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Jana Darmovzalova

Jana Darmovzalova

Czech Republic

Environmental Scientist

Jana was born in Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) in the last years of communism. She first left her country and then her former career of a photographer to dedicate her time to studying and solving environmental issues. She holds a BSc in Environmental Science and a PhD in Environment and Agrifood. She was mainly involved in measurements of nutrient and uranium pollution in river and soil systems. But her interests in sustainability brought her to independent ways of living and the desire to share her scientific knowledge with wide audience beyond the walls of academia.

Jana is currently on sabbatical, combining her scientific and photography background with her passion for exploring the world. In the past, Jana volunteered for Zoological Society of London, on an organic farm in France and at Metropolitan National Park in Panama.

Jana is sponsored by:

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Agathe Bernard

Agathe Bernard

Canada

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Photographer and Filmmaker

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

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

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

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Tilly Heathwood

Tilly Heathwood

United Kingdom

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

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

 

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Caroline van Wijngaarden

Caroline van Wijngaarden

Netherlands

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

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

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

Check out her website and Facebook to see her work!

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Tania Nyberg

Tania Nyberg

Norway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sabrina Bellotti

Sabrina Bellotti

Italy

Technologist, researcher and photographer

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

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

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

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

Eleanor Church

Eleanor Church

United Kingdom

Filmmaker and Photographer

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

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

Deborah Maw

Deborah Maw

United Kingdom

EcoSciArtist

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

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

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

Cory Chewning

Cory Chewning

United States of America

Photographer

Cory is a natural light photographer, wife of nearly 10 years and mom to 3 little ones (ages 7, 4 and 10 months). She was born in a small town in Southern Vermont, where she grew up in the house her great-great grandparents had built. She landed in Charleston in 2006 and it is the only place since leaving Vermont that has felt like home to her.

She loves spending time with her family, boat rides, the beach, hitting up local farmers markets and mostly just being together. She also has 2 rescue doodles, a kitten, a bunny and 4 chickens. There is no shortage of excitement around her house, that’s for sure!

Cory is sponsored by:

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Shannon Hibberd

Shannon Hibberd

United States of America

Senior Photo Editor

Shannon is a photo editor at National Geographic, an avid sailor and passionate lover of nature. Growing up on a farm, Shannon knew nothing of sailing but loved the outdoors and being with animals. She discovered her love of the ocean as a child during her annual family trips to the seashore.

After studying photography in college, Shannon lived aboard a houseboat on the Chesapeake Bay and became smitten with sailing. This new obsession brought travel opportunities, new adventures and friendships that completely changed her life. Spending so much time on the water also opened her eyes to the issues of water pollution. Shannon hopes to educate kids through the National Geographic’s “Kids vs Plastic” initiative, while also inspiring her local community to keep plastics out of the Chesapeake Bay.

Jamie Colman

Jamie Colman

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.

Jamie is sponsored by:

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Nita Jirgensone

Nita Jirgensone

Latvia

Sociologist

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!

Rikki Eriksen

Rikki Eriksen

Denmark

Marine Biologist

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.

Learn more about Rikki's journey here:

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