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.
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.
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“.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
United States of America
Stephanie is an Environmental Scientist and sustainability advocate from California. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy, and a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management. She focuses on protecting habitat and native species in California through science and outreach, and was first drawn to the plastic pollution issue many years ago after witnessing the amount of plastic contaminating the environment and realizing the detrimental impact to fish and wildlife. Stephanie believes strongly in the importance of environmental education and outreach, and much of her job is focused on engaging with and educating members of the public and communicating science. She serves as a Global Youth Mentor with Plastic Tides, where she assists youth leaders in planning and implementing projects to reduce plastic waste in their communities and raise awareness about the plastic pollution crisis. Stephanie also serves on the Board of Directors for a local nonprofit, Tree Davis. Stephanie is looking forward to using her experience and skills to bring attention to and advocate for solutions for the plastic pollution crisis, and to work for a better future.
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.
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.
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.
A university instructor, Sibel went back to school and at age 36 graduated as a mechanical engineer and entered into a career with Ford Motor Company. Following her retirement, Sibel founded EMBARQ TURKEY (now ‘’Turkey: WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities’’). As a child she sailed across the Atlantic from the US back to Turkey on an old freighter. Since then Sibel has loved the sea and has become an avid sailor, having sailed the North Sea, Baltic, Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara, Black Sea and Sydney Harbor. In the summer, Sibel can be seen sailing my Laser around the Marmara.
Her interest in sustainability began with urban mobility. As a result of her work at EMBARQ, Sibel became interested in sustainable cities. Since 2013 she has been writing a column on ‘’Livable Cities’’ for EKOİQ. Sibel is also co-producer, part time host on medyascopetv’s ‘’The Cities Belong to Us’’ (Both in Turkish.) Nowadays her interest has expanded into living sustainably.
Sibel’s real superpower is her passion for life, for learning and for sharing her learnings. Turkey has become both an important exporter of plastic products and major importer of plastic waste. Given these facts, she believes Turkey has an important role to play in addressing plastic pollution. As an exxpedition crew member, Sibel was hoping to become the oldest woman to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, but COVİD dashed those hopes (for now.) But as a crew member on the Virtual Voyage, Sibel is learning about plastic pollution and looking forward to sharing her learnings.
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.
Tharaka is the founder of Ocean Education & Blue Parks Ambassador, Marine Conservation Institute
In 2015 Tharaka Sriram founded the ocean literacy initiative called “Ocean Education”, where she inspires people for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and fights for the establishment of a global network of strongly protected MPAs.
She also was chosen to be Blue Parks Ambassador of the Marine Conservation Institute, the organization that globally spearheads research, implementation and advocacy for strongly protected MPAs.
As a linguist and political scientist, she has lived on six of the seven continents. The six languages that she speaks fluently made it easier for her to work at the UN, NGOs, ministries and institutions that focused on the issues of women’s rights, development cooperation, Youth and marine conservation.
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.
Sustainable Interior Designer
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yvonne is an Artist from Micronesia with a Degree in Anthropology and a Commercial Pilot’s License. She is an animated soul with an enthusiasm for projects involving cultural preservation, environmental conservation, women’s rights and education. Yvonne is ecstatic to be joining a leg of the eXXpedition 2019 World tour; believing that her participation in the joint endeavor to collect base data is essential toward the positive progress of environmental conservation. She is a child of the islands, sailing on Pacific waters is one close to her heart.
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.
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
Taylor is an avid scuba diver, paddler, sailor, and all-around ocean lover with a passion for conservation and science communication. She is currently based in Washington DC and leads the Plastics Initiative at the National Geographic Society, which includes conducting ‘Sea to Source’ expeditions to better understand plastic flow, composition, and load in river systems.
Taylor was born in the US, raised in the UK, and has been lucky to be able to work on ocean science and conservation around the world, including Australia, the Caribbean, South Asia, and the South Pacific. Taylor has a BA in Environmental Science with a focus on Marine Ecology from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.
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!
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.
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.
Environmental and Safety Engineer
Tünde is an environmental process engineer and a safety engineer, interested in environmental sciences. She considers herself a global citizen, she is from Hungary but living in Austria, and is a mother of 2 kids. Tünde is passionate about protecting our beautiful planet and creating a sustainable world. She would like to use her enthusiasm and skills to explore the impact of plastic pollution, and to communicate and educate findings to different generations, to help everyone understand better how we can live a sustainable life.
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.
Business Owner / Management Consultant
Susanna is Management Consultant and Executive Coach with over 20 years of experience, working primarily in the manufacturing sector. Many of her clients are Polymer Processors and she is keen to use her experience on eXXpedition / Leg 16 to help inform upstream solutions to reduce the level of plastic content, packaging and improve the closed loop recycling practices.
Susanna has had a lifelong interest in marine life & biology and environmental sciences. Although she has limited offshore sailing experience, she is looking forward to exploring the Indian Ocean Gyre and using her first-hand experience to influence her professional and personal network to find solutions to make the world as plastic free as possible.
Susanna wishes to thank all her personal friends who supported her so generously on her crowd funding page and her Consulting Colleagues at Syngroup GmbH for sponsoring her on this journey!
I was born and raised in the remote island of Rapa Nui, my dad was a native man and he raised me with the Polynesian values of collaboration, empathy and protection for the future generation, our natural and our cultural heritage.
I love surfing and being in nature. As an islander the ocean is part of my every single day and I realise how it is being destroyed. This is something that I just can’t watch with crossed arms. I quit my job (as a Kinesiologist 4 years ago in the local hospital) and started working full time for the ocean in marine conservation in a local community NGO Te Mau O Te Vaikava O Rapa Nui (the richness of the ocean of Rapa Nui). Here I had the chance to learn more about the fragillity of the ocean, participate in national an international congresses, workshops, and programs.
Now, I’m the vice-president of Te Mau and work on a marine debris interception program in partnership with Parley and their network of collaborators.
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.
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).
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.
United States of America
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.
United States of America
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!
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!
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.
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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.
Head of Yacht Management Operations
Having grown up by the coast of North Holland, Stephanie’s passion for the ocean started at a young age. She has almost 10 years of experience in the yachting industry, of which she spent 2 years at sea as a crew member on a busy 50m charter yacht. She has crossed the Atlantic Ocean several times and sailed the seas in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
With a backpack full of experience, she now keeps both feet well and truly on dry land in the South of France and manages the internal operations for the Yacht Management department at Y.CO. Stephanie’s goal is to inspire everyone to make a positive impact on the health of our ocean as individuals and as a team. From this trip she hopes to have a better understanding of the issues that we are facing, to then spread awareness about what each of us can do to make a change.
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
As a Biologist, and now in Administration, at Moody Gardens biological park, she has been able to continue to inspire people with nature and participate in conservation projects and local preservation efforts. As a local yoga instructor, she has also found a way to link our empathy for the environment to mental and physical health.
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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.
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.
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.
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Communications and Marketing Consultant
Stefanie Spear works with people and organizations leading the charge for change. She has more than 30 years experience as an entrepreneur and leader in the grassroots environmental movement with a special focus on communications + marketing. She is the founder of EcoWatch, Expedite Renewable Energy and Stellar Consulting. Her main focus throughout her career has been uniting + amplifying the voices of the grassroots movement to mobilize millions of people to engage on the most important issues impacting people and planet, including the devastating environmental and health impacts of single-use plastics.
When Stefanie is not working, she’s likely paddleboarding her beloved Lake Erie or some other body of water.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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”.
United States of America
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
United States of America
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!
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.
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.
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.
Associate Professor of Public Health
Sheri Bastien is an Associate Professor of Public Health at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Norway and an adjunct faculty member at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada. She has been engaged in transdisciplinary research for over a decade in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia on a range of issues related to determinants of adolescent health and global health promotion, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene and most recently dengue prevention and control. As a post doc she developed an intervention called Project SHINE (Sanitation and Hygiene INnovation in Education) which has been successfully implemented and evaluated in rural Tanzania and India.
Through her participation in Leg 5 of eXXpedition, she hopes that being surrounded by an inspiring, passionate group of women on board will provide the first-hand experience needed to help develop an in-depth understanding of the issue of plastics pollution, innovative approaches to raise awareness and find alternative solutions, and to establish the network to help grow the SHINE model of science education and social entrepreneurship to include the issue of plastics which affects youth and communities globally.
Communications and Marketing
Sofía is a passionate storyteller trying to change the world a bit at a time. She studied journalism for that precise reason, because she loves writing and making every word meaningful.
She’s also passionate about the sea and she strongly believes in protecting it. She grew up next to the Mediterranean sea and has been sailing her whole life and over the past few years, she’s been on a mission to reduce plastic waste, trying to persuade everyone around her to do the same thing.
She’s also a strong advocate for women’s rights. She collaborates with the International Women’s Initiative and she’s part of Clarivate Analytics’ women’s group working on promoting women in STEM.
United States of America
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
United States of America
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.
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.
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.
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!
Yanika is a data scientist and analyst, with a background in mathematics and a PhD in Synthetic Biology from University College London. She has been living in London for the past 8 years but is originally from the sunny Mediterranean island of Malta, where the sea is a huge part of their identity. As a data analyst, she loves working with data, digging in to find little nuggets of insight which provide us with new information and knowledge. She also knows how important it is to communicate results effectively and work with local groups and stakeholders to make sure the message is heard.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Student and Skipper
Growing up on the island of Cres in Croatia, surrounded by sea, it became one of the most important things in Sonja’s life. Sonja started sailing when she was 10 years old. She’s been a part of a local group whose idea was to solve the problem of sheeps wool waste around the island. Sonja has been a part of many local eco and heritage preservation actions and many cultural and youth programs in school. With so many interests in her head it was very hard for her to choose a course when the time came for that, but she decided to go into mechanical engineering because the idea was to acquire as much knowledge and understanding about things that surround her and how to solve a problem when one appears.
For the last four years Sonja has been working in seasonal nautical tourism in Croatia as a sailor, hostess and a skipper. Reaching secluded bays and finding a bunch of garbage and plastic on shore started to trouble her. Every time she found herself in such a situation, she would just jump in the sea and go and pick it up. For her it started from the heart and her influence on others is now with her guests and crew. At the moment she is finishing her bachelor degree and working as a skipper in south Croatia.
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.
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
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!
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.
United States of America
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.
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.