Paul has had a lifelong interest in environmental issues and has set up energy conservation, green energy and green transport projects. He founded Active360 in 2011 and through it has engaged many people in the natural world. He is working to increase awareness of the threats to our marine environments and promote ideas to reduce those threats.
Séverine is the founder of Watertrek and actress who decided to dedicate much of her life to protecting the environment on Stand Up Paddleboard after teaching environmental classes in schools and orphanages in Thailand and Cambodia. Séverine realised that environmental issues had to be tackled on a global scale with the notion that we are all (and should feel) connected to our seriously threatened planet. In 2013, Watertrek launched with a mission to reconnect people with water using stand up paddling as a physical tool to educate, initiate and bring together communities of like-minded people willing to protect our natural resources, particularly aquatic ecosystems focusing on plastic pollution, climate change and water quality. It is now a French and British charity, involved in international projects including in Myanmar (Burma), Thailand and India.
Chris is an environmental scientist and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow of Brunel University, London, specialising in pollution in the world’s rivers and seas and its impacts on wildlife and human health. He has published research on the effects of chemicals released from sewage treatment works into UK rivers that can disrupt the hormone systems of fish, leading to feminisation of males. Chris has more recently been working on plastic pollution and provided scientific advisory for the documentary film, A Plastic Ocean, produced by Jo Ruxton (BBC’s Blue Planet) and Adam Leipzig (March of the Penguins). He also collaborates with social scientists to understand public perceptions of plastic pollution and how the risks that it poses are communicated by the media, and submitted evidence to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee enquiry on the Environmental Impact of Microplastics.
Mei Li has a lifelong curiosity around health and nature, having grown up with a love of the outdoors, wildlife and natural environments of Australia. As a novice snorkeller, diver and globetrotter, she wanted to be part of the solution after seeing the human impacts of litter and pollution on coastal and underwater life at home and abroad so joined Responsible Runners’ weekly beach clean-ups. Since moving to London, Mei Li has experienced ocean withdrawals but has found ways to connect with the water and found new passions stand up paddleboarding and working on the Plastic Ocean Festival website and social media. Having studied Health Science and Health Services Management, Mei Li works in health and wellbeing alongside contributing to and advocating for healthy and sustainable environments.
Wanda is a marine scientist with a wide range of experience working in academic and industrial environments. She holds a master’s degree in Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management and has worked at the Netherlands Institute of Sea Research (NIOZ) focusing on the population decline of baltic tellin in the Wadden Sea. Since 2015 she has worked in offshore and in coastal waters and has been involved in surveys of plankton, benthic invertebrates, shorebirds, seabirds and marine mammals. She has experience in developing and implementing marine mammal mitigation plan according to government and industrial regulations: deployment of acoustic deterrence devices, visual (MMO) and passive acoustic (PAM) monitoring of marine mammal activity and real-time underwater noise monitoring during the installation of offshore windfarms and substations. She is accredited as a Registered Marine Scientist by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST). She is also interested in mapping and data visualisation using QGIS, ArcGIS and R, and currently focusing on the development of an online educational course. Wanda is a keen surfer, stand up paddleboarder, scuba diver and regularly attends foreshore and beach clean-ups.
Jo’s interest in marine plastic pollution was first sparked when she documented her journey through life without single-use plastic in her project ‘The Plastic Challenge’ in 2015. As a passionate ocean advocate and environmentalist, she has worked with a range of organisations on a variety of environmental projects, from Greenpeace Argentina to IUCN to the cosmetics brand Lush. Jo is currently working as an events intern in London but escapes to camp by the beach in her free time.