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.
Mental health therapist and entrepreneur, resilient, compassionate and passionate.
Catherine is an all-round adventurer, mother of 3 and entrepreneur with the heart of a healer. To date Catherine has a varied career, from treasury, to managing a bird watching resort in Guyana, to being a cook on the expedition boat Pelagic. This then moved on to 20 years as a mental health therapist whilst raising children and writing a best-selling book Gut Well Soon and launching an online programme www.resetyoyurhealth.com promoting sustainable and non-processed food consumption for every food preferences and over 23 health conditions; because as she says “writing a book was not enough “ she wanted to create something practical people could follow in everyday life to improve their health and the environment .
Catherine recently worked with the charity www.oliveridleyproject.org in the Maldives and has seen first-hand the toll ghost nets take on the lives of sea turtles, so she is highly motivated to contribute and learn from eXXpedition about the issue of plastic in our seas and how our consumption in linked to the overall health of our planet, then go out and spread the word.
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“.
United States of America
ELAINA is a OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner whose clinical focus included reproductive health and the social determinates of health. Her career has spanned private practice in Alaska, academic research with the University of California-Irvine in preventing preterm births and the clinical management of birth defects. She currently conduct U.S. Federally-mandated non-financial data audits and analysis of how health insurance companies provide health care services for their enrolled members.
Elaina is an avid sailor and life-long outdoors woman, and is concerned about the impact of chemical toxins on food supplies. Her goal through the eXXpedition experience is to gain a greater understanding of the potential solutions to toxic exposure and of the challenges to their implementation.
Elaine is an avid sailing enthusiast who has always felt the call of the ocean. Living in the centre of a large continent, however, means that she currently sails in the freshwater lakes of Ontario, enjoying the incredibly unique and fragile ecosystem of Georgian Bay (a UNESCO biosphere reserve). Her experiences and continuing education on the state of our oceans and freshwater systems have made a remarkable impression and led her to act on this. As a clinical neuropsychologist, she is also well aware of the accumulating evidence of how much exposure to toxics is leading to a worrisome increase in health concerns in children and adults both. As a parent to three children, two of whom are young women, this concern is particularly focused on their risks for cancer and reproductive problems in the coming years.
Joining the Pangaea expedition is a first step in realizing several goals: contributing to the scientific study of the state of our oceans; studying the effects of the accumulating toxics and pollutants on health; and crossing an ocean in the company of knowledgeable, empowered women. Elaine hopes that through this experience, she will be able to contribute to further discussion on these critical issues among children and adults in her community, to both heighten understanding and to bridge the gap between understanding and much needed action.
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.
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.
United States of America
Kat is a holistic practitioner who specializes in detoxification and sound therapy. After seeing various autoimmune and chronic illness cases, she realized that the environment was the primary determinant of our health. In 2018, she sold her clinic and decided to dedicate her life to bridge the gap between humanity to nature. Along with her online clinic, she is involved in various projects including regenerative agriculture, working with indigenous people, and wildlife conservation. Being a surf aficionado, she is incredibly passionate about ocean plastic pollution. You often find her educating about human health from the lens of relationship and connection to nature. Recently she spoke at the Healing Earth Health Conference along side Dr. Vandana Shiva.
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.
United States of America
Surfing, sailing, diving, open ocean swimming, kayaking, and even living aboard her 28 ft sailboat Mi Corazon docked in San Diego…. NATALIE sees water as an integral part of her life and thus spurs her passion about its conservation and helping others fall head over heals in love with it like she is! With a love for womping in the waves comes a passion to keep the waves womp-able; thus Natalie founded 1Bag1World this past year with the mission to restore beauty to women and waves through plastic upcycling handicraft projects with women survivors of trafficking and abuse around the world, empowering them to be leaders in the wave of change to plastic free living in their own communities.
Natalie has a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, licensed in California, and First Aid Arts training in the use of expressive arts for trauma recovery. As the San Diego branch Coordinator of the Wahine Project, she provides therapeutically minded surf clubs for girls struggling with poverty, family stressors, physical abuse, trauma, and trafficking in San Diego, Peru, Philippines, and Baja. She is looking forward to leading a team of Wahine women on a surf expedition to Cuba in February to bring the gift of surfing to the girls there as well. “I see fostering empowered relationships with the ocean as an opportunity for therapeutic healing for the individual. the community, and our water”.
Natalie hopes to bring the 1Bag1World creativity with plastic upcycling aboard the eXXpedition to find unique ways to eliminate the plastic waste of crew and locals we encounter. Through her travels she has learned that many small island communities don’t have the infrastructure to properly recycle so, she looks forward to getting creative with them about how they can reduce, reuse, and up-cycle their plastic waste to keep their oceans and bodies healthy and happy! Her time with the eXXpedition crew will be book ended with Wahine Project surf clubs in Cuba and sail-hopping her way back to San Diego brining the 1Bag1World message to coastal communities along the way. …..and of course if waves are found she’ll be the first to grab some boards to teach the crew and locals the art of surfing!
Sailor, activist, ecotherapist, gardener, grandmother! Without doubt Sue’s therapy skills, cooking skills and long held perspective on environmental and community experience will enrich our mission.
Sue is a coastal skipper, used to sailing offshore in scottish waters but never yet beyond St Kilda. This voyage brings together much that she holds dear – women, the ocean, health and the need for deep change and she still feels amazed to have the privilege of taking part. Sue recently left her therapy practice and moved to beautiful scottish Isle of Arran to walk and sail, plant trees, pick up plastic off the beaches and get involved in community activity, particularly around zero waste and local marine environment. After a half a lifetime working as psychotherapist in universities and the NHS, she is ready to refocus and concentrate on the needs of the wider earth and sea community. Ecopsychology supports awareness of the ways in which we relate to the non-human world around us and of the deep physical, emotional, spiritual connections between all beings.
Sue believes passionately in the need to make the connections between the ways we live, environmental pollution and levels of sickness, and values highly the chance to contribute to scientific research in this field. As an ex Greenham woman, Sue trusts the power of women working together creatively to change deeply entrenched systems. Raising awareness and tackling the issues of the huge volumes of plastic waste in our oceans is a great undertaking – immensely important for the deep ocean and its creatures, as well as for humanity.
Sue was Mission Leader for eXXpedition Round Britain Leg 1.