Going to turtle island last year off the coast of Borneo and seeing the devastation of how plastic in the ocean and on beaches shocked me. We did a beach clean up and in 7 months of travelling was one of the most satisfying activities I undertook.
I want to explore this problem further and when I heard about eXXpedition I just knew it was something I wanted to be part of. I am passionate about gender parity and citizen science, this fitted in the sweet-spot of my interests.
At home I work for a large technology company which has pledged a 50:50 gender parity target by 2025. I am proud to work for a company with this mission. I believe in the power of women. Last year, I took part in a mixed transatlantic crossing. I was keen to see the differences in an all female crew. Sailing is still a male dominated sport and in the last 22 years, I have never sailed with only females.
I am currently looking to grow a Science for Life initiative in London, recognising that science curiosity is something to be encouraged and retained throughout your life not just at school. I am keen to take back the learnings of this citizen science from this adventure and apply my learnings to Science for Life.
United States of America
Executive Director Plastic Oceans Intl
Julie is the Founder & Global Executive Director of Plastic Oceans International, working to end plastic pollution. She has worked in public health and nonprofit management internationally for the past 20 years in the US, Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry & Cell Biology and her Masters in Public Health. Julie’s career has focused on the effective communication of information to improve and safeguard human health as well as the environment against the negative effects of industrial development.
Julie was raised in San Diego where the ocean was part of her daily lifestyle as a swimmer and triathlete. When not working to protect the ocean, she is spending time with her husband and 2 sons traveling and exploring.
Entrepreneur and Environmental Activist
Juliet is passionate about sustainability and the circular economy, an entrepreneur at heart, and a changemaker keen on reducing our plastic dependencies.
She has successfully managed to decrease Aruba’s plastic footprint for the past six years, and is also working with Sint Maarten to fuel their plastic-free movement. To this end, she established a foundation, namely Impact Blue Foundation, together with private sector partners, to collaboratively research and devise inclusive solutions to puzzle and phase out our plastic reliance.
Rachel is a designer, thinker and creative writer within in the branding industry – helping brands and organisations to communicate the best they can. A designer works to solve problems by exploring through research to find answers that can be expressed creatively. The way something is designed has such an impact on us, often on a subconscious level, that it shifts our perceptions and the choices we make, and can tell a story from even a quick glance.
The design industry can have such an influence on brands and organisations – they look to the designers to be inspired and that can have a huge impact, from the materials being used for packaging through to telling the story of a brand trying to challenge the status quo.
Community Team Program Manager at Mapbox
Marena is an aquatic soul from Nova Scotia, Canada currently delighting in the wild Pacific coast of northern California where she scuba dives and beachcombs any chance she gets. In her day job at Mapbox, Marena supports non-profits and others to use geospatial technologies for positive social and environmental impact.
Before joining Mapbox, Marena worked to secure customary and indigenous land rights in Africa and Asia with the legal empowerment non-profit Namati, and facilitated participatory planning efforts with indigenous communities in Canada. Marena holds a master’s degree in natural resource management and planning from Simon Fraser University and a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of Guelph.
Marine Biologist Intern
“Ocean nerd”, adventurer and a keen marine biologist, worked in science and management for public health and sustainable use of our seas and oceans. Passionate about ocean protection and climate crisis solutions. Having worked on research vessels around the globe, Liv is exited about the scientific field work and the very unique experience when working together with crewmemebers across disciplines for a common goal. Liv values the scientific discipline and big data management for key longterm solutions in ocean protection.
Nathalie Moreau arrived in the United Kingdom in her early twenties, having traveled from Europe without speaking any English. She was part of University exchange project Erasmus and settled in Cambridge. Nathalie quickly developed her English language skills and built a truly European social network. Whilst Erasmus was only temporary, she opted to settle in the United Kingdom permanently after meeting husband-to-be Paul.
Having finished her studies with a BA hons in Philosophy, she began a successful corporate career in the private sector in various roles ranging from marketing to strategic account management. At the same time, she built a family and brought up two boys who are now into early adulthood.
As a student for the University of Brussels, Nathalie enjoyed sailing various boats such as Lasers, Hobbie Cats and Darts inland and on shore. In the UK she briefly owned a boat and had to give it up with motherhood. Only 3 years ago was she able to enjoy sailing again, this time on Fireball. This reignited the passion … and more was soon to follow….
Nathalie has always supported wildlife and environmental charities and is now taking a new challenge to actively take part in the plastics-in-oceans cause. Joining eXXpedition is a unique opportunity to combine 3 of her passions into 1: women empowerment, the future of our planet for many generations and sailing!
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.
Trinidad and Tobago
La Daana Kanhai is a Trinidadian Marine Scientist that is presently based at the Department of Life Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad. Since 2015, La Daana has been focused on the issue of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. During her recently completed PhD (2018) in Marine Ecosystem Health and Conservation (MARES) at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (Ireland) and The University of Plymouth (UK), La Daana sampled the various environmental compartments of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans for microplastics.
La Daana’s fascination with and passion for the natural environment are the main factors that propelled her to pursue her dream of becoming an Environmental Scientist. La Daana joins the Caribbean leg of eXXpedition because she wants to raise awareness among Small Island Developing States (SIDS) about the issue of plastic pollution in the Caribbean Sea.
United States of America
Producer and Host
Sam is a Washington, D.C. based visual storyteller and environmentalist at National Geographic. Sam focuses in communicating wildlife, history and environmental messages. Her specialities include, video production, hosting, producing, shooting, social media and community outreach – you may also find her scuba diving, backpacking and traveling the globe.
Sam’s joining this voyage in hopes to gage a more tangible effect that plastics have on people and the environments they rely on to live. Sam’s hope on this journey is to be inspired by the women who are joining her and to better connect the rest of the world to understanding climate change as a social justice issue through storytelling.