Round Britain 2017

The eXXpedition team sailed around the whole of the British Isles, sampling the waters for plastics and toxics, according to the protocols developed by the 5 Gyres Institute. Starting from Plymouth on 8th August, we sailed into the heart of all four of Britain’s capital cities, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh and London, as well as to the Isle of Arran in the Clyde.

LEG 1 : Plymouth, via Cardiff and Belfast, to Arran (nr Glasgow) : 7th – 17th August

LEG 2 : Arran (nr Glasgow) to Edinburgh : 17th – 26th August

LEG 3 : Edinburgh, via London, to Plymouth : 26th Aug – 5th Sep

Our Voyage

We embarked from Plymouth, with the support of Richard Thompson, Professor of Marine Biology at Plymouth University and specialist in International Marine Litter research, to undertake the first continuous sampling, in one month, of all the waters around Britain, from polluted city waterways to the relatively pristine waters of the Minch and the Western Isles.

Sailing clockwise from Plymouth, we rounded Lands End and made first landfall in Cardiff, home of the Welsh Assembly. Here we began our shore side work with local people, holiday makers, media and politicians, conducting science workshops, beach cleans, media and creative events, according to the skills and interests of crew members.

From Cardiff we headed north through the Irish Sea and over to Belfast in Northern Ireland. Our shore work continued here in collaboration with local organisations, leaving after two days for the short hop to the Firth of Clyde, whose waters pour out of the heavy industrial city of Glasgow. We anchored off the Isle of Arran where local organisation COAST (Community of Arran Seabed Trust) will be welcoming hosts, enabling awareness-raising and scientific demonstrations to continue. Arran is also the end of the first leg/beginning of the second leg of the voyage.

Leaving the Clyde on August 18th, our original plan was to sail round the Mull of Kintyre and head through the beautiful waters of the West of Scotland, passing Mull, Ardnamurchan Point, the Small Isles and Skye to the Outer Hebrides and Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.

ROUTE ADJUSTMENT on 16th August: Due to adverse weather conditions in Scotland due to the tail end of Hurricane Gert, the eXXpedition core crew made the decision to adjust course due to safety and scientific concerns.

We altered course and sailed through the Caledonian Canal, Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, and Loch Ness and onto Inverness and Edinburgh, ancient capital city of Scotland and home of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. We arrived on 25th August in Edinburgh. Shore work continued here over two days, while the second leg of the voyage finishes and the third begins.

The science programme continued as planned with the required permits. Our crew collected valuable fresh water samples to complement our marine samples. Sea Dragon was highly visible as she proceeded through the Scottish canal system.

From Edinburgh on August 27th we sailed through the North Sea, continuing our sampling work as we went and preparing for the entrance into the Thames, through the Thames Barrier at Woolwich and into St Katherine’s Dock by Tower Bridge. As London starts its annual Thames Festival, our work linked with this, with the scientific data, with questions about our uses of plastics and the routes by which so many toxics, carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, reach our seas – and our bodies.

Leaving London and rounding the south-eastern corner of Britain, we entered the English Channel, to complete our discoveries of the pollution around our islands. The Channel is a busy seaway and this part of the voyage was as challenging as any other as we headed back to Plymouth. Our final day allowed us to work together onshore for the last time, as we bring back the fruits and discoveries of the voyage, new thoughts and inspirations.

Why now?

As we planned this voyage, the problems of plastics – breaking down into microplastics – and toxics in the ocean were finally beginning to be acknowledged by politicians and media worldwide. Microbeads in toiletries, cosmetics and cleaning products, single-use packaging, plastic water bottles, nurdles, the many persistent organic pollutants (POPs) found in most everyday manufactures products – and much, much more were all being recognised as devastating in their effects of oceans, ecosystems, aquatic life, mammals – and us. So we set off to build on this growing awareness by publicising what is to be found in the waters closest to home, where we swim, surf, sail, snorkel and fish.

By sailing into the heart of our capital cities, we drew attention to the role each nation plays in its plastics and toxics policies and met politicians and local media. In Scotland we worked with schoolchildren, and everywhere we involved local and holidaying people in seeing the results of our trawls and engaging with these under-researched and under-talked about issues. We linked this sampling to narratives of ecosystem, and personal health and the products we consume.

Our data fed into wider studies. Water samples were collected and analysed for the presence of toxics and microplastics under the auspices of Dr Jenna Jambeck, University of Georgia, a leading authority on how/how much marine debris reaches the oceans worldwide and a crew member on eXXpedition Atlantic 2014.

Objectives of Round Britain:

To bring together an all-women crew – of sailors, scientists, artists, journalists, filmmakers, adventurers, psychologists and educators – to create a new Round Britain story about women in science, research, sailing and adventure.

To collect data, footage and findings to add to the worldwide data set of plastics and toxics in the ocean, and so help to bring about change.

To broaden awareness of the unseen -plastics and toxics/disease/women as changemakers – specifically in the capital cities, ports and harbours where we make landfall.

To engage there with local people, holiday-makers, media and politicians, giving information about the implications of ocean pollution, from making everyday choices to action at the political level for a cleaner, healthier environment.

Plymouth – Cardiff – Belfast – Arran – Edinburgh – London – Plymouth

Meet the Team (Leg 1)

Mission Leader

Guest Crew

Gail Tudor

Gail Tudor

United Kingdom

Filmmaker and Activist

Filmmaker and founder of Plastic Free Aberporth. Owner of single use plastic-free holiday cottage in Wales.

GAIL runs her own wedding videography business which includes marketing, filming and editing but also has a background in marine science, with a degree in Chemistry with Oceanography from the University of Southampton. Gail has an ongoing interest in the marine environment and volunteers at the Teifi Marsh Welsh Wildlife Centre in Cardigan, Wales and has also provided support to vessel-based surveys of resident dolphin populations in Cardigan Bay where she lives. The marine wildlife of Cardigan Bay is under threat from pollution and disturbance in the conservation area and she is looking to understand more about could and should be done to protect our shores.

Gail has experience in racing dinghies in Indonesia and catamarans in UK inshore waters. Gail is now looking forward to expanding into yacht sailing and gaining some new experience. For Gail, eXXpedition provides an exciting opportunity to combine her passions for the outdoors and sailing while contributing to marine and environmental conservation. Gail is interested in helping people to help themselves improve their health and environment. She hopes to use her skills in filming, editing and in communications and outreach to spread the message about the importance of the marine environment and continue this outreach upon her return.

Deborah Maw

Deborah Maw

United Kingdom

EcoSciArtist

Deborah is an activist, adventurer, artist, dancer, designer, environmentalist, explorer, vegan wild-camping walker who loves to play.

She worked as a Biochemist in UK for a number of years before taking time out to travel the world. When she returned to the UK, Deborah moved to a small community in North Wales where she raised her children. Following this, Deborah went back to college where she studied for a Foundation Degree in Art and Design, specialising in sculpture and mixed media using waste plastic, particularly marine plastic debris. She has used this to teach environmental awareness through art, particularly in youth settings.

For the past 12 years, Deborah has been walking and camping the British coastal trails solo and photographing art from marine plastics. Deborah’s ambition is to travel around the whole British Isles, and eXXpedition will allow her to do this from the seas. Deborah hopes to learn more about the effects of marine pollution on human health, using surveys, assessing results and their implications, to incorporate into her work as a health therapist and incorporate marine pollution research into her work as an environmental artist and teacher. Deborah is passionate about learning to sail and will kick-start her education with a RYA Competent Crew sailing course in May to prepare for the exciting task of all three Round Britain 2017 legs!

Vanessa Stephenson

Vanessa Stephenson

United Kingdom

Ex Fish and Seafood Retail Buyer

VANESSA is the a former fish and seafood buyer at British retailer Waitrose and has a strong commercial background in retail, having been in the industry for 30 years. Vanessa lives in Berkshire and is the mother of two sons, the eldest of which graduated in 2016 with a degree in Conservation Biology and Ecology from Exeter University, and the youngest currently studying for a degree in Politics and International Relations at Birmingham University.

Vanessa is looking forward to reaching out of her own comfort zone and challenge herself physically and mentally and working with a diverse group of like-minded women. Her job is highly sustainability focussed and she hopes that she can raise awareness of the damage we are doing to our oceans and wildlife and encourage more people to take action to influence change. Vanessa has some sailing experience, having been a member of sailing club for a short time, and is excited to expand on this during her time on board.

Tanya Ferry

Tanya Ferry

United Kingdom

Storyteller

Tanya is an aquatic scientist, turned story teller, championing the estuaries which have been lost to policy, regulation and peoples hearts and minds.

She has worked in estuaries and around the coast for 10 years. In addition to working on the coast, Tanya also lives on the coast and her main hobbies, diving, surfing and sailing, are based on water. Tanya spends a large proportion of her time on boats and is a powerboat and rib skipper and also volunteers for her local RNLI Lifeboat Station.

Tanya has become increasingly concerned about the amount of terrestrial litter that ends up in the marine environment. She does whatever she can to influence and improve people’s understanding of the impact pollution can have in the local area but she is now interested in looker at the wider context and issues and studying the interaction between marine litter and marine life.  Tanya is confident that her time on board will be an invaluable experience that, in collecting information during the trip, could help shape the way we lead the way in the UK.  In particular Tanya is keen to understand the UK context that the Thames sits within, working for the Port of London Authority and running the Cleaner Thames Campaign with partner organisation, this expedition will provide valuable insight into the challenges the Estuary faces and how the conversation to bring solutions can be formed.

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Megan Ross

Megan Ross

United Kingdom

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Scientist

MEGAN is currently studying for a BSc in Marine Biology at the University of Plymouth, which is one of eXXpedition Round Britain’s partners. Her main interests lie in algae and conservation, including investigating the effects of microplastics on the marine environment. Megan has previously worked as a beach ranger for the Polzeath Marine Conservation Group in Cornwall, where she gained experience in educating the public on local marine conservation issues and also in leading beach cleans, rock pooling and boat surveys, among other activities. It was during her time as a beach ranger where she first heard of eXXpedition and she could not wait to get involved!

Megan is looking forward to using this opportunity to provide the wider public with an understanding of microplastics and the way that they are affecting the marine environment. Megan is also hoping to collect a data to investigate the relationship between microplastics and potential effects on plankton communities around the UK.

Mani White

Mani White

United States of America

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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Sarah Tanburn

Sarah Tanburn

United Kingdom

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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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Lynne Braham

Lynne Braham

United Kingdom

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LYNNE’S career so far has been in Higher Education administration, mostly in assuring academic quality and standards, and in her current role she works to develop academic partnerships. Lynne has expertise in writing formal documents, such as reports, regulations and codes of practice, and less formal communications such as newsletters, guidance and training material. Lynne also has experience of delivering staff development to a range of audiences, including senior managers, staff, students and partners.

Lynne is joining Round Britain 2017 for the adventure! But she also wants it to be a meaningful adventure, not just a journey to the centre of herself. Lynne wants to provide something that connects various local initiatives, such as University research projects and activity at the Deep, telling a story that can be used to inform and inspire others to change their attitudes to the use of plastics.

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Kim Ferran Holt

Kim Ferran Holt

United States of America

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KIM has a background in Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Management with extensive graduate education and field experience in marine ecology and environmental education. She has taught marine biology and ecology to high school and university students for many years. Kim is currently working for the Thames Estuary Partnership (TEP) as their Marine Litter Coordinator.  TEP is part of the Coastal Partnerships Network (CPN) and the Marine CoLABoration working to help people reconnect to and value the ocean. Kim’s role involves liaising with a wide range of academic, regulatory and charitable organisations in the monitoring of plastic litter in the Thames. One of her key priorities is delivery of TEP’s role in the Marine CoLABoration’s #OneLess campaign’ to stop the flow of plastics pollution to the ocean by making London less reliant on single-use plastic water bottles and spreading the refill revolution in London.

Kim is passionate about motivating the next generation of women to become scientists and in order to encourage this is coordinating an education and outreach project for her time on eXXpedition. This includes live streaming and video blogs so that student groups can experience a virtual scientific cruise. Student groups following the cruise online will also be able to join the ship in port to participate in beach cleans and experience science first hand in the field.

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Hannah Thomas-Peter

Hannah Thomas-Peter

United States of America

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Journalist

HANNAH is the New York Correspondent for Sky News and is an accomplished award-winning journalist and experienced visual story teller who loves the ocean. Hannah’s parents live on an island off Vancouver and so she has the use of a small dinghy when staying with them and has spent time sailing with friends on yachting holidays around Croatia and Greece.

Hannah spent the vast majority of the last year covering Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency, but as part of her work across America she has also focused on a series of big environmental stories, including the crisis at Standing Rock, the effect of rising sea levels on native Americans in bayous of Louisiana, the fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the impact of the Alberta oil sands, and the emergence of the fracking boom in North Dakota.

Hannah will be filming the Round Britain eXXpedition on Legs 1 and 3 in order to create a documentary that explores the UK’s glorious, fragile coastline and the threats to the seas that surround it. While she is on board filming the crew and focusing on the scientific mission being undertaken, her team will embark on a simultaneous land based journey around the British coastline, examining the broader issues that are threatening Britain’s seas and the communities that live near them, from plastic and sewage pollution to flooding and storms. The resulting documentary will form part of Sky Ocean Rescue, a major campaign to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean and raise awareness of the myriad threats to ocean health.

You can watch the first documentary in the campaign, A Plastic Tide here.

Meet the Team (Leg 2)

Mission Leader

Guest Crew

Carol Devine

Carol Devine

Canada

Writer

CAROL a humanitarian, researcher and writer, who believes we can change the world for the better. Carol works on global health and earth health and her main work is for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) working on migration and climate and health issues. Carol has also done marine debris collection in the Arctic and Antarctic, creating a Sciart project and exhibit “Aquamess”, which was inspired by these two expeditions. Carol led the first civilian clean up expedition to the Antarctic in 1995-6 with The Russian Antarctic Expedition and joined the early civilian clean up expedition, Clean Up Svalbard, in 2015.

Carol is keen to be part of the marine debris survey around Great Britian, the Scottish leg in particular. She loves that eXXpedition links exploring marine debris and women’s health, and contributes to scientific understanding of anthropogenic ocean pollution. Carol wants to stretch herself to learn more about sailing and is looking forward to engaging with communities and getting involved with sciart along the way.

Jessica van Horssen

Jessica van Horssen

Canada

Historian

 

JESSICA is a Senior Lecturer in North American History at Leeds Beckett University where she specialises in the history of environmental contamination and health. In her academic career, Jessica has published a number of pieces on the history of the Canadian asbestos industry and has a keen interest on the linkages between the environment and human health. Jess uses the past to inform present environmental issues.

Jessica has experience on the water, from speedboats to canoes and kayaks and is now excited about extending this into yacht sailing. Jessica is excited to be part of the all-female crew on board RV Sea Dragon and is looking forward to integrating her academic expertise into the eXXpedition project on plastics, contamination and endocrine disruptors and to use this experience and the data collected in her own research.

Deborah Maw

Deborah Maw

United Kingdom

EcoSciArtist

Deborah is an activist, adventurer, artist, dancer, designer, environmentalist, explorer, vegan wild-camping walker who loves to play.

She worked as a Biochemist in UK for a number of years before taking time out to travel the world. When she returned to the UK, Deborah moved to a small community in North Wales where she raised her children. Following this, Deborah went back to college where she studied for a Foundation Degree in Art and Design, specialising in sculpture and mixed media using waste plastic, particularly marine plastic debris. She has used this to teach environmental awareness through art, particularly in youth settings.

For the past 12 years, Deborah has been walking and camping the British coastal trails solo and photographing art from marine plastics. Deborah’s ambition is to travel around the whole British Isles, and eXXpedition will allow her to do this from the seas. Deborah hopes to learn more about the effects of marine pollution on human health, using surveys, assessing results and their implications, to incorporate into her work as a health therapist and incorporate marine pollution research into her work as an environmental artist and teacher. Deborah is passionate about learning to sail and will kick-start her education with a RYA Competent Crew sailing course in May to prepare for the exciting task of all three Round Britain 2017 legs!

Lucy Gilliam

Lucy Gilliam

United Kingdom

Scientist, eXXpedition Co-Founder

LUCY is a professional changemaker with a Degree in Biology and Phd in Molecular Microbiology. Her career has spanned academia, government, grassroots activism and supranational policy making. Lucy has a life-long passion for tackling climate change and toxic pollution. Currently, she works for Brussels based NGO, Transport & Environment, tackling climate impacts and pollution from shipping and aviation. She has sailed on three eXXpedition voyages and continues to support the project as a technical advisor and ambassador for the cause.

Lucy was Mission Leader for eXXpedition Caribbean 2017.

Sue Weaver

Sue Weaver

United Kingdom

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.

Tegan Mortimer

Tegan Mortimer

United Kingdom

Marine Biologist and Science Educator

TEGAN is a marine biologist and science educator. When she can’t be found in the classroom she spends her time studying humpback whales (and ocean trash) in New England and teaching people about these amazing animals and their habitat. Tegan was previously a crew member on board eXXpedition Ascension in 2015 and since then has continued her coastal at-sea marine debris research with a strong emphasis on education and outreach work.

Tegan grew up sailing and although she now spends much of her time on board commercial whale watching vessels, she still finds time to sail. Apart from her Atlantic crossing on RV Sea Dragon in November 2015, she also sailed and beach cleaned along the coast of Maine on board RV American Promise last summer. Tegan has said that her time on Sea Dragon was life changing. She would like nothing more than to get back on board and do what she loves – engaging people about the issues that face our oceans – and in a place that is extremely special to her. She would also like to use her time on board to pilot her data collection on marine debris in the biological important waters of western and northern Scotland

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Sarah Tanburn

Sarah Tanburn

United Kingdom

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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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Katie Turnbull

Katie Turnbull

Australia

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KATIE is an Australian born artist working across various media including video, installation and interactivity and app development. Katie is interested in the experience of time, the intangible and the natural environment and playing with contradictions within the act of seeing and looking. Katie explores this idea through the history of the moving image, psychology, computing, climate change and cosmology. She has a particular interest in the intersection of science art and is hoping to integrate her work and her experience with eXXpedition.

Katie lived on a riverboat that ran trips for tourists between the English cities of Bath and Bristol and therefore has experience on the water and general water safety training. She is now looking forward to expanding into the world of coastal sailing on board RV Sea Dragon with eXXpedition.

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Bryony Meakins

Bryony Meakins

United Kingdom

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Marine Conservationist

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.

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Melina Hoffman

Melina Hoffman

Germany

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Biochemist

MELINA is a biochemist and water addict. She is currently studying for a PhD which involves the development of alternative treatments to replace chemotherapy for breast cancer patients. Her home is Germany where she learned to sail on the largest lake in Europe and absolutely loved it and is an overall  water sports enthusiast.

Throughout her studies she was engaged in a green society spreading awareness to protect our environment. Melina is excited to join the eXXpedition Round Britain team as it will bring together two of her passions: science and sailing. She is looking forward to spreading the word about ocean pollution and how to change it, spending time with an all-female crew and gaining experience sailing in the North Sea.

Meet the Team (Leg 3)

Mission Leader

Guest Crew

Melissa Mayhew

Melissa Mayhew

Canada

Scientist

Conserving biodiversity is Melissa’s passion. She is an advocate for science literacy who works with youth, Indigenous peoples, and community members to share perspectives on ways that people can affect the natural world.

MELISSA is based in Toronto, Canada where she currently works as an environmental scientist at Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). Prior to joining the NWMO, she worked as project manager at a global environmental and engineering firm, and as a researcher studying human interactions with terrestrial and marine ecosystems. She has a keen working interest in the environment and has undertaken environmental research in a number of countries. An essential part of her work involves engaging in community learning. She works with youth, indigenous people, and community members to build their understanding of landscape ecology and environmental impact assessment.

Being on, in, or near the water is Melissa’s favourite place.  She is a qualified rescue SCUBA diver, and enjoys sailing on beautiful Lake Ontario on her 9 m cruiser.  Melissa has successfully completed Sail Canada’s Basic Cruising Standard for keelboats, and participates in weekly club racing as crew on a Beneteau 36.7. Although an experienced sailor, Melissa is looking forward to developing her sailing skills, and learning to more confidently handle moderate wind and sea conditions. Melissa is also an advocate for science literacy. She is certain this expedition will provide exciting stories to share with her friends’ daughters, inspiring them to a life of adventure and active participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Liane Fredericks

Liane Fredericks

United Kingdom

Participatory Process Facilitator

LIANE fell in love with sailing in 2004 as a deckhand in the Mediterranean. But she didn’t connect with ocean adventure again until the end of 2015 in The Canaries where she joined the creative and musical crew of a little plywood boat. Together they sailed Moondancer on to The Gambia via the Cape Verde islands. The voyage was a powerful reminder that you can make any dream a reality if you have the longing, and the community. However it was crushing to see plastic washing up on every beach that they anchored in. So Liane intends to use eXXpedition Round Britain to connect our personal stories about plastic with the full lifetime journeys of plastics and encourage positive action.

After gaining an MSc in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, she worked as a Sustainability Officer at The London School of Economics. Besides working as a Project Manager, she has experience in hosting events that use participatory processes and improvisation practices to collectively respond to complex challenges. Though not a scientist her passion for science has led her to: write blogs for Science Art in America, speak at London LASER (Leonardo Art and Science Evening Rendezvous); and facilitate a session at Subtle Technologies: Participatory Practices in Art & Science. Completing her RYA Day Skipper last year with Girls for Sail, Liane is also excited to be part of a growing community promoting environmental action and women in sailing and STEM.

You can follow Liane now and during her time on board here.

Deborah Maw

Deborah Maw

United Kingdom

EcoSciArtist

Deborah is an activist, adventurer, artist, dancer, designer, environmentalist, explorer, vegan wild-camping walker who loves to play.

She worked as a Biochemist in UK for a number of years before taking time out to travel the world. When she returned to the UK, Deborah moved to a small community in North Wales where she raised her children. Following this, Deborah went back to college where she studied for a Foundation Degree in Art and Design, specialising in sculpture and mixed media using waste plastic, particularly marine plastic debris. She has used this to teach environmental awareness through art, particularly in youth settings.

For the past 12 years, Deborah has been walking and camping the British coastal trails solo and photographing art from marine plastics. Deborah’s ambition is to travel around the whole British Isles, and eXXpedition will allow her to do this from the seas. Deborah hopes to learn more about the effects of marine pollution on human health, using surveys, assessing results and their implications, to incorporate into her work as a health therapist and incorporate marine pollution research into her work as an environmental artist and teacher. Deborah is passionate about learning to sail and will kick-start her education with a RYA Competent Crew sailing course in May to prepare for the exciting task of all three Round Britain 2017 legs!

Deborah Siner

Deborah Siner

United Kingdom

Procurement Specialist

Adventurer and Procurement specialist working with manufacturing companies on change management and sustainability within the supply chain.

DEBORAH is a procurement professional working within the manufacturing industry specialising in procurement strategy. Over the past 10 years Deborah has fundraised for Ordinary2extraordinary, travelling all over the world to participate in challenges to raise funds, while taking herself out of her comfort zone and she has a passion for adventure.

Deborah is also passionate about our planet and having seen the impact of plastic in our oceans first hand while trekking along the pristine beaches in the Taman National Ujung Kulon Park in Java, she noticed how much plastic had washed up onto the beaches. She now wants to play a part in raising awareness of this issue and use the experience to discuss the expedition findings and assist companies in making a reduction in the use of plastic and other chemicals. Deborah has some experience on the water with small motor boats and as a passenger on small yachts and is looking forward to gaining a new skill.

Tanya Ferry

Tanya Ferry

United Kingdom

Storyteller

Tanya is an aquatic scientist, turned story teller, championing the estuaries which have been lost to policy, regulation and peoples hearts and minds.

She has worked in estuaries and around the coast for 10 years. In addition to working on the coast, Tanya also lives on the coast and her main hobbies, diving, surfing and sailing, are based on water. Tanya spends a large proportion of her time on boats and is a powerboat and rib skipper and also volunteers for her local RNLI Lifeboat Station.

Tanya has become increasingly concerned about the amount of terrestrial litter that ends up in the marine environment. She does whatever she can to influence and improve people’s understanding of the impact pollution can have in the local area but she is now interested in looker at the wider context and issues and studying the interaction between marine litter and marine life.  Tanya is confident that her time on board will be an invaluable experience that, in collecting information during the trip, could help shape the way we lead the way in the UK.  In particular Tanya is keen to understand the UK context that the Thames sits within, working for the Port of London Authority and running the Cleaner Thames Campaign with partner organisation, this expedition will provide valuable insight into the challenges the Estuary faces and how the conversation to bring solutions can be formed.

Sue Weaver

Sue Weaver

United Kingdom

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.

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Sarah Tanburn

Sarah Tanburn

United Kingdom

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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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Hannah Thomas-Peter

Hannah Thomas-Peter

United States of America

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Journalist

HANNAH is the New York Correspondent for Sky News and is an accomplished award-winning journalist and experienced visual story teller who loves the ocean. Hannah’s parents live on an island off Vancouver and so she has the use of a small dinghy when staying with them and has spent time sailing with friends on yachting holidays around Croatia and Greece.

Hannah spent the vast majority of the last year covering Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency, but as part of her work across America she has also focused on a series of big environmental stories, including the crisis at Standing Rock, the effect of rising sea levels on native Americans in bayous of Louisiana, the fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the impact of the Alberta oil sands, and the emergence of the fracking boom in North Dakota.

Hannah will be filming the Round Britain eXXpedition on Legs 1 and 3 in order to create a documentary that explores the UK’s glorious, fragile coastline and the threats to the seas that surround it. While she is on board filming the crew and focusing on the scientific mission being undertaken, her team will embark on a simultaneous land based journey around the British coastline, examining the broader issues that are threatening Britain’s seas and the communities that live near them, from plastic and sewage pollution to flooding and storms. The resulting documentary will form part of Sky Ocean Rescue, a major campaign to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean and raise awareness of the myriad threats to ocean health.

You can watch the first documentary in the campaign, A Plastic Tide here.

Samantha Sutton

Samantha Sutton

United Kingdom

SAMANTHA joins Leg 3 on behalf of Selfridges and their Project Ocean campaign with ZSL. She is a senior finance analyst within their Finance team in London and is currently working on the Finance Transformation Project to implement a new finance system. Alongside this, she is also a Values Ambassador and plays an active role in supporting the Green Warriors and helping to drive sustainability within the business.

She has a growing concern about plastics and the damage it has on our oceans, particularly as her favourite pastime is to be next to the sea but has noticed the increasing amount of rubbish ending up on the shores. Her reasons for joining this Round Britain 2017 are to learn more about these issues, to have her first sailing experience and make a lot of memories with some inspiring ladies.

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Nicole Gordon

Science, art & fieldwork: eXXpedition ambassador on a communication mission

eXXpedition ambassador Deborah Maw shares how her experience at sea has influenced her artistic and scientific work: “I was part of eXXpedition Round Britain 2017, completing the entire circumnavigation. Originally I trained as a biochemist, researching the structure of vertebrate muscle fibers using electron microscopy. I then went on to train as a teacher before […]

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