The Crew

DR. ROMAN LEHNER 

Scientific Project Leader & Co-founder

Roman researches on the topic of micro- and nanoplastics and their possible impacts on human health at the Adolphe Merkle Institute in Fribourg. He designed a 3D human in vitro intestinal model to assess the possible effects of ingested microplastics. In addition he is researching on the production of nanoplastic particles that can be used as first marker particles allowing the investigation of possible adverse effects and cellular interactions. He also spent several years as a scientific guide on marine biological excursions and sailing trips. 

roman@sailandexplore.com

DR. ORNELLA CÉLINE WEIDELI

Scientific Expedition Leader 

Ornella finished her PhD investigating the coexistence of two juvenile shark species and the possible effects of competition on the species' ecological niches. This work has been conducted in Seychelles and French Polynesia through a collaboration with the French University EPHE, the CRIOBE and the Save Our Seas Foundation - D'Arros Research Centre (SOSF - DRC). Further, she's involved in multiple international collaborations investigating the trophic ecology and anthropogenic impacts on the ecology and physiology of sharks. To raise awareness of these charismatic but threatened species, Ornella shares her knowledge through public presentations, media engagements, and as a scientific leader on sailing expeditions. 

ornella@sailandexplore.com 

www.ornellaweideli.com

DR. FLORIAN BREIDER

Scientific Collaborator Switzerland, EPFL 

Florian is the head of the Central Environmental Laboratory at EPFL which conducts research and provides services in the fields of environmental analytical chemistry and molecular biology. His research on the plastic pollution focuses on (i) the interactions between microplastics and organic and inorganic micropollutants, (ii) the characterization of tire particles and their toxicity, (iii) the fate of microplastics in biological fluids (e.g. gastric, intestinal and lung fluids), (iv) the distribution and transport of microplastics in the aquatic environment and (v) the development of analytical tools to detect and characterize micro- and nanoplastics in water, sediment and the biota. 

florian.breider@epfl.ch

https://www.epfl.ch/labs/gr-cel/

DR. CHRISTOPHER KIM PHAM

Scientific Collaborator Azores, IMAR

Chris is a research associate at the Okeanos R&D Center, University of the Azores. He is leading the marine litter research group that focus their research on understanding the risks of plastic debris for the Azores marine ecosystem. His research includes quantifying the abundance of plastics across different compartments, from the surface down to the seafloor to understand pathways but also the presence of plastics in different key biota. He is the principal investigator of various research projects focused on this topic and on other topic related to human impacts in the oceans.

christopher.k.pham@uac.pt

DR. KHAY FONG

Scientific Collaborator Australia, University Newcastle

Khay is a researcher and lecturer in chemistry at the University of Newcastle. Her research manipulates nanomaterials for biomedical applications. Through innovative teaching, she hopes that changing habits through education will help to conserve the environment for future generations.

khay.fong@newcastle.edu.au

MADDISON CARBERY

Scientific Collaborator Australia, University Newcastle

Maddison is currently completing her PhD on the impacts of microplastics and chemical contaminants on aquatic ecosystems and food webs. She has been working in the marine space for the past 10 years as a tour guide, environmental educator and now qualified marine scientist.

maddison.carbery@uon.edu.au

PHILIPP HAEFELFINGER

Skipper & Co-founder

Philipp has been sailing for over 30 years and has many thousand nautical miles under his belt, most of them as skipper in the North Atlantic, Mediterranean or in the Baltic Sea. As a RYA instructor, he regularly teaches theory and practice courses. 

MATTHIAS JEKER

Skipper 

Matthias started sailing by crossing the Atlantic twice. Since 2007 he is organizing annual youth sailing trips in the Tyrrhenian Sea. He has more than 25'000 nautical miles of sailing experience in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Baltic Sea.

www.fossailing.org

SANDRO BOLLARDINI

Skipper

Sandro has seen over 50 Countries around the world, the most of them with a Sailing Yacht. He shares his passion for the Ocean as Sailing Teacher or as Freediving Instructor.

www.sail-freedive.ch

JULIA DONCHI

Consultant

Julia is a Swiss-trained lawyer and a sailor with 20 years’ sailing experience, mostly in and around England and the North Sea.