United States of America
Judith was born and grew up in Southern California, USA. She spent the majority of her life living near the Pacific coastline of Santa Monica and Ventura beaches. She has always been interested in science and biology in particular. She received a degree in microbiology and has taught science for over 30 years.
She is currently teaching at an elementary school of Environmental Science in Ventura, California. Besides travelling, her interests include sailing, hiking, skiing, beekeeping, and environmental issues.
She finds it exciting to explore different parts of our planet. Each new experience with people, cultures, and the sheer beauty of our world makes her want to help fix this plastic dependency problem. Hopefully sharing her adventure of this expedition with her students will create a spark in them to care about our environment and be brave enough to go out there, take action, and share with others. Teaching them to rethink how they use plastic in their life and what impact it has on our ocean environment and ultimately themselves and their families is her goal. She is excited to be with a group of innovative women who are passionate about what is happening to our oceans. Life is short….do what you can.
Founder and Director of Ten Little Pieces
Ali is the founder of Ten Little Pieces, an empowerment movement for ordinary folks to make a big difference to the places they love by collecting ten little pieces of rubbish, anytime, anywhere, especially with children involved. This starts conversations regarding conscious consumerism, environmental stewardship and a rethinking of our concept of waste.
She spent her pre-motherhood life sailing the world onboard super yachts and has a deeply held respect and concern for the health of our shared oceans which she combines with a passion for the education of children in regenerative concepts and closed loop systems.
“It’s an honour to be selected as part of the eXXpedition crew to contribute to world leading science along side so many extraordinary women all committed to advocating solutions to the devastating environmental and health impacts of plastics and toxics in our oceans”.
Engineer by Degree, Human Resources Specialist by Vocation
Daniela graduated from the Polytechnic University in Bucharest, Romania, with a degree in hydro power plant engineering. She is now retired, after 25 years of working for a big corporation in Human Resources. Spends her time between Bucharest and London (where she’s lived and worked for ten years), when not travelling, sailing or volunteering around the world.
United States of America
A scientist, mother, diver, and ocean lover, Jennifer has dedicated her career to studying pollution in the ocean. She is a U.S. federal scientist and the co-Director of the Center for Marine Debris Research at Hawaii Pacific University with a Ph.D. from Duke University in Marine Environmental Toxicology.
She has published over 50 scientific manuscripts and three book chapters and mentored more than 75 undergraduate and graduate students through marine environmental research projects, focused mostly on measuring pollutants in marine organisms, especially sea turtles. Jenn’s mission has been to discover the truth about pollution exposure and effects in the ocean and educate others to perform excellent science and make positive changes for our environment.
Rachel, 25, is currently living and working in Leeds, UK, in the Banking industry. However her family & friends know her best for being an outdoor and adventure enthusiast! In her spare time, you’ll find her exploring the Yorkshire Dales, or planning her next travel adventure! She has solo travelled several times, and hiked through beautiful regions of our planet, including South America, New Zealand, Yellowstone, Mont Blanc and the Canadian Rockies (to name a few!).
From a very early age, she has been enthusiastic about wildlife, but in particular environment conservation and sustainable living. Then in 2018, she visited the Galapagos Islands, where she volunteered on conservation projects with giant tortoises and single use plastic research projects. This experience only heightened her interest in understanding the plastic problem further. She’s both excited and nervous to see first hand, how bad the plastic pollution has become in the Pacific.
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.
Artist - Environmental Technician
Marjan Verschraegen was born in Ghent, Belgium on 28th of May 1975. Now she lives in Foley, Alabama, USA
Marjan studied publicity and three-dimensional art at St.-Lucas academy, Ghent. In 2004 she started studying photography. She was awarded for her entry in the Coke Light & Seduction competition and exhibited in the museum of photography in Antwerp-Belgium.
In 2006 she worked together with Carl Dekeyzer (MAGNUM) on a project of the Flemish Primitives, which was a great experience. After getting her Bachelor degree, she took some time to travel and break limits – Iceland, India, France, Gulf of Mexico…
After visiting The Gulf Of Mexico several times (and having a strong affection with this region), she decided to work on The Oil Spill disaster (2010) and finish her Master Degree (2011). 2012 would be a new beginning. She married singer/songwriter Elaine Petty and moved permanently to Alabama, USA.
Her affection for the environment and going back to “the basics of life”, continued to inspire her and resulted in her present project ‘OCEANTRASH’ – a mix of ‘pure photography’, ‘graphic design’ and ‘performing activism’. ‘OCEANTRASH’ is still finding its shape and will soon set a statement for saving our oceans and bringing global awareness about protecting our natural resources.
Head of Sustainability & Communications at Unilever Australia and New Zealand
With a strong belief in sustainable, purpose-led business models as a driver of long-term value creation, Alexandra (Alex) holds 10+ years experience across the UK/US/ANZ, helping organisations (private/public/nfp) build reputation, competitive advantage and mitigate risk through effective communication, advocacy and sustainable business design.
In her current role as Head of Sustainable Business & Communications, Home Beauty & Personal Care, Unilever ANZ, Alex is central to leading Unilever ANZ’s external engagement strategy and delivery of effective communication plans to protect Unilever’s corporate reputation and demonstrate how sustainability drives business growth, less risk, less cost and more trust.
Alex has also worked with Californian outdoor apparel company Patagonia, e-waste recycler MobileMuster, an urban greening initiative 202020Vision and sits on sustainability advisory groups for the Australian Food & Grocery Council and Australasian Packaging Convenant.
Having grown up in beautiful New Zealand and lived near the ocean her whole life, Alex loves keeping active, adventures, learning new skills and the great outdoors. She believes that with a love of wild nature, comes a sense of responsibility to protect it.