A university instructor, Sibel went back to school and at age 36 graduated as a mechanical engineer and entered into a career with Ford Motor Company. Following her retirement, Sibel founded EMBARQ TURKEY (now ‘’Turkey: WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities’’). As a child she sailed across the Atlantic from the US back to Turkey on an old freighter. Since then Sibel has loved the sea and has become an avid sailor, having sailed the North Sea, Baltic, Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara, Black Sea and Sydney Harbor. In the summer, Sibel can be seen sailing my Laser around the Marmara.
Her interest in sustainability began with urban mobility. As a result of her work at EMBARQ, Sibel became interested in sustainable cities. Since 2013 she has been writing a column on ‘’Livable Cities’’ for EKOİQ. Sibel is also co-producer, part time host on medyascopetv’s ‘’The Cities Belong to Us’’ (Both in Turkish.) Nowadays her interest has expanded into living sustainably.
Sibel’s real superpower is her passion for life, for learning and for sharing her learnings. Turkey has become both an important exporter of plastic products and major importer of plastic waste. Given these facts, she believes Turkey has an important role to play in addressing plastic pollution. As an exxpedition crew member, Sibel was hoping to become the oldest woman to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, but COVİD dashed those hopes (for now.) But as a crew member on the Virtual Voyage, Sibel is learning about plastic pollution and looking forward to sharing her learnings.
United States of America
Corporate sustainability professional
Alex Michalko has worked in corporate sustainability for more than a decade, helping large companies from the media, retail, and technology sectors drive positive environmental and social change. She also served as a Research Fellow at Project Drawdown, an initiative led by Paul Hawken to measure the expected environmental and financial impact of accelerating the adoption of the 100 most substantive solutions to climate change. Alex received her MBA and Master of Environmental Management degrees from Duke University, where her master’s thesis focused on consumer goods eco-labelling. She also holds a BA in International Relations from Stanford University. She is based in Seattle, where she spends her free time exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Tharaka is the founder of Ocean Education & Blue Parks Ambassador, Marine Conservation Institute
In 2015 Tharaka Sriram founded the ocean literacy initiative called “Ocean Education”, where she inspires people for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and fights for the establishment of a global network of strongly protected MPAs.
She also was chosen to be Blue Parks Ambassador of the Marine Conservation Institute, the organization that globally spearheads research, implementation and advocacy for strongly protected MPAs.
As a linguist and political scientist, she has lived on six of the seven continents. The six languages that she speaks fluently made it easier for her to work at the UN, NGOs, ministries and institutions that focused on the issues of women’s rights, development cooperation, Youth and marine conservation.
Natural Resources Management Specialist
Celine spends her days exploring ways to protect wildlife, forests and the ocean. Hailing from Singapore, Celine works at the World Bank, supporting the governments of Mozambique and Indonesia to tackle marine plastic pollution and move towards a plastics circular economy through policy, partnerships and local innovations. Her other projects aim to maximize the value of natural resources for local communities for their sustainable management. Previously, Celine lived and worked in the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon, advocating for forest conservation and indigenous rights.
Celine loves diving, backcountry camping and learning languages – and she recently picked up the ukelele. She is excited to exchange ideas on eXXpedition with other strong women leaders and changemakers on solving the plastics problem.
Sustainable Interior Designer
United States of America
Taylor is an avid scuba diver, paddler, sailor, and all-around ocean lover with a passion for conservation and science communication. She is currently based in Washington DC and leads the Plastics Initiative at the National Geographic Society, which includes conducting ‘Sea to Source’ expeditions to better understand plastic flow, composition, and load in river systems.
Taylor was born in the US, raised in the UK, and has been lucky to be able to work on ocean science and conservation around the world, including Australia, the Caribbean, South Asia, and the South Pacific. Taylor has a BA in Environmental Science with a focus on Marine Ecology from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.
United States of America
School Director and Inn Owner/Operator
Ellen is the owner and operator of a small coastal inn, as well as the Executive Director of a Montessori primary and elementary school. An avid lover of all things natural, Ellen has specifically been drawn to marine life and the importance of ocean ecosystems on earth. Ellen holds an Undergraduate Degree in Environmental Science and Marine Ecology, as well as a Master’s Degree in International Logistics Management. She is driven by an interest in sustainability, and the ability to thrive on our planet without destroying it. She is the mama of two boys, whom she is raising to be nature lovers and compassionate stewards of the Earth.
Environmental and Safety Engineer
Tünde is an environmental process engineer and a safety engineer, interested in environmental sciences. She considers herself a global citizen, she is from Hungary but living in Austria, and is a mother of 2 kids. Tünde is passionate about protecting our beautiful planet and creating a sustainable world. She would like to use her enthusiasm and skills to explore the impact of plastic pollution, and to communicate and educate findings to different generations, to help everyone understand better how we can live a sustainable life.
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.
Founder of Meaningful Recruitment
As founder of Meaningful Recruitment Katie connects with amazing individuals and organisations that are striving to make a positive social impact in our world. She provides career coaching to help them achieve their aspirations and runs campaigns to help organisations find the talent to help them achieve their visions and solutions that will benefit our communities and our planet.
The plastic crisis comes up time and time again with her clients and through her podcasts and time on the radio, much interest is being raised from her followers on how they can contribute to the solutions. She’s so passionate about bringing about change to rid our oceans of plastic that she’s travelled to Norway and connected with people such as Boyan Slat’s team of Ocean Cleanup in San Francisco.
Circular design and systems thinking
Pippa, the Founder of philo & co, a circular design consultancy, has more than 10 years’ experience within the creative industry working with global design agencies and leading FMCG brands. Pip is driven by the power of design to help re-define ‘business as usual’ and create a more resource efficient economy.
“I believe the answer lies within a Circular Economy and closed loop design, we simply cannot continue consuming at our current trajectory. We have seen for too long the grave consequences it is having on the natural world our existence depends upon.”
Pip is a Circulab certified consultant and plays an active role within her community to help educate and inspire change. She is a mentor to openIDEO and recently became a Climate Reality Leader following training by the Climate Reality Corps, led by Al Gore.
“I’m really looking forward to working with my fellow crew virtually to understand how we can utilise our scientific findings to fuel innovation in up stream solutions.”