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.
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.
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.
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!