Alessandra is a global citizen since birth: an Italian, born in Germany, raised between Latin-America and Europe, currently living in Brussels. Her international upbringing instilled in her the passion for travelling and exploring different cultures and corners of the world.
After high school she travelled and worked for two years with Up with People, an international non-profit organisation, which inspires young people to take personal action to make positive change through travel, volunteering, and music.
She then studied languages and communication and obtained a masters in European studies. Alessandra has more than 15 years of international experience in communication, public relations, European affairs and project management. Currently she works as Communication Officer at the Directorate General for Climate Action of the European Commission.
She is a keen sailor and Board Member of the Sailing Club of the EU institutions. Listening to Jimmy Cornell’s stories about his sailing adventures, as well as his observations about the impact climate change is having on our oceans made her think about how she could combine her experience in communicating about the human impacts on our climate and the planet we live on with her passion for sailing. eXXpedition seemed like a great opportunity to show how every individual action can contribute to tackling global challenges.
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.
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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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Breezy is an ocean scientist by education, and mariner, educator, and entrepreneur by trade. After serving four years in the United States Coast Guard, she attended the University of Rhode Island, studying geology and geological oceanography, marine biology, and underwater archaeology.
A licensed boat captain, Breezy serves as the captain of several vessels from research, fishing, diving and service support, to eco-tourism. She is the Technical Director of an amateur sailing team, and instructs snowboarding, scuba diving, and boating. Breezy is not only a member of the Explorers Club and a Fellow at the Royal Geographical Society, she is also a member of the Sedna Epic Expedition, an all female team of sea women, planning on completing a historic snorkel relay of the Northwest passage.
Breezy uses her unique combinations of knowledge and experience to relay knowledge of what she sees at sea, whether it be disappearing sea ice and stress to the wildlife, to plastic pollution found everywhere. To help relay her message and inspire the next generation, she is the founder of Scientists are Superheroes too, which is to help change the scientist stereotype, and focuses on getting children to go outside, explore, and play sports, engaging and empowering youth to climate actions, and promote healthy and environmentally sustainable lifestyles. She also is the founder of Eco-Elders, which promotes connecting generations, creating a knowledge exchange focusing on [home] maker skills, aimed at reducing and reusing habits to combat our ocean plastics problem.
BRYONY is a keen and experienced sailor, having been brought up on and around boats, racing dinghies and spending summers on board her family’s sailing yacht. Bryony has crewed on Volvo 60 racing boats and has also sailed across the Atlantic. Her time and experience on the water has instilled an appreciation of the sea that has influenced her career today. After gaining a Masters in Marine Biology and Ecology, Bryony now works in marine conservation for the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, based in Peterborough.
Bryony’s goals for eXXpedition are to learn more about marine plastics and how they are impacting both the marine environment and in turn, our health. Bryony will be documenting her experiences during Round Britain to help spread awareness of the issue on her blog All Things Briney.
Writer and Sailor
SARAH started sailing as a child in dinghies and got into bigger boats in her 30’s. She has owned two yachts, living aboard and skippering her 12-metre ketch Roaring Girl for nearly 10 years. Sarah sailed her from eastern England to the Mediterranean and through Morocco, Spain and Italy to Malta and back. In 2016 she sailed on Bark Europa for two months from Punta Arenas to Cape Town via Antarctica and is experienced in sail handling, watch keeping, navigation and weather.
Sarah is a writer and sailor, and works in environmental and public services. She writes a lot, both policy and fiction, about climate, pollution and the ocean. Sarah hopes to bring experience in presenting complex issues in ways that stimulate people’s passions and imagination and will create a blog telling the crew’s stories and a follow-on from the Europa story at www.sailingtoantarctica.com. Sarah is looking forward to visiting and revisiting the British coast, and meeting amazing women along the way – “I am delighted to have the opportunity to be part of a mission which both collects data and highlights some of the challenges to our oceans and shores”. Sarah will be joining all three legs of our Round Britain voyage.
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MANI has been fascinated by the oceans since she was a child and used her first allowance to buy an encyclopedia of fish. Following university, Mani took a break from work and sailed around the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic to earn the hours and experience needed to achieve her Yacht Master and boost her scuba diving skills. For her employed life, Mani has been based in the San Francisco Bay Area, working for a number of major tech companies – first building websites, and then moving into project/program management for both websites and software.
After volunteering aboard Sea Dragon for the Ocean Cleanup in 2013 , Mani has been keen to join an expedition. Mani is excited to meet the rest of the incredible women who will be on this journey with her as well as the ideas they will share and the possibility of brilliant new solutions that can hatch in an environment of diverse expertise. Mani hopes to contribute in any way she can to a safe, rewarding and enlightening journey on board, and in possible post-expedition collaborations onshore.
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SIMONE read a book in college called Our Bodies, Ourselves now published in 30 languages. It was revolutionary. Published by 12 women in the late 1960’s it discussed women’s bodies, health and sexuality which challenged the medical establishment of the day.
It also changed the patient doctor relationship for the better for everyone in the U.S. Since then I decided I wanted to do something that made a positive impact on people’s lives and realized progress for women is fought for, usually by women.
Finding strong women role models making big changes like those authors would be very inspiring. After short jobs with the U.S Forest Service, commercial fishing, abalone and sea cucumber diving in Alaska Simone worked in video production.
She began making in-kind promotional videos and public service announcements for charities, T.V and non-broadcast. Simone became a Board Member of the local women’s shelter and the United Way of Anchorage which helped her find out about the needs in the community.
One example is Susan Butcher who won the Iditarod consecutively, a 1,500 mile sled dog race in the freezing Alaska wilderness and climbing Denali aka Mt. Mckinley by dog sled. Simone’s most memorable endeavors were a T.V news style program called Young Alaskans where the positive achievements of teenagers were highlighted, a promotional video for a charity Moving Mountains in Kenya to assist Nairobi’s street children to attend school and Kham Aid Foundation to help marginalized Tibetans living in the Autonomous Region of Tibet.
Although she has not worked in the video industry for some time since she is raising two home birthed boys, she is still involved in the community. Most recent hosting a fundraiser to assist sex trafficked women and supporting a center for abused children.
Simone is very inspired about the research, message and achievements of the other crew with eXXpedition. This is the first time her activist spirit combines with her hobby of sailing. When not cruising with the family in the summer Simone takes care of her eighty-nine year old mother and runs an art gallery in Sarasota, Florida.
Since then she decided she wanted to do something that made a positive impact on people’s lives and realized progress for women is fought for, usually by women.
Her goals are to learn about the ocean research so that I may be able to do the same with her family on their Camper Nicholson 35 foot sailboat. She also hopes to assist with the video needs and increase her sailing knowledge to prepare for her Yachtmaster Offshore and Ocean exam.
Simone will be teaming with Suncoast Waterkeeper during the next year to raise awareness about the toxics in our seas. Based out of Sarasota, Florida it has a similar mission to eXXpedition. Suncoast Waterkeeper is protecting and restoring Florida Suncoast’s waterways through enforcement, fieldwork, advocacy, and environmental education for the benefit of the communities that rely upon these precious coastal resources.
JAN is a marine chemist from the UK, and has over 17 years experience, carrying out and managing research into contaminants in the marine environment, focusing on identification of toxic (particularly endocrine disrupting) chemicals in marine sediments, and the development of new technologies designed to detect and identify emerging chemicals in sediments and water.
She is an experienced sailor, having started sailing with her parents as a child.
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.
As a child my father would take me and my brother treasure hunting. Waking up, in a tent on a beach, in the bunk of a sailboat or in the old fisherman’s cabin on our tiny island, we would get in the boat, lunchpacks, towels and all, and go for an Adventure. With a capital A.
We’d steer for one of the hundreds of wild islands and skerries in the outer belt, and the Hunt would begin. The prize: flotsam. Odd looking pieces of wood, twisted, saltsoaked boards, and the biggest prize of all: fishing floats or the occasional plastic bottle with foreign lettering. The latter two would be brought home with pride, rarities to be treasured.
I’m now 31 years old , a sailor, a marine biologist and a scientific diver. Six weeks before writing this I gave birth to my first child, a daughter. She will never get to play this game. The rocky beaches where we went hunting 25 years ago are now littered with plastic, in all its shapes and forms. I know, I went back to see for myself.
However, most people don’t. Get to see for themselves that is. And as the saying goes: out of sight, out of mind. Whether it’s previously pristine beaches or out in the world’s oceans, in the seafood we eat, in the water we swim in, if you can’t see it, it is of small importance. Except, in this case, it isn’t.
The contaminants in the fish on your dinner table, a plastic bottle on the beach or an accumulation the size of a country in one of the oceanic gyres, are all symptoms of the same problem. And the first step in fixing a problem is acknowledging that it exists. I hope that by being part of eXXpedition I can be part of bringing to people’s attention the magnitude of this problem, both the visible and the invisible, and show that it affects all of our lives.
“People protect what they love”. It’s as true now as when Jacques Cousteau first coined it. For the last 10 years I have been working for the marine environment and its conservation. Mapping underwater ecosystems around the same islands where I used to play. Coordinating international work on assessing the threat to marine species. Assisting multinational research groups when taking on questions on the sustainable use of the marine environment.
All of this I have done for myself, because the sea is what I love. But now, now I do it for my daughter. Because everyone deserves treasure hunts in their life. And because women are adventurers. With a capital A.”
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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!
STELLA is an Artist, Mariner and classic-boat restorer and lover of the mountains. Her hope for the upcoming eXXpedition is to become an ambassador for cleaner oceans around the world.
Whilst sailing across the Pacific in 2014 Stella became truly aware of the consequences that our everyday actions are having on the planet as a whole and she realised that she must help to create change.
In Stella’s practice as an artist and print-maker, she seeks to create a sense of immersion for the viewer, to draw them into a feeling or atmosphere emotive of new ways of thinking. Previously, a central theme in her practice has been the progressive relationship that humans have with the natural world and Stella’s work has explored the precarious balance between natural systems and our own man-made ones, seeking to demonstrate the fragility of our existence.
As Artist in Residence for eXXpedition, Stella is excited to share her vision for a cleaner world through the eyes of her artistry.
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.
The only person in the world who will ever be able to say ‘I was the 2nd Mate on the inaugural eXXpedition voyage across the Atlantic in 2014’
My story is like a three-legged stool. As a yatchmaster involved in sail training, mainly with all girl crews and with thousands of sea miles this trip, from a sailing prospective, is a dream chance to cross the Atlantic with an all women crew. Then there is the women’s health element; I have a niece, who is a teenage (female specific) cancer patient. Being part of a team trying to understand in more detail how environmental and specifically ocean toxins affect women’s health is a wonderful opportunity. For my own health and also to share this through the female branches of the youth organisations I work with, principally girl guides and scouts. My third leg, comes from my recent agricultural studies during which I realized the effects of human intervention on the environment, both land and sea and highlighted the fine balance of the environmental and the impact of farming.
Anne was Mission Leader for eXXpedition Round Britain 2017 Leg 2.
Philippa Grundy is 23 years old. Since graduating from Edinburgh University in May of 2018 with a degree in Social Anthropology and Social Policy, she has been working out in the Mediterranean as a flotilla skipper.
She has a passion for all things to do with the seas and sailing and therefore is incredibly invested in trying to tackle the ocean plastics crisis. Wanting to continue to work in the Maritime field she has an interest in making it as eco-friendly and plastic-free as possible.
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.
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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.
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.
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Documentary filmmaker and photographer
Marcia Reinauer is a documentary filmmaker and photographer. She grew up boating and spending a significant amount of time on and around the water. In recent years, many of Marcia’s documentary films have centered around raising awareness about athletes working to make our planet healthier through sustainable practices. In her free-time, Marcia races sailboats and crews on off-shore deliveries, which has given her a passion for showing others the importance of protecting our world’s oceans.
As senior advisor in WWF Christine is working on making Norwegian corporations and sports plastic free!
She is the co-founder of Blueye Robotics, the company making the Blueye Pioneer Underwater drone which lets you explore the ocean down to 150m deep from your own smart phone. She is also Captain of Entrepreneurship One, a former Norwegian champion in sailing, living onboard her sailboat and focusing on increasing care for the sea through empowering ocean exploration, learning and understanding through the use of technology – based on the belief that “You take care of of what you love.
Christine has been named by Forbes Magazine as 30 under 30 most important Tech Founders’ and 30 under 30 and ‘World’s Top 50 Women in Tech 2018’, ‘Norway’s 50 most important female tech founders’ 2017 + 2018 , and ‘Top 10 Norwegian female tech entrepreneurs 2018’.
Christine will be Mission Leader for Round the World voyages Cairns to Darwin and Darwin to Perth.
Director and Co-Founder
As co-founder of eXXpedition EMILY has seen first hand how much plastic ends up in our ocean. She has spent the last decade exploring the high seas from the tropics to the Arctic – enabling scientists, filmmakers and interested individuals to gain access to the most remote parts of our planet.
She has organised the largest ever community-led waste cleanup from a tiny Tongan island, trawled for micro-plastics on a voyage through the Arctic Northwest Passage, rounded the planet on the record-breaking biofuelled boat Earthrace, and worked on a sailing cargo ship trading western supplies for coconuts.
Emily splits her time between running eXXpedition and developing upstream solutions to the ocean plastic issue with corporate partners, scientists and government bodies. An experienced public speaker, Emily gives talks around the world at conferences, universities and global companies about her adventures and issues relating to our oceans, human mindset and future society.
You can find more information on Emily’s projects at www.emilypenn.co.uk.