Meet Jan Brant… our resident Marine Chemist – AKA our toxic Superwomen! Jan’s role in eXXpedition is vitally important in helping us understand and explore further the contaminants and toxics in our marine environment.
With over 17 years experience, carrying out and managing research focusing on identification of toxic (particularly endocrine disrupting) chemicals in marine sediments, and developing new technologies designed to detect and identify emerging chemicals in sediments and water, Jan brings an exceptional skill set to eXXpedition Ascension that will excel our level of understanding as we sample across the South Atlantic Ocean in just a few weeks.
Jan grew up on the water and started sailing from a very young age, racing mainly around the coast of Britain and Ireland.
When she’s not in the lab or out on the water Jan loves anything that gets here outdoors in nature. A keen runner, and never one to shy away from a personal challenge, Jan’s even competed in a 50 mile hill running ultra-marathon!
She hopes that her journey with eXXpedition will broaden her mind even further, enable her to meet some amazing people, and contribute to fascinating and critical science, while exploring one of the most beautiful parts of the world.
Well, we couldn’t be more thrilled to have such an incredible scientist aboard to push our research to new heights. I caught up with Jan and fired some questions at her to give you a look into the women behind the lab coat and test tubes.
Q: What colour is your toothbrush?
Q: If you could teleport where would you go and why?
A: I would be nomadic and go wherever I thought my skills could be best used to help our planet and the people on it
Q: Who do you admire the most (dead or alive)?
A: Nelson Mandella
Q: What’s your top tip for reducing plastic use – what works for you?
A: Carry a bag wherever you go, shop locally and avoid supermarkets
Q: If you could put just one thing at the top of your bucket list, what would it be?
Q: What’s the most delightful word you can think of?
Q: What’s your biggest fear?
A: Not being as good as I think I should be
Q: Favourite flavour ice-cream?
A: Cookie Dough
Q: Who would be your 4 ultimate dinner party guests (dead or alive)?
A: Nelson Mandella, Charles Darwin, Ellen McArthur, Steve Redgrave
Q: Where would you go if you were invisible?
A: I’d probably listen in to what people were saying about me, then be disappointed that no-one is actually talking about me!
Q: If you owned your own Yacht, what would you call her?
A: Probably Daydreamer. We had a few family boats when I was younger, and they were all called Daydreamer after my Dad, who really was
Q: What have you done that you are most proud of?
A: A couple of years ago I did a 50 mile hilly ultra-marathon. I won’t pretend that I ran all the way, but I never thought I would get to the start line, much less the finish line, so I am very proud of that
Q: What would your Superhero power be?
Q: What piece of advice have you been given that was most rewarding?
A: There’s no such thing as a bad decision, only one made with the best information at the time
Q: What’s the most important thing you want to take away from your eXXpedition voyage?
A: New understanding, new friendships and some amazing stories!
Q: What’s your favourite marine animal and why?
A: Oh god that’s tricky, but I think I’d have to go for dolphins as they are just so playful. It’s impossible to see a dolphin without smiling and getting excited, and then they get excited too
Q: What’s the one thing that drives you crazy?
A: People who don’t even try to make a difference