructor she is deeply interested in water protection and scientific research about biological shifts and human impact on water quality. She runs two conservation projects (Project Baseline Bergisches Land and Project Baseline Gulf of Cagliari).
Besides Claudia is an anaesthesiologist and hospital hygiene specialist, a mother of two, and a (hobby) violinists and strongly believes in the positive effects of passionate teaching and education to rise awareness and impact people’s behaviour.
Her motivation to join the virtual voyage is to learn more about microplastic pollution and its effects on the microbiota of an aquatic habitat and especially on our health. She plans educational talks in local dive shops and a gymnasium and hopes to encorporate her newly gained knowledge into her own citizen science projects and some artwork ideas to rise awareness for „aquatic health“.
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.
Daniela Alarcon Ruales
Daniela Alarcon Ruales
Galapagos Science Center Researcher
Daniela Alarcon Ruales is one of the bursary recipients on eXXpedition Round the World, and a plastic researcher for the Galapagos Science Centre (GSC).
environmentalist (ecology, biology) + Climate Champion
Daniela always loved to be outside. Brazilian environmentalist and adventurer, the passion about ecology and nature, made her become a biologist and specialist in waste management and circular economy. In LatAm, where the social aspects of informal waste systems prevail, came the opportunity to experience the challenging role of street waste pickers. TEDx SP speaker, Dani was crew member for Pangea Expedition, which sailed across the Pacific Garbage Patch in 2012 in search of Japanese Tsunami Debris. In over 15 years experience with sustainability in the private sector, she collaborated to structure the Network for Plastic Cooperation, connecting the whole value chain for discussions on how to keep plastics in the economy and out of the environment. Partner with TriCiclos (a B Corporation working to eliminate the concept of waste) she participated of the EMF’s New Plastics Economy and was invited as expert panellist for the recently launched “Breaking the Plastic Wave” Report, recognising the importance of dialogue, diversity and to be science-based. Committed to collective and immediate action to halt and reverse the current climate trajectory and to build an an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic system for all people and the planet she has an active role on the LatAm B Corp Community and as Brazil and Nature Based Solutions’ lead at the Climate Champions Team for COP26, focused on raising ambition and action with NSA towards a more resilient carbon neutral future, before 2050. Living on an Island in the Northern coast of São Paulo with her family, days are now full of exciting conversations overseas, a lot of hard work, rowing adventures, beach and mangrove clean ups, trekking to waterfalls and ocasional turtle rescues with the kids. Probably the worst crew member regarding social network skills?… but very excited to make herself available to Portuguese and Spanish speakers that want to join our journey all over the world.
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!
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.
Dr Derya Gürer is an Earth Scientist currently based in Australia. A scientist, outdoor enthusiast, adventurer, and advocate for women in STEM has worked in remote and rugged conditions all over the world. Driven by curiosity in the world that surrounds us and her personal motivation, Derya wants to use her expertise as scientist and educator to contribute to a cause that affects us all: the decline in the health of the ocean.
United States of America
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.
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.
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.
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.
United States of America
School Director and Inn Owner/Operator
Ellen is the owner and operator of a small coastal inn, as well as the Executive Director of a Montessori primary and elementary school. An avid lover of all things natural, Ellen has specifically been drawn to marine life and the importance of ocean ecosystems on earth. Ellen holds an Undergraduate Degree in Environmental Science and Marine Ecology, as well as a Master’s Degree in International Logistics Management. She is driven by an interest in sustainability, and the ability to thrive on our planet without destroying it. She is the mama of two boys, whom she is raising to be nature lovers and compassionate stewards of the Earth.
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.
Emilie Boege Dresler
Emilie Boege Dresler
Since Emilie was a young girl she has always enjoyed being on the water. She has been sailing for pure fun, but also for different kinds of competitions. Therefore it has always been a dream of hers to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. Now as a 31-year-old women she seeks the challenge and she is very excited. She is looking forward to getting to know her crew members, living the adventure and learning more about her newest interest, that is, how to avoid plastic pollution.
Environmental Science Graduate
Having recently graduated with a degree in environmental science Emily has become more aware of the problems facing our planet today. She is passionate about travelling because it allows her to experience different cultures and see some of the global issues she has learnt about in lectures.
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.
Director and Co-Founder
As co-founder of eXXpedition EMILY has seen first hand how much plastic ends up in our ocean. She has spent the last decade exploring the high seas from the tropics to the Arctic – enabling scientists, filmmakers and interested individuals to gain access to the most remote parts of our planet.
She has organised the largest ever community-led waste cleanup from a tiny Tongan island, trawled for micro-plastics on a voyage through the Arctic Northwest Passage, rounded the planet on the record-breaking biofuelled boat Earthrace, and worked on a sailing cargo ship trading western supplies for coconuts.
Emily splits her time between running eXXpedition and developing upstream solutions to the ocean plastic issue with corporate partners, scientists and government bodies. An experienced public speaker, Emily gives talks around the world at conferences, universities and global companies about her adventures and issues relating to our oceans, human mindset and future society.
You can find more information on Emily’s projects at www.emilypenn.co.uk.
Going to turtle island last year off the coast of Borneo and seeing the devastation of how plastic in the ocean and on beaches shocked me. We did a beach clean up and in 7 months of travelling was one of the most satisfying activities I undertook.
I want to explore this problem further and when I heard about eXXpedition I just knew it was something I wanted to be part of. I am passionate about gender parity and citizen science, this fitted in the sweet-spot of my interests.
At home I work for a large technology company which has pledged a 50:50 gender parity target by 2025. I am proud to work for a company with this mission. I believe in the power of women. Last year, I took part in a mixed transatlantic crossing. I was keen to see the differences in an all female crew. Sailing is still a male dominated sport and in the last 22 years, I have never sailed with only females.
I am currently looking to grow a Science for Life initiative in London, recognising that science curiosity is something to be encouraged and retained throughout your life not just at school. I am keen to take back the learnings of this citizen science from this adventure and apply my learnings to Science for Life.
Independent Consultant - Marine, Coasts and Climate Change.
Emma has lived and worked around the marine environment all her life, as a scientist, coastal adaptation and resilience she brings expertise in oceanography and conducting engagement with policy makers internationally.
As a keen surfer and diver, Emma sees the damage on a daily basis. She hopes her volunteered time to collect samples and data desperately needed to support that change, reversing the dumpsite approach to waste management that curses our global oceans.
She runs her own business from Plymouth, Devon. Resilient Coasts provides technical expertise in coastal defence through adaptation and resilience approaches under climatic change, typically in the most vulnerable of the world’s communities. Emma hopes to network with the carefully selected team to enable change through innovation and technology.
United States of America
Writer, Artist and Wildlife Rehabilitator
Erica Cirino is a writer, artist and wildlife rehabilitator who explores the intersection of the human and nonhuman worlds. Her work is focused on the human connection to nature–wild creatures in particular–and human impact on planet Earth.
As a writer, Erica covers stories about wildlife and the environment, most often related to biology, conservation and policy. Her stories appear in Scientific American, VICE, Ars Technica, Audubon, The Atlantic, New Scientist, The Revelator, Hakai Magazine, Oceans Deeply, Proto and other popular science publications.
As an artist, Erica creates works that conjure human emotions toward the nonhuman world. She is an award-winning photographer and mixed-media creator who combines her artistic finesse with her knowledge of wildlife physiology and ecology to devise striking, thoughtful works focused on wild beings and landscapes.
Currently, Erica is focused on covering stories about the global plastic pollution crisis—from documenting plastic in different ecosystems, to investigating the latest science measuring the extent of the issue, to new solutions that could prevent further ecological destruction and harm to wildlife. Her work covering the story of plastic pollution has taken her sailing twice across the Pacific, in Danish waters, and around Iceland; to Southeast Asia, across the U.S. and Western Europe; the Caribbean; Polynesia and beyond. Erica gives lectures about her experiences reporting these stories in the field around the world.
One of Erica’s major creative inspirations is her role as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator who has spent many years in the clinical setting. Over the past 11+ years, Erica has helped treat thousands of sick, orphaned and injured wild animals for their eventual release into the wild. She specializes in treating birds of prey, such as hawks, owls and falcons.
Through her writing, art and wildlife rehabilitation work, Erica hopes to foster human care, conversation and, perhaps, kinship with the nonhuman world.
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.
Erika Z. Muelle
Erika Z. Muelle
United States of America
Erika was born and raised in Southern California and grew up playing on the beach. In late 2017, she retired from a 30-year career in software and has been traveling ever since. On these travels, Erika recognized the severity of the plastics issues in our oceans and all of nature’s waters. She was honored to become part of the 2020 eXXpedition crew when COVID-19 hit and her leg was cancelled. She currently resides in Arkansas, the “Natural State” where she spends her time sharing the healing practices of yoga, sound and meditation; she spends most of her time in nature paddle boarding, hiking and volunteering with surf and equine therapy organizations. Erika believes many people are intimidated by the size of the plastics issue and they don’t believe they can have an impact. She aims to help raise awareness that together we can have an impact on an issue that affects us all and what we each can do to reduce the use of plastic in our day-to-day lives. She’s excited she can still be part of this team of inspiring women that want to spread the word about plastic pollution to a global audience.
United States of America
Writer and Designer
Hailing from the American South, Esther lives and writes on a 35’ sailboat named Hope with her artist husband, Michael, and their cat, Bowie. A former assistant professor in creative writing with over 20 years of experience in education, she is the author of the chapbook, Blank Missives, and two poetry collections titled Spit and Sacrificial Metal. Along with working with The Green Boater TV and the National Wildlife Federation, she has contributed her skills to schools and organizations (i.e. Emory University, Basecamp, Designlab) and recently collaborated with Sierra Club to develop their first plastic reduction toolkit, which offers a step-by-step guide for enacting plastic reduction ordinances in local communities.
When she’s not involved in creative pursuits or boat projects, she is learning to become a more confident sailor! Esther is particularly excited to join eXXpedition’s community and to work alongside a multidisciplinary crew of amazing women working towards solving plastic pollution.
After working 5 years in the world of digital startups and communication in Paris, Eugenie got animated by a strong desire to have more positive impact, both in HER personal and professional life.Throughout this shift, she had the opportunity to live a collective experience around shared governance, cooperation and societal engagement. Now, Eugenie is currently moving back to Brittany (closer to the sea!) and wants to contribute to more sobriety, resilience and reconnection with nature in society. She also wants to play a part in projects around ecological transition by allowing everyone, in their own way, to be an actor in this transition.
Fade is an internationally renowned tattoo artist who has tattooed worldwide and runs her own tattoo studio in Brighton, England. She’s the only European tattoo artist trained in the ancient art of hand tap tattooing which she learnt whilst living with tribes in the jungles of Borneo and West Sumatra.
Her career has been the focus of multiple articles and features in the tattoo press including the magazines; Skin Deep, Tattoo Master, Total Tattoo and Skin Shots. She has experience in television and radio interviews and documenting tattooing. She’s been the subject of a short film by Emmy award winners Ember films as well as self directing and producing a book and documentary on tattoo anthropology in tribal cultures.
She is a passionate tattoo anthropologist and a freelance writer for the UK’s best selling tattoo magazines, SkinDeep and Total Tattoo. Her ambition now is to focus on directing a feature-length documentary about tattoo anthropology, tattooing and preservation of indigenous cultures, the rainforest and tattoo heritage in the Mentawai islands and the Pacific ocean crossing between Easter Island and Tahiti combating plastic pollution with eXXpedition.
She spends time every year working with the charity, Sea Shepherd fund raising for their direct action on ocean conservation and she volunteers with ‘Assisting Your Life to Achieve’ in Australia, fundraising and covering scars for their mental health projects.
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.
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.
Geraldine Le Roux
Geraldine Le Roux
Senior Lecturer at University of Western Brittany (France) and Adjunct Researcher at James Cook University (Australia), Géraldine Le Roux teaches anthropology and art history to students from the age of 17 to 71. As an anthropologist, she is specialised on art, marine pollution and indigenous sovereignty. She has conducted many fieldwork in Australia and in the Pacific since 2005. Passionnated, she also works as a freelance curator, showcasing in France and Europe emerging artists from Pacific countries. She is currently editing a book on the artistic and semi-industrial recycling process of ghost nets.
United States of America
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.
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.
Before Heidi could walk she was immersed in the marine environment. Being Australian the ocean and surrounding aquatic environments are extremely important to her and it is a passion passed on to Heidi by her parents and grandparents. Currently living in the United Kingdom where she has been able to use her formal training in fisheries, climate change, coral reefs and mangrove to further the ambition of Commonwealth countries through the Commonwealth Blue Charter. When Heidi is not working she seeks out the calming effects of the beach, rivers and inlets. Where possible Heidi also scuba dives and explores the beauty under the ocean surface.
Helen Hill, is also known by her business name UnlikelyGenius Ltd. She is a self-employed Digital Learning and Content Designer with 13 years’ experience in a range of educational settings, educating students from 4 years old to adult.
Helen works as a contractor for businesses and eLearning agencies in the UK, Canada and Europe. She is currently refocusing the business onto projects where her passions lie – in health, the environment, sustainability, emerging markets and wellbeing.
She has been fascinated with the sea from a young age – flooding her bedroom with posters, book and cuddly toys of sea creatures, and spending hours drawing them. This has continued into adulthood, where you can frequently find her immersed in books about the oceans, watching documentaries, and dreaming of her next chance to scuba dive.
She is an eternal student, constantly learning about new topics and developing her skills and knowledge. For some time she has been teaching herself more about what we can do to help the oceans and reduce our impact on the environment, so that she can pass this onto others through her online and educational activities. She has built up a strong online presence, through which she feels she can start to help spread educational content and the knowledge she is learning.
She also has an exciting side project in development with a partner in which they are looking to educate children on sustainability and environmental issues. They are in the early stages, but have many ideas of how to develop a unique approach to this, and how to reach homes and schools in the UK and Australia (where they are based) and hopefully one day, further afield. Helen hopes to incorporate the findings from eXXpedition into this project.
Helen lives in semi-rural West Yorkshire in the UK, with her long-suffering partner Graham, and two extremely fluffy and diva-like lionhead rabbits Tiffin and Strudel.
Helen is a an advocate for refugees and has spent her career working with and for refugees in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the US, in remote refugee camps and in modern cities. She loves learning about the cultures and the people she is working with and has an endless curiosity about our wonderful world.
She is passionate about fighting for refugees’ rights, and in her spare time loves sailing, the ocean and the power of nature. She first learned about the shocking scope of plastic in the oceans on a sailing voyage to Antarctica, and wants to use the eXXpedition experience to learn more, to contribute to science and finding solutions as well as bringing awareness.
Helena W Óladóttir
Helena W Óladóttir
Helena is enthusiastic about almost everything to do with environment and education, and somehow most of her professional and personal steps have been related to the same journey. She has 15 years experience working as a sustainability educator and facilitator, in schools and kindergartens, at the Univeristy and at the municipality level, and in various businesses and organizations. Currently, Helena works as an environment and quality specialist at the Icelandic Medicines Agency – talking about increasing environmental awareness in a broad field.
Helena holds a Masters degree in Environmental management and is a board member of the Icelandic Nature Society. She doesn’t have much sailing experience but is an experienced outdoor person that thrives in challenging situations.
Hilary Ruth Nash
Hilary Ruth Nash
A cheerful fitness enthusiast, born and raised in Dublin Ireland, Hilary is a doctor by profession. She first studied for a B Sc in biochemistry at UCD in Ireland before moving to the UK in 2007 to study medicine at Manchester University. With this as her background, it may be understandable that promoting the role of women in STEM careers has a place very close to her heart.
She is also incredibly passionate about conservation and re-wilding, and she’s been so saddened by the tragedy of the climate crisis and our polluted ecosystems that is unfolding before our eyes. Living by the sea in Brighton in the UK brings the problem to her door every day, and she spends much of her time there supporting small, local and independent businesses who allow people to shop sustainably, as plastic and packaging free as possible.
She feels both honoured and excited to be able to share an incredibly powerful experience with a group of inspiring women from all over the globe, which will contribute to humanity’s deeper scientific understanding of the threat that plastic pollution poses to our world.
Hazardous Waste Management
Raised on the shores of the Mediterrannean and sailing every summer IMOGEN has a wealth of experience in the environmental industry that extends to many worldwide locations. She has relentlessly pursued a career related to waste minimisation and site remediation of hazardous chemicals and other pollutants mainly in Africa and the Middle East. She has a keen interest and involvement in protecting and improving the environment as well as enforcing security for the people that live in proximity to contaminated or high-risk sites.
She is an MSc student in environmental toxicology and pollution control focusing on the behaviour of contaminants in water, air and soil and the evolving legislative controls on environmental contaminants.
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.
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.
Irina Maria Peterson
Irina Maria Peterson
Irina Maria Peterson is the “Ocean Amazon” – a passionate sailor and nature lover. She is co-founder and CEO of “Broth By Design” (www.brothbydesign), a successful nutritional supplements women founded business in United States, dedicated to making wellbeing and quality nutrition available to everyone.
Via her Ocean Amazon platform, Irina Maria Peterson raises awareness of the fragility of our marine life, the oceans role in regulating climate and therefore the impact on our lives. Another goal is to inspire women to love and navigate the oceans, having an important presence in the sailing world and pivotal role as global agents of change.
Irina will be the only representative of the Principality of Monaco on-board eXXpedition voyages and she is extremely proud and honoured by the support of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
Irina is an ambassador of eXXpedition, Passion Sea and Oceano Scientific Research.
Her love for the oceans was ignited in childhood, when she discovered Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s documentaries. Despite a tiny black and white TV at home, she was mesmerized by the underwater “Silent World”. The legendary explorer became an inspiration and growing up, Irina went on to dive and sail in many diverse places and her love for the ocean grew immensely! And for this gift, Irina will be forever grateful and it is now time to pay it forward!
Irina hopes that her Ocean Amazon documentary will be able to inspire younger generations to love and protect our oceans and the environment in general.
Here is the way Irina describes herself and her motivation “I am an imperfect human, an imperfect activist. But I am learning and I am promising that I’m going to continue to try my best! I truly believe that what the world needs right now is not a handful of perfect people being the perfect solution! We need 7.5 billion people, imperfect like me and you, willing to try our best each day: when we can, how we can, where we can and in all the ways we can to take more responsibility for our actions that impact the environment.”
Irina wishes to thank from all her heart to each one of you who made her journey possible and to her partners:
– Prince Albert II Monaco Foundation
– Yacht Club of Monaco
– Monaco Impact
– Gustavia Yacht Club
– Broth By Design
You may follow Irina’s voyage and mission on:
Sailor & Student
Isabelle is a curious person and passionate about science, plant-based food, sailing, minimalism and photography. Her special interest lies in environmental protection, especially fighting plastic pollution as well as the rehabilitation and restoration of coral reef ecosystems and all living beings depending on them. She believes in promoting an environmentally conscious lifestyle which is affordable for everyone.
In 2018 she relocated from Switzerland to Ecuador where she learned about upcycling and then moved to Mexico City in 2020. She is finishing her second Master in Environmental Management and Audits in Marine Science and Technology at International Ibero-American University, Mexico. For her thesis she will join rrreefs (rrreefs.com) & Corales de Paz (coralesdepaz.org) reef building workshop in Colombia to put into the water a 3D printed clay modular rrreef brick system to research early colonization of baby corals. Isabelle is looking forward to exploring potential solutions to plastic and toxic pollution together with the virtual crew and raising awareness about what impact our daily actions have on our own health and the one of our oceans.
United States of America
Founder of The Last Plastic Straw
Jackie created the No Plastic Straws movement when she founded The Last Plastic Straw in 2011 as a volunteer project for Save Our Shores. The Last Plastic Straw has been a project of Plastic Pollution Coalition since 2016.
She is a part time kayak guide, full time activist, and lives in Santa Cruz, California, where she teaches people of all ages how to speak truth to plastic and be an agent for change in their communities. She has advised on more than 20 local ordinances limiting single-use food ware including plastic straws, and on the historic Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020.
Jackie has a BS in Health and a AS in Horticulture, and has a passion for travel, ocean sports, design, gardening, the environment, and community service. Jackie is a frequent speaker at international conferences, in the press, and was featured in the award-winning documentary Straws.
United States of America
Photographer & Marine Toxicologist
Jamie is a marine toxicologist turned photographer from Seattle, WA (USA). She photographs weddings, wrestling, political rallies and portraits. Her favourite is photographing pets; she lives with a wiggly dog named Mako Sharkpup who goes with her almost everywhere and loves cheese.
She has been interested in anthropogenic contaminants since university and she is grateful to be able to contribute to the efforts to curb ocean plastics. We have known about this for most of her lifetime and yet we are still contributing to the problem. In the US, the messaging is largely related to individual use, but she’s interested in addressing this problem at the production level – our approach needs to be multi-modal.
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.
Jana is a clinical physician from Berlin. As a member of the German alliance for climate change and health, she is highly interested in public health issues, such as the global warming and the pollution of our airs and waters.
It is her strong believe that the survival and well-being of humans is dependent on a healthy planet. To inspire conversation on the topic, she recently launched a podcast, where she talks to specialists from the health sector and takes a stand for sustainable changes that are needed to be made in order to save the health of the planet and us humans living on it.
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.”
Jeanine Behr Getz
Jeanine Behr Getz
United States of America
Writer & Consultant
Jeanine started cleaning up beaches when she was 10 years old. Her grandparents gave her the gift of water and mountain exploration early on and she has been forever grateful and protective of both ever since. She writes through green coloured glasses to inspire others and take on consulting projects that make a positive impact on our environment and human health and for her clients. Consistent themes threaded throughout her professional and personal lives are – to stay hopeful, work collaboratively on solutions to make positive changes and lead by action not by words.
United States of America
Managing Director, Fiduciary Services
Jeanne is from Seattle, Washington where she and her husband race their sailboat, Gray Wolf. She is the Captain of Sail Like A Girl, an all women’s team who competed in the Race To Alaska, a 750 mile unsupported human and wind powered adventure race from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska. In 2018 team Sail Like A Girl won the race becoming the first winning monohull and the first women’s team to win.
Jeanne has two children, Katrina, 15 and Maks, 12 and is an attorney who manages trusts and estate settlements, working with clients to define their legacy. She is passionate about the health of our oceans and is looking forward to sharing all that she learns on this important endeavor.
Entrepreneur, Ethical Investor & Chartered Accountant
Jenny lives in the Redlands, Brisbane in Queensland Australia. She studied Commerce at the University of Queensland, undertook post-graduate studies at QUT & is a Chartered Accountant. This training and discipline has equipped her with an ethical analytical mind and keen problem-solving skills. Jenny utilises her corporate networks to create awareness in her community of eXXpeditions’ mission, and to inspire and influence others to #BeTheChange and #SaveOurBeesTreesSeas.
Together with her husband Neil, she invests in companies that can make a difference for our planet. In her current role as an Investor in Our Eco Clean, she has joined the #IQuitChemicals movement and is applying her skills to the company’s circular economy journey and global expansion. Working both upstream and downstream in Our Eco Cleans supply chain, she enjoys finding ways to make a difference for customers, suppliers, communities and our planet. She also sits on the Fast Moving Consumer Goods committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia.
A keen sailor, scuba-diver and kayaker, the ocean has driven Jens key decisions and has shaped her life journey. Her Great Grandmother sailed to Australia alone as a very young immigrant, her Great Aunt was a war-bride and one of her ancestors was an early Sydney-Hobart competitor….Jen has inherited their adventurous spirit! At home, she loves quality time with her supportive husband Neil (also an entrepreneur and musician) and her close family & friends. She also enjoys being a whippet-slave to a much-loved family pet, Sierra!
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.jambeck, https://www.facebook.com/MarineDebrisTracker
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!
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.
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.
United States of America
Her mother called her bossy growing up and Jessica ended up being quite the boss – yelling at the number 1 rowing team in America in both juniors and masters rowing. She was a prodigy child/Mensa invited child then decided to ditch University to travel.
She is Californian-born but has lived in London for about 16 years. She worked at an orphanage in Nepal, started a women’s empowerment series called the Woman’s Crush Wednesday Club and single-handedly started her own lifestyle PR agency in London which won a PR Agency of the Year Award called JPR Media Group.
She was impressed by eXXpedition founder Emily Penn and she is honoured to be accepted on this important mission to fight the plastic. She can’t wait to learn from all the other intelligent, inspirational women on this voyage.
Jessica van Horssen
Jessica van Horssen
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.
Analyst at an Environmental Consultancy
Having grown up in West Yorkshire, Joanna has always had a deep appreciation for the outdoors and our environment. Following this interest through school to studying Geography at university, sustainability, the environment and how we can operate in a more sustainable way has always been of interest.
A former international hockey player for Great Britain and England, Joanna is now transitioning to a career post professional sport and is following her interest in sustainability and passion to better look after our environment. She has just started in a role at an environmental consultancy, in order to start a career journey into this space. With her two key interests being sport and sustainability, she also finds it particularly interesting and exciting to bring those together.
Creative Consultant - Design/Communications
Juliana is the first Costa Rican to join eXXpedition, she is a professional in the field of design and creativity, an avid diver and conservationist. She has oriented her personal and professional life to use art, design and targeted communications as tools to positively influence human behaviour for the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans.
After spending 10 years focused on graphic design and visual communications in Costa Rica, Juliana combined those skills with her passion for marine conservation by graduating with an MA in Sustainable Natural Resource Management.
She had the opportunity to develop as a creative in the world of marine conservation as part of the team of The Reef-World Foundation in the Philippines, where she worked as the Communications Manager for four years and currently as Creative Consultant. Reef-World is a UK charity that works as the international coordinator of the UN Environment’s Green Fins initiative, which focuses on driving environmentally friendly scuba diving and snorkelling practices across the industry globally.
For the last four years, she’s worked to develop a behavioural design approach to marine conservation, uniting creativity with conservation. As part of this work she conducted a complete brand overhaul to enhance Reef-World’s and Green Fins’ communications; supported training and capacity building for Green Fins in the Philippines and Palau; developed, designed and implemented all campaigns for the organization; amongst many other tasks.
United States of America
Executive Director Plastic Oceans Intl
Julie is the Founder & Global Executive Director of Plastic Oceans International, working to end plastic pollution. She has worked in public health and nonprofit management internationally for the past 20 years in the US, Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry & Cell Biology and her Masters in Public Health. Julie’s career has focused on the effective communication of information to improve and safeguard human health as well as the environment against the negative effects of industrial development.
Julie was raised in San Diego where the ocean was part of her daily lifestyle as a swimmer and triathlete. When not working to protect the ocean, she is spending time with her husband and 2 sons traveling and exploring.
United States of America
Biologist, Project Manager and Mother
Julie considers herself as biologist, mother and activist. She strives daily to advocate for the vulnerable and under served populations and the growing problem of environmental racism. She is also trying to raise awareness in her community of the effects of plastic pollution in all stages of its “life-cycle” and how it affects the entire planet. She was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska USA. She received a Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology and Phylogenetics but gave up the lab life to work managing research laboratory spaces at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Growing up on the Great Plains, she adored the vast oceans of prairies but when she traveled to the ocean for the first time at age 19, she was forever drawn to its power. The ocean is the terminus to all land based activity and she wants to protect it by gaining the tools to positively influence others to do the same.
Entrepreneur and Environmental Activist
Juliet is passionate about sustainability and the circular economy, an entrepreneur at heart, and a changemaker keen on reducing our plastic dependencies.
She has successfully managed to decrease Aruba’s plastic footprint for the past six years, and is also working with Sint Maarten to fuel their plastic-free movement. To this end, she established a foundation, namely Impact Blue Foundation, together with private sector partners, to collaboratively research and devise inclusive solutions to puzzle and phase out our plastic reliance.
Creative Storytelling / Production Management
An innate interest in the natural world, new science, and the tangible human story which ties it all together has driven my work in content production and communications for some of the top independent television producers, international broadcasters and not-for-profit organizations in such cities as London, UK, Toronto, Ontario, and now here in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island. A natural history and adventure/travel storyteller at heart, I thrive on the process of creating resonant and relevant content – the best way to insight action and advocacy is to inspire and educate!
I began my communications career with one foot planted firmly on either side of the Arts/Science fence – stemming from a background in programming and public engagement at both the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, and then the Natural History Museum in London, UK where I assisted in the grand opening of the Sir David Attenborough Studio and first participated in such photography events as Wildlife Photographer of the Year. These combined interests and strengths inspired me to start using my research and writing skills, ultimately leading me to researcher, story producer and Associate Producer roles on a wide variety of ambitious specialist-factual natural history and science productions for such networks as PBS, BBC, National Geographic, IMAX, Travel Channel and Smithsonian Channel. Along the way, I’ve been given the incredible opportunity to use my Production Management and Site Coordination skills to be an extremely effective and integral part of some large scale event productions, including the United Nation’s Global Compact, UNESCO’s Year of Indigenous Languages / First People’s Cultural Council events, and several other live CBC Specials. Most recently, my professional path has brought me back to the not-for-profits, in a Content Producer / Media Manager role for Waterlution’s “”Water Innovation Labs”” – funded in part by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
The Pacific Northwest is a place of punch-you-between-the-eyes natural beauty, and it’s stolen my heart since moving out here from the Great Lakes in late 2017.
Now, as my partner and I have followed our hearts and moved to the West Coast to pursue our ocean sailing dreams of being on the water 365 days/year (instead of 60 days/year on the Great Lakes!) I look forward to continuing to sink my teeth into the stories that make this place so enchanting, and hope that my work can help to keep it all that very way.
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.
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.
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.
Founder of Meaningful Recruitment
As founder of Meaningful Recruitment Katie connects with amazing individuals and organisations that are striving to make a positive social impact in our world. She provides career coaching to help them achieve their aspirations and runs campaigns to help organisations find the talent to help them achieve their visions and solutions that will benefit our communities and our planet.
The plastic crisis comes up time and time again with her clients and through her podcasts and time on the radio, much interest is being raised from her followers on how they can contribute to the solutions. She’s so passionate about bringing about change to rid our oceans of plastic that she’s travelled to Norway and connected with people such as Boyan Slat’s team of Ocean Cleanup in San Francisco.
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.
Food Security Manager and Sustainability Teacher
Katlin was born and raised in Toowoomba, Australia. She studied at the University of Queensland and gained a dual degree in Economics and Geography.
She currently lives and works in the Bahamas at a not-for-profit called The Island School. This school offers high school students a semester abroad where they learn outside of the normal classroom. They join research projects, study marine ecology while scuba diving and explore nature through camping expeditions. Her role within this organization is to lead a research class and she is also the Food Security Manager. She oversees the operations of the aquaponics system, permaculture farm and runs the local farmers project. Their goal is to help reinvigorate agriculture within the Bahamas to help support the local economy, reduce our carbon footprint and allow fresh local produce to be more affordable.
She is also currently working towards obtaining her dive master certification and love anything in the ocean such as freediving, kayaking and boating. The ocean is her happy place and something she is very passionate about protecting.
Mom, Wife, Business Woman - trained as a Bricklayer and Civil/Env Engineer
Katrin is a bricklayer and competitive swimmer from former East Germany. Because in East Germany there was limited resources, they always had to improvise, invent ways to make things work. This mindset shapes me to the day and forces me to be determined, practical, and hands-on. My fierce sense of fairness helps build community.
It was much later in my professional life that a professor told me that entrepreneurs are very unhappy because they always see things that can be improved. That’s when I realized, “Oh, is that what it is? I must be a very good entrepreneur!”
My heart beats at the intersection of sustainability, business, innovation & social entrepreneurship. I view the world around me through the lens of strategic sustainability to find ways to decarbonize.
I really love my work in the business world, helping companies and corporations become more profitable, resilient and competitive by connecting their core business values with environmental sustainability, especially along the water-energy-food nexus.
As an environmental sustainability business women I enjoy most when I lead and initiate change, inspire and empower people, and engage in sustainability design thinking and development of inclusive and equitable communities, which I do in my personal and professional life, from Harvard University to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, as well as in my volunteering activities as President of SustainableQATAR.
To bring back pictures, stories and research results from our eXXpedition round-the-world sailing voyage to this diverse array of organizations and communities is a big motivator, challenge and responsibility I am grateful and willing to accept.
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.
Personal Development Coach & Writer
Kay Newton is the founder of Midlife Strategies, an author and an award-winning speaker. She is an acknowledged expert in guiding women over 50 to find simplicity by ditching mental and physical baggage.
In 2015 after a 30-year luxury Spanish lifestyle, Kay and her husband decided to have ‘no nest’. The couple moved to a two-roomed, tin-roof house near a pristine beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Kay now lives a simple life next to a beach in Mallorca, Spain.
Kay’s motivation for joining the Virtual Voyage is to learn about microplastic pollution, its effects upon the oceans and to women at menopause.
Kim Ferran Holt
Kim Ferran Holt
United States of America
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.
United States of America
Kimberly has worked as an archaeologist across the geographically and culturally diverse state that is California, for several years in British Columbia, as well as field seasons in Stymfalia and Mytilene in Greece. In the last few years, Kimberly’s archaeological interests have started to merge with her more personal activism focusing on climate change. In part, this is because Kimberly is a mother of two genuinely nice humans, Sunday, a dancer, and Inigo, a high school athlete, and she feels a responsibility towards ensuring her children’s future. Kimberly is married to another archaeologist, Scott Baxter, so dinner conversations often revolve around history, field stories, artifacts, people’s behaviors, and dirt!
Postgraduate Student and Ocean Conservationist
KIRANA has a scientific background in Marine Science which has given her full understanding of Indonesia’s potential for leading the world in environmental issues. Working on marine conservation for nearly seven years and living in Indonesia – the heart of the Coral Triangle, a global epicentre of marine biodiversity, further confirm this. Unfortunately, its maritime potential is grossly neglected, especially with the young generation. And we are currently facing real threats such as marine ‘plastic’ debris that have a severe impact on the marine environment, economic cost and our health.
She just finished her postgraduate program at University College London on Environment, Politics and Society and researched on “Ocean Plastic, Politics of Scale and Indonesia’s National Plan of Action”. She believes through the exploration of environmental problems such as ocean plastic will provide insight related to the scientific, political, economic practices that are shaping the human perspective in their relation to the ocean. Before her postgraduate study, she was doing a United Nations-Nippon Fellowship program in 2018 at Division Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea (DOALOS) in New York City. Also, she worked at a different multilateral organisation, national government, and local conservation NGO focused on environment and ocean conservation.
Kirana is the recipient of a developing nations bursary, supported by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Having an opportunity to do ocean sailing on the plastic issue with eXXpedition is going to be like a dream come true for her. She hopes to help Indonesia’s Government in the future becomes an ocean advocate in the fight against ocean plastic issues. She is also very excited to learn from other eXXpedition crew how to shift the public’s perspectives on the importance of ocean issues.
Kirsten grew up amongst the rivers and coastline of North Yorkshire, a keen boater and sea kayaker she has sailed and lived aboard a variety of boats. Kirsten is passionate about protecting the UK’s coastline and loves getting hands on- from beach clean ups to restoring historic boats.
A keen researcher in child and adolescent mental health, endocrine health and fertility, Kirsten hopes to use her voyage as a platform to educate others and garner support for sustainable lifestyles that work towards plastic free seas.
A survivor of multiple IVFs, Kirsten is really keen to explore the link between microplastics, synthetic oestrogen and fertility issues in both sexes.
Police Constable - Authorised Firearms Officer
Kirsty Young is an Authorised Firearms Officer for the Ministry of Defence Police where she is currently putting her skills to good use within one of the forces specialist units.
Having been raised in Scotland it was only natural that she grew up with a great love of the outdoors and walking up mountains. After leading her friends to the top of the wrong mountain in the Brecon Beacons (then pointing to the mountain they should have climbed) they are hoping that Kirsty won’t have anything to do with the navigation on board S/V TravelEdge.
From a young age Kirsty found herself making waves in the male dominated world of Motorsport, in particular karting. She has had great success gaining two British Women’s Racing Drivers Club – Kart Championship titles as well as winning many races and titles against large grids of men.
Having spent the majority of her life thriving in male dominated environments Kirsty has become a strong advocator of empowering women and now enjoys spending her evenings volunteering at a local Brownie group with the aim of inspiring the next generation of women.
This will be Kirsty’s first time sailing and she hopes the trip will give her a better understanding of what damage has been done by plastic pollution and how she can become part of a solution that reduces it. She hopes her story will not only inspire women but also encourage everyone she knows to be more mindful of the damage they are doing to the environment and to always push themselves out of their comfort zones on adventures of their own.
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Dr. Kristen Weiss is currently Communications Coordinator for the Long Term Ecological Research network. Previously, she was an early career fellow in Science Communication at the Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University. Kristen received her her PhD from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, where she studied marine wildlife management.
Her goal is to continue communicating about significant environmental issues and contribute to better conservation and management strategies to protect our threatened ecosystems – and to explore these ecosystems as much as possible!
Kristine Marie Berg
Kristine Marie Berg
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.
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Ky Delaney is a writer, lawyer, mother, adventurer, and environmentalist. She’s currently writing her first book, AFLOAT, about becoming a skipper to take her four-year-old son sailing in the Caribbean, and collecting water samples for a microplastics study along the way.
She lives in the mountains of North Carolina where she explores whitewater rivers with her son.
La Daana Kanhai
La Daana Kanhai
Trinidad and Tobago
La Daana Kanhai is a Trinidadian Marine Scientist that is presently based at the Department of Life Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad. Since 2015, La Daana has been focused on the issue of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. During her recently completed PhD (2018) in Marine Ecosystem Health and Conservation (MARES) at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (Ireland) and The University of Plymouth (UK), La Daana sampled the various environmental compartments of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans for microplastics.
La Daana’s fascination with and passion for the natural environment are the main factors that propelled her to pursue her dream of becoming an Environmental Scientist. La Daana joins the Caribbean leg of eXXpedition because she wants to raise awareness among Small Island Developing States (SIDS) about the issue of plastic pollution in the Caribbean Sea.
Architect and Educator
An architect, designer and educator, Lara has been teaching sustainability to artists and designers for over 10 years. Partnering with organizations such as Surfrider Foundation and 5 Gyres, her longstanding Rise Above Plastics class at Otis College of Design in Los Angeles has produced a multitude of creative projects, events and installations to raise awareness and influence behavior around the issue of single-use plastic pollution.
The Rise Above Plastics class is also a travel program where Otis students visit school children on the pacific coast of Nicaragua to educate them through interactive art and design activities about how plastic pollution discarded on their beaches is harming the sea life that they love so much and rely on as their primary food source.
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Growing up in Rochester NY, Laura did not have video games, etc so she would spend a lot of time playing outdoors, swimming, camping, skiing, photography, and travelling to the ocean. Laura is an adventurer and loves all things nature and water so much, she ended up earning two scuba diving certifications and studied Marine Biology.
After working in the corporate world for a long time, Laura has focused her passions back to science and the environment ‘back to her roots’, through promoting sustainability at work and through her high school, and nature conservation through education by volunteering at a wild raptor sanctuary.
Laura is excited to have the opportunity to learn from an exceptional group of woman and hopes to learn a lot. The world is what we make of it and by working together creating small changes we can make an impact.
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.
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.
Science Communicator and Model
Laura Wells is an Environmentalist, presenter and one of Australia’s top curvy models. Holding degrees in both Biology and Law, qualifications in Environmental management systems and currently studying a Diploma of Paramedical Science; Laura’s passion for the environment, love for the ocean and interest in facilitating climate change action has led her to become a positive role model, advocate and ambassador for change.
Laura is currently presenting shows for National Geographic and working with environmental organisations and corporations to promote sustainable and ethical choices.
Laura believes in the importance of educating people not only on the issues, but focusing on solutions, to empower individuals to create change. Whether this be in their personal sphere around the relationship with their body and who they are, or the impact their actions have on the environment; fostering behavioural change can facilitate improvements in environmental and human health simultaneously.
Trinidad and Tobago
Leah Fouchong is from the small island of Trinidad and Tobago. She has been a Geography teacher for the past twelve years and protecting and preserving the Earth and our environment has always been a priority.
Leah is passionate and actively seeks to address environmental issues in her country and help members of her society develop and promote a more eco conscious lifestyle that is geared towards the preservation of our environment and its resources.
Leah was a scholarship recipient of the Caribbean Pacific Island Mobility Scheme where she completed a Masters in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean with a focus on the marine environment. This has led her to develop her passion and advocacy for ocean literacy and environmental conservation.
This advocacy has allowed her to create a community group by the name of Changemakers for the Environment which seeks to empower the public to learn, advocate and actively volunteer in environmental initiatives such as tree planting exercises and beach cleanups.
She also actively volunteers and partners with like minded organisations in her country such as Eco divers TT, Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists and Caribbean Youth Environmental Network. This helps to fulfil her mission of promoting environmental awareness, education and creating advocates for our environment.
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.
Sustainable Finance Analyst
Lily is a sustainable finance analyst working in London. Her main research areas are the transition to a green economy and sustainable business practices. She studied Earth Science at Trinity College Dublin followed by Environmental Technology at Imperial College London. She has previously worked for the UN World Food Programme researching gender equality in subsistence farming communities.
In her spare time she enjoys books, horses and keeping fit!
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CEO at Plaine Products
Lindsey McCoy has a master’s degree in nonprofit management and spent the 10 years working on environmental education in The Bahamas, islands full of single-use plastic.
She and her sister co-founded Plaine Products, which offers premium personal care products in aluminum bottles that can be returned, refilled and reused, an alternative to single-use containers.
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Lindsey Turnbull is a storyteller, historian, and youth empowerment professional. She founded MissHeard Media, a media and live events company that empowers tween and teen girls.
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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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Luxury Travel Advisor
Growing up a California girl, I have never lived far from the ocean. Joining the crew of the TravelEdge Exxpedition’s Antigua leg is a wonderful way for me to learn about and expand the voice for the effects of plastic waste on the ocean.
I am a mother of two, wife, and a full time luxury travel advisor. Graduating from the University of San Diego with a business degree, I started my career in sports marketing, working for the two major golf and tennis events in San Diego culminating at Cobra Golf when my first child was born. My husband’s career took us to London for five years where we lived and enjoyed the city life. Being back in San Diego and after raising two wonderful children, who are just starting their professional careers, I decided to enter the travel business full time. I am blessed to be recognized for my career achievements at Travel Edge, a growing list of wonderful clients, and the opportunities to visit and experience incredible places around the world.
With the beauty of the oceans being an integral part of many itineraries I plan for clients, I hope to take what I learn from my time with Exxpedition and share it with friends and colleagues whose services and properties feature the oceans of the world, and how we can meaningfully preserve its inherent wonders.
Marine Biologist Intern
“Ocean nerd”, adventurer and a keen marine biologist, worked in science and management for public health and sustainable use of our seas and oceans. Passionate about ocean protection and climate crisis solutions. Having worked on research vessels around the globe, Liv is exited about the scientific field work and the very unique experience when working together with crewmemebers across disciplines for a common goal. Liv values the scientific discipline and big data management for key longterm solutions in ocean protection.
Lokugan Hewage Vinuri Yasara Silva
Lokugan Hewage Vinuri Yasara Silva
Vinuri has always been drawn to the ocean and water since she was young. She has engaged in all water sports in school which includes swimming, rowing and water polo. Vinuri is a PhD student at the University of Adelaide, investigating microbes colonizing marine plastics. She was born and raised in Sri Lanka and moved to Australia for her studies. As a dual citizen of both countries she wanted to tackle the oceanic plastic issue in both her countries to her best ability.
She decided to be apart of the eXXpedition crew to help solve the global oceanic plastic issue and contribute to this vital journey.
Outdoor and Environmental Educator
In the last few years Louise has become acutely aware of the rubbish and pollution in the local environment, as well as the scale of the global problem. During local beach cleans she is always shocked at the amount of micro plastics and old plastic items that they find. Louise feels strongly that we have a responsibility to find solutions to this problem for the next generations and believe that one person can be the catalyst for change.
Louise started her own outdoor play and education business in 2016 with the aim of nurturing a love of the outdoors and a connection with the environment for local children and families. Louise is passionate about the environment and helping children to understand how to live alongside, and look after, our world. She got involved with the local Plastic Free Communities campaign to promote this message and help people (including herself) to make small changes. As a teenager she sailed on a tall ship across the channel and loved the experience. This gave her an interest in sailing and the ocean and is passionate about being an advocate for protecting it.
Primary School Teacher
Louise is a primary school teacher from Cornwall. She has always had a passion for the ocean and loves to be in, on or beside the water.
Before training to be a teacher, she worked as an outdoor activity instructor, delivering sessions to children of all ages. In her spare time, she instructed stand up paddleboarding to both adults and children.
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.
Architect & Environmental Artist
Lula is an architect, artist, and environmental activist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She learned to love the ocean from Paddleboarding, the discipline that opened her eyes and made her conscious about the health of the ocean and the impact that our consuming habits have over it.
She founded Water Journey, a movement communicating sustainability through art and water sports. Her art consists in transforming plastic waste she finds at Rio de la Plata River, into pieces of art to raise awareness about the plastic pollution affecting the seas and inspire people to connect with Mother Nature through their habits. For her, art evokes sensitivity and helps to understand this topic from an intimate perspective.
When she is not in the City working you will find her surfing at Chapa or Uruguay or traveling to the mountains to hike and ski. Her connection to nature is what drives her life’s purpose.
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.
Sustainable Interior Designer
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Captain, Eco Tour Guide
A houseboat dwelling captain crazy about all things salty at the end of Hwy 1 on the quirky island of Key West. When I’m not passionately persuading my peers about switching from single use plastics to reusable alternatives you will find me in the dusty boatyard trying to build a catamaran. It’s entertaining to say the least!
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!
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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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Documentary filmmaker and photographer
Marcia Reinauer is a documentary filmmaker and photographer. She grew up boating and spending a significant amount of time on and around the water. In recent years, many of Marcia’s documentary films have centered around raising awareness about athletes working to make our planet healthier through sustainable practices. In her free-time, Marcia races sailboats and crews on off-shore deliveries, which has given her a passion for showing others the importance of protecting our world’s oceans.
Community Team Program Manager at Mapbox
Marena is an aquatic soul from Nova Scotia, Canada currently delighting in the wild Pacific coast of northern California where she scuba dives and beachcombs any chance she gets. In her day job at Mapbox, Marena supports non-profits and others to use geospatial technologies for positive social and environmental impact.
Before joining Mapbox, Marena worked to secure customary and indigenous land rights in Africa and Asia with the legal empowerment non-profit Namati, and facilitated participatory planning efforts with indigenous communities in Canada. Marena holds a master’s degree in natural resource management and planning from Simon Fraser University and a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of Guelph.
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.
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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Marina is a PhD student at the University of California, Irvine. Her work focuses on the evolving ocean currents through time, and will work to map the global ocean conveyor belt as it shifts in our changing climate.
She is a longtime sailor, and has competed extensively in California and the rest of the United States in dinghy sailboats since she was eight years old. Always an educator, Marina spent the summer of 2019 in the Caribbean as a skipper with an organization that spreads a love and respect for the ocean to teenagers from around the world.
Her website, The Earth Year Project, challenges readers to make small changes in their everyday lives to reduce their impacts on our planet. With the eXXpedtion journey, Marina hopes to meet like-minded women and learn more about the world of environmental activism.
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Luxury Travel Advisor
Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, the ocean was my background. I learnt to swim at a young age and have loved the water since. Australia had been environmentally aware for many years so I grew up learning how important it is to re-cycle and not pollute and this has continued into my adult years.
By the age of 10, I had an insatiable desire to travel and explore the world. Two years into an economics degree with a focus on developing countries, at the age of 19, I took off to backpack around Europe for six months by myself. Two years later, after much traveling, picking grapes in Germany and working in London, I returned to Australia to finish my degree. A year later I went to the US where I have lived in Southern California ever since.
With 3 young children, I took them traveling around the world. I wanted them to realize how beautiful our planet was and how important and necessary it was to protect. In addition, even though we all come from different parts of the world we are basically all the same and how much travel broadens our minds and perspective of the human race.
Even with my love for travel, I never expected to end up in the travel business. As a top performing Luxury Travel Advisor for Travel Edge, most of my clients are independent and active travelers. They appreciate my vast knowledge of the world and ability to plan extensive trips for them that take them out of the usual tourism element.
I was thrilled to be given the chance to go on this leg of the eXXpedition voyage around the world and to travel with such accomplished and professional women. This will be a life changing journey that I am sure will forever change the way I see our influence on this beautiful planet.
Marita is enthusiastic about becoming a sustainable packaging specialist and contributing to a better future for our planet. Working in the paper and packaging industry enables her to learn about how to make packaging sustainable by design. Her true belief is that action needs to come from within the industry throughout the value chain to make change happen.
For Marita, joining eXXpedition is a great opportunity to reflect on both industry and activist thinking and draw knowledge from new sources while connecting and exchanging with fascinating women to empower female leadership. Coming from a sailing family, the chance of combining all this with an amazing sailing adventure over the Atlantic Ocean is a once-in a lifetime opportunity she would have never dreamed of.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Elementary School Teacher
Melissa Donich is a graduate student in Environmental Education and Communication and founder of Drop the Plastic Society, a BC non-profit aimed to educate about harmful plastics and remove plastic debris in the environment. Currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia with a passion for sailing, the ocean and improving our ecosystems.
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).
United States of America
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.
Environmental Science Engagement
Mo Langmuir is an aspiring socio-ecological researcher and environmentalist based in the UK. She is currently working with a conservation NGO in Malta.
In 2016, her undergraduate research was the first study on microplastic pollution in UK mussel farms, highlighting the link between marine plastics and health via the human food chain. Since then Mo has participated in marine litter research in South Africa, facilitated science workshops on plastic pollution and delivered lifestyle workshops and talks on the matter. She believes plastic pollution is a social issue as much as an environmental one.
Mo has always lived in big cities but was lucky to have grandparents in the Peak District and Scottish Highlands. These were Narnia. She now works on projects to engage young people with science and the natural world. She is an advocate for citizen science and its role in making science more accessible, inclusive and impactful. Mo has been running her own citizen science project to map Nottingham’s urban greening with giant helium balloons and young people which was exhibited in a public gallery last month. The silos of science and art need to be bridged which is why the interdisciplinary aspect of the voyage is so exciting!
Nancy developed a love for nature at a young age sparked by family trips to the coast and into the Australian wilderness. This led to a passion for scuba diving, sailing, and hiking. She holds a PADI Advanced Open Water certification and RYA Day Skippers qualification. She also developed a fascination in flight early on and so began a career as a pilot. During this career she has been involved in safety management and completed a Masters in Science and Technology. After a few years working and studying in a male-dominated industry she was inspired to help other women break down barriers. She became involved with a mentor and sponsorship program to help educate rural girls in Uganda. Through her visits to Uganda, she learned that education was the key to promote lasting change to an entire community and not just for the individual.
While she loves being outdoors immersed in nature, she became increasingly concerned about how much waste littered the earth and was devastated by its effect on wildlife. In a bid to reduce her environmental footprint, she made changes to her daily habits and, as her work involves traveling, she began studying Ecotourism. Still wanting to do more but unsure how she stumbled across an article about eXXpedition. She then obsessively read all she could find out about it. A vital cause championed by women with a fact-finding, solution-driven and educational based approach with sailing thrown in the mix. She just had to apply and is so excited to be on board. Nancy is hoping she can contribute to the research, find solutions and bring that knowledge back to her community to help make the “unseen seen”.
Surf and yoga instructor
Natalie is a surf and yoga instructor based in Portugal during summers and Morzine, French Alps in winters. She has travelled and taught her 2 passions around the world as Roxy fitness ambassador; in Morocco, France, Jersey, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica and New Zealand. She is currently in her second year studying a Masters of Sustainability with Anglia Ruskin University and The Eden Project.
She joined Surfers Against Sewage as a rep in 2014 and has taken part in hundreds of beach cleans over the last 10 years, sharing her environmental stories through Surf Girl Magazine.
Natalie is passionate about preserving and protecting ocean ecosystems, joining Sea Shepherd and Surfers for Cetaceans on campaigns in Antarctica, Faroe Islands and California. In 2011 she cofounded Women for Whales to highlight the plight of whale and dolphins, as well as the connection women often have to these sentient beings. She is now an “ocean plastics ambassador” for Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s #notwhalefood campaign and hopes to align her experience on the eXXpedition with her MSc major project, researching the effects of micro plastics on whales.
United States of America
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!
Natalie Teng Yueng Shan
Natalie Teng Yueng Shan
Middle School Educator
Natalie holds a passion for the training and development for the youths as well as with the environmental issues. She started with Outward Bound Singapore in 2001, as an instructor, followed by being the Module Chair overseeing the environmental education module in the Diploma in Outdoor Education (DOAL) in a learning institute in Singapore. She is very supportive of experiential learning pedagogy and always seeks the outdoors. Natalie builds her life on teachable moments.
She loves to spend her time on beaches and in the great wilderness, reading a book or sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Whale is her favourite animal and hopes that the future generations can continue to protect and care for the environment.
Natascha is a sustainability entrepreneur that advocates for zero-waste and is passionate about developing a holistic approach in addressing modern problems around waste management. From an early age, her passion for the environment was instilled by her mother’s approach of living a packaging-free life by attending farmer’s markets, to composting organic waste and eating seasonal products.
Her passion for sustainability became a priority in her life mission after hiking in the Himalayan mountains and witnessing first-hand the vast number of plastic bottles brought by trekkers and discarded within a protected environment. Since then, she has actively engaged in numerous civil-society groups, non-governmental organisations, businesses and governments to cement sustainable initiatives with an impact.
She has created her social entrepreneurship platform to use creative business innovation to solve problems related to sustainability and to create social and environmental sustainability as a strategic objective and purpose. While respecting the boundaries set to maintain the life support systems in the process. She is a big believer in progress over perfection and argues that small changes in everyday life can have a major contribution. Although we may never achieve “zero” in zero-waste, that’s no reason not to try.
Sustainability Business Innovation Lead
Natasha is the Global Sustainability Lead for Innovation Services and Solutions at SAP, helping customers solve some of their biggest environmental, economic and societal challenges through technology and innovation. This is in support of SAP’s vision to accelerate the move towards a restorative and regenerative economy, providing customers, NGOs, governments and partners with the tools, insights and solutions needed to eliminate waste, maximise resource productivity and transition to circular business models.
Natasha is co-leading SAP’s ambition to create a cleaner ocean by 2030, working closely with leading NGOs and producers to better enable cross-industry collaboration and transparency across the supply chain. Born in Australia and now based in London, this will be Natasha’s maiden voyage across the seas. Natasha wants to use the experience of being immersed in the plastics problem first hand to collect knowledge and insights on the accumulation of microplastics in the South Pacific Gyre. She will share this research with business as input into their efforts to tackle plastic pollution at source.
Natasha is also responsible for the execution of SAP’s sustainability strategy in their global innovation services team.
With over 12 years experience in technology, innovation and consulting for some of the world’s biggest brands, Natasha is a BA Philosophy graduate from University of Nottingham and a 2019 WACL Future Leader and alumni for the Marketing Academy.
Nathalie Moreau arrived in the United Kingdom in her early twenties, having traveled from Europe without speaking any English. She was part of University exchange project Erasmus and settled in Cambridge. Nathalie quickly developed her English language skills and built a truly European social network. Whilst Erasmus was only temporary, she opted to settle in the United Kingdom permanently after meeting husband-to-be Paul.
Having finished her studies with a BA hons in Philosophy, she began a successful corporate career in the private sector in various roles ranging from marketing to strategic account management. At the same time, she built a family and brought up two boys who are now into early adulthood.
As a student for the University of Brussels, Nathalie enjoyed sailing various boats such as Lasers, Hobbie Cats and Darts inland and on shore. In the UK she briefly owned a boat and had to give it up with motherhood. Only 3 years ago was she able to enjoy sailing again, this time on Fireball. This reignited the passion … and more was soon to follow….
Nathalie has always supported wildlife and environmental charities and is now taking a new challenge to actively take part in the plastics-in-oceans cause. Joining eXXpedition is a unique opportunity to combine 3 of her passions into 1: women empowerment, the future of our planet for many generations and sailing!
Nicola took a leap of faith to move her life from the North of England to the East Coast of Australia six years ago which also coincided with a career shift into a campaigning and social justice role. The collision of the two worlds, living with some of the world’s most pristine beaches on her doorstep whilst simultaneously witnessing the policy injustices preventing Aussies from keeping them safe, kicked off her interest in projects that serve to help fix our oceans. Nicola is the Australian regional lead GoFundMe fundraising and works with Australians to help them lead, and grow, grassroots and people led movements.
Nicola de Quincey
Nicola de Quincey
I am a conservation architect committed to finding more sustainable approaches to design and construction especially in the imaginative reuse of historic buildings and places. I was brought up in Norfolk (England). I studied in Liverpool and have lived in London for my adult life. I am a keen sailor. I learned to sail as a child and am looking forward to sailing in the Pacific.
I am seeking solutions that understand the experience of past generations and respond to the challenges and opportunities of today.
After spending 14 years in the travel and tourism industry, in 2003, Nicole had a life-changing experience when she left Sydney for a year of travel. After seven months traversing Central and South America, Nicole arrived in the Caribbean island of Barbados. After volunteering for two months at the Barbadian environmental education non-governmental organisation, Future Centre Trust, Nicole was invited to continue her work for two more years. Two years turned into eight, with Nicole eventually leading the organisation, spending much time on solid-waste related projects including recycling.
Nicole has recently graduated with her PhD from the University of Queensland, Brisbane. Her thesis analysed the generation and management of plastic food and beverage packaging material in the context of small island developing states, mapping the packaging value chain to identify innovation.
Based on her unique experience, Nicole joined WasteAid as an Associate in December 2018. WasteAid works in parts of the world where there are no or limited waste management services. Through her eXXpedition experience, Nicole plans to highlight the work of WasteAid to improve plastic management in developing countries, preventing the flow of plastics into the world’s ecosystems. Nicole thanks WasteAid for their support in promoting this journey.
Connecting her travel and sustainability passions, Nicole has also worked part-time with EarthCheck since 2014. EarthCheck is the world’s leading scientific benchmarking certification and advisory group for travel and tourism and is focused on sustainability of the industry. Nicole is grateful to EarthCheck for its support in promoting her role in eXXpedition.
Nicole plans to use her wide-ranging interests, experience, and her eXXpedition experience to change the way we value plastic, by re-designing first, then ensuring collection wherever possible, and to #useplasticbetter.
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.
Nita is a sociologist from Latvia. For more than 20 years she has been working in social and marketing research exploring humans’ behavior and motivation. Now professional challenges have shifted in to public administration and working with demographic issues.
Nita believes, that environment directly determines the well-being of human beings and will influence the quality of life of the generations to come. So, it’s very important to acknowledge and understand plastics in the broadest context – at the ocean, in living organisms, human bodies and even our minds! Real action has to be taken – that’s why Nita going to the exxpedition!
Love and harmony with nature and especially Baltic sea – is a part of every Latvians lifestyle, so I will be happy to bring home true stories and knowledge, experience, best practice and solutions to make our planet cleaner, better place! I would be happy to inspire people, manufactures, politicians to make more cautious decisions, habit changes and less plastic usage. Less plastic – more elastic!
United States of America
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.
United States of America
Paige is passionate about community-based solutions to plastic pollution. She is the Program Manager for Sailors for the Sea, an ocean conservation organization that empowers the sailing community to make environmentally-friendly choices while on the water and beyond.
Although a proud New Englander, Paige has always been drawn to the South Pacific. In her years studying engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, she completed two environmental projects working with a Maori community in New Zealand. These experiences sparked her interest in sustainability and her work continues to be inspired by Kaitiakitanga, the Maori tradition of managing the environment through guardianship and protection.
Paige has seen the impacts of plastic pollution in her own community, working with local organizations to lead beach clean-ups and educating youth through microplastic collections around Newport Harbor. She is excited by the potential to reduce plastic pollution through the implementation of upstream, reusable solutions.
Pallavi is a designer/maker based in London and the founder of Inkwell Studios, a multi-disciplinary creative studio with a focus on innovation and sustainability.
Having created numerous physical sets and models for film, theatre and animation, she became aware that most of the things she was making would end up in landfill after the production was over. With a long-standing passion for nature and the environment, she needed to find a new, low-waste way of working.
Now at the helm of her own business, Pallavi works at the intersection of creativity and tech, developing new ways of producing creative work, looking at alternative, innovative methods and materials, including virtual reality and compostable 3D printing.
Pallavi’s overall aim is to find solutions to reduce the negative environmental impact of the creative and entertainment industries.
Paula was born in Santiago Chile and from the age 5 when she discovered a book of sea shells at her home book shelf she was extremely curious about the ocean.
The water was always a magnet for her and she was part of a synchro swimmers team, started sailing and water skiing with her friend in the lakes in the south Chile when she was a teenager and then she managed to get certified as a diver 20 years ago.
From that day on she never left the ocean and she continued exploring it through underwater photography and other diving specialties like dry suit, Nitrox, buoyancy expert until she reached her Rescue Diver certification.
When her kids were growing up she found in sailing a way to keep them connected to the place she loves and she got her license as a skipper to spend more time time close to the ocean.
She currently works as a Global Executive coach for executives for companies in several countries and in Chile helping them achieve sustainability in the workplace through enhancing peoples capabilities of performance and adaptability to change.
She is also currently training with the Chilean Navy towards obtaining enhancing her sailing skills. She enjoys everything that has to do with being in the ocean from diving and sailing to running barefoot on the beach or play with her kids and boards in the cold Pacific waves.
Humanitarian Aid Worker
Peggy is an enthusiastic scuba diver, data nerd and humanitarian aid worker. She is currently the Research Design and Data Unit Manager at the headquarters of IMPACT Initiatives, in Switzerland. However, she is in the process of transitioning into a career in marine conservation. Peggy is seeking opportunities that will allow her to assess the wellbeing and subsequent needs of coral reefs and marine life, as well as the human populations dependent upon the ocean.
After graduating from a master program in Public Policy and Human Development at the United Nations University, Peggy went on to pursue a career in humanitarian aid. Having cultivated a research mindset, Peggy found IMPACT Initiatives – a leading research think-tank, seeking to provide decision makers with relevant, inter-sectoral data and analysis to facilitate evidence-based planning. Having spent several years in Afghanistan and Iraq, working on a range of needs assessments including food security and drought-related studies, Peggy eventually realised that she needed to expand her career into the field of climate change. This has led to an increased focus on ocean plastics, ultimately leading to her joining eXXpedition’s South Africa Virtual Voyage crew.
In her free time, Peggy takes any opportunity she can to travel, scuba, hike or read. She hopes to continue learning how to sail, with the dream of heading out on a non-virtual ocean voyage as soon as possible.
During Phoebe’s first year of A-levels in 2017, David Attenborough highlighted the issue of plastic pollution in Blue Planet 2, and the plastic she has been seeing along the Bristol Channel her whole life acquired a new significance. In school, Phoebe and her peers were nominated for the Green Heart Hero Awards after she began an Environmental Committee and lead it through its first year organising projects, such as a sustainable fashion show, and partnering with the InterClimate Network.
Phoebe is now heading on from having completed an Extended Project Qualification at school, in which she explored the issue of marine plastic pollution. Her interest in research will be continued at the University of St Andrews where, from September 2020, she will be studying Geography. She looks forward to exploring the human and physical elements of the planet in more detail, understanding more about how we interact with our earth and the effect this has on the world throughout time.
Ultimately however, having grown up by the water, sailing on the water and spending time in the water, Phoebe is thrilled to be boarding S.V. TravelEdge with eXXpedition. She longs to see restoration of this planet, which is currently damaged by issues, such as plastic pollution, and so she looks forward to the on-board research and discussion that she hopes will help her to better understand this complex environmental problem.
Director at Investment Bank
Pindy is a Senior Programme Manager working in the financial services industry. Her work involves problem solving and delivering lasting change.
Her interest in waste started number of years when she started to question the inefficiencies in the workplace and at home. The trigger point was when her mother compared the amount of household waste produced with only 4 members in the family compared to when her mother first came to the UK in the 60’s and had all her extended family staying with her. This conversation led to the probing, reading and understanding the impact on the environment and on our health.
Pindy wants to see for herself the damage that has been done and help with innovative solutions. The skills she has mastered over her career will help towards making a long-lasting change. She wants to build on the experience and is planning to speak at schools and is campaigning at her workplace, in order to spread the great work that is being done. She is excited to meet other inspiring women from a diverse background and share the experience with like minded individuals.
Circular design and systems thinking
Pippa, the Founder of philo & co, a circular design consultancy, has more than 10 years’ experience within the creative industry working with global design agencies and leading FMCG brands. Pip is driven by the power of design to help re-define ‘business as usual’ and create a more resource efficient economy.
“I believe the answer lies within a Circular Economy and closed loop design, we simply cannot continue consuming at our current trajectory. We have seen for too long the grave consequences it is having on the natural world our existence depends upon.”
Pip is a Circulab certified consultant and plays an active role within her community to help educate and inspire change. She is a mentor to openIDEO and recently became a Climate Reality Leader following training by the Climate Reality Corps, led by Al Gore.
“I’m really looking forward to working with my fellow crew virtually to understand how we can utilise our scientific findings to fuel innovation in up stream solutions.”
Rachel Labbe Bellas
Rachel Labbe Bellas
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.
Rachel is the filmmaker, who is based in Paris. She produces content like short documentaries, video clip or wedding films.She is a part of Belles Choses association, who promotes young artists.
She always have been drawn to the ocean and could watch it for hours. She became more and more aware of the plastic issues from several documentaries and readings.
Outside of work, she enjoys horse riding, climbing and wakeboarding. She is really excited to be part of the gigantic adventure!
Rachel is a designer, thinker and creative writer within in the branding industry – helping brands and organisations to communicate the best they can. A designer works to solve problems by exploring through research to find answers that can be expressed creatively. The way something is designed has such an impact on us, often on a subconscious level, that it shifts our perceptions and the choices we make, and can tell a story from even a quick glance.
The design industry can have such an influence on brands and organisations – they look to the designers to be inspired and that can have a huge impact, from the materials being used for packaging through to telling the story of a brand trying to challenge the status quo.
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!
Rigmor Reppen Solnes
Rigmor Reppen Solnes
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.
A lifelong sailor and marine biologist dedicated to the conservation of our ocean, Rikki has worked extensively in the Caribbean, South Pacific and West coast of the United States on a variety of science and policy issues. Growing up on the water, and an avid diver since 14 years old, Rikki has watched with concern the changes occurring in our ocean. Consequently, after 20 years as a scientist, Rikki has been working to educate policy makers, managers and the public about threats to and solutions for our ocean crisis. Rikki has crossed the Mediterranean and Caribbean sea several times sailing, worked with Fijian fisherwomen acoustically tagging reef fish, crewed on a commercial Alaskan fishing boat, helped establish the Easter Island marine reserve, and spent countless days on, in and under the ocean. She is excited to bring her knowledge of science communications and outreach to this amazing project.
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.
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.
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.
United States of America
Producer and Host
Sam is a Washington, D.C. based visual storyteller and environmentalist at National Geographic. Sam focuses in communicating wildlife, history and environmental messages. Her specialities include, video production, hosting, producing, shooting, social media and community outreach – you may also find her scuba diving, backpacking and traveling the globe.
Sam’s joining this voyage in hopes to gage a more tangible effect that plastics have on people and the environments they rely on to live. Sam’s hope on this journey is to be inspired by the women who are joining her and to better connect the rest of the world to understanding climate change as a social justice issue through storytelling.
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.
United States of America
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.
United States of America
Filmmaker and Teacher
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.
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.
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.
United States of America
Community Engagement Coordinator
Growing up in the Ocean State (Rhode Island, USA) Sasha has never lived far from the water. Thankfully! Raised by a nature-loving single mother, their vacations were all affordable camping, beach days, or visits to local parks and zoos. This inspired Sasha to become a Zookeeper.
After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in 2007 and interning at the Bronx Zoo, she began her career in animal care and public education. In 2012, she moved to the island of Galveston, Texas. Being a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, her new home inspired her once again to protect our world’s oceans. She has cared for Beluga whales, seals, sea lions, penguins, tigers, parrots, birds of prey, sloths, and more while connecting people to these species in real life. Through the zoo and aquarium field, she has been able to educate thousands of guests about the growing threats animals face in the wild while also participating in ongoing research and conservation initiatives.