We are a highly-interdisciplinary team of sailors, ocean enthusiasts and researchers with backgrounds in oceanography, marine biology, molecular biology, nanoscience, polymer chemistry and toxicology
DR. ROMAN LEHNER
SCIENTIFIC PROJECT LEADER
Roman did research on the topic of micro- and nanoplastics and their possible impacts on human health and designed a worldwide first human 3D in vitro intestinal model to assess the possible adverse effects of ingested microplastics such as inflammatory responses.
Furthermore he is performing the world’s first study on the effects on human immune cells when exposed to environmentally-relevant 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.
MSC. JOHANNA WIEDLING
SCIENTIFIC EXPEDITION LEADER
Johanna finished her academic career with a Master of Sciences in tropical marine ecology. During her studies Johanna helped raise the conference concept YOUMARES, a conference for young marine scientists and engineers.
She worked for 4 years at the HYDRA institute for marine research as a dive instructor and course guide, manly on the island of Elba (Italy). Today she is a freelance marine ecologist and scientific diver implementing educational programs as well as conducting field experiments. Since about 10 years, she is involved in studies of the fate of (bio-)degradable plastics in the marine environment.
DR. ORNELLA C. WEIDELI
SCIENTIFIC EXPEDITION LEADER
Ornella is a biologist that has been studying shark ecology for the past twelve years. Following numerous jobs as a research assistant in the US, Seychelles, and French Polynesia, Ornella started her PhD at the PSL Research University in collaboration with the Save Our Seas Foundation - D'Arros Research Centre (SOSF - DRC) and the CRIOBE. She investigated the coexistence of two juvenile reef shark species and the possible effects of competition on the species' ecological niches.
Ornella is involved in multiple international collaborations investigating the trophic ecology and anthropogenic impacts on the ecology and physiology of sharks.
DR. FLORIAN BREIDER
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.
DR. CHRISTOPHER PHAM
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.
DR. KHAY FONG
AUSTRALIA, MONASH UNIVERSITY
Khay is a researcher and lecturer in chemistry at the University of Newcastle. Heartbreak at seeing plastic pollution in pristine environments has led her to team up with Sail and Explore to investigate and educate. Through innovative teaching, she hopes that changing habits through education will help to conserve the environment for future generations. Thus, alongside her research into nanomaterials for biomedical applications she also is interested in understanding the level of microplastic pollution around the Great Barrier Reef with a focus on smaller sized microplastics below 300µm.
Adriana is a professional sailor and took part in the 2004 and 2012 Olympic Games in Athens and London. She won the bronze medal at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007. For more than 25 years she is a private coach & coordinator for several sailing schools and yacht clubs. She crossed 7 times the Atlantic and sailed the Mediterranean, the Baltic sea, the coast of South America (Brazil – Patagonia), the Caribbean sea as well as in the Solent around the UK. Adriana is an MCA Yachtmaster ocean with more than 80’000 nautical miles of sailing experience.
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.
Killian was our very first intern, working on the analysis of environmental microplastic samples down to 0.1mm. He now is taking care about setting up crowdfunding campaigns.
DR. ELIAV HASKAL
VICE PRESIDENT & ADVISOR
Eliav is a Swiss and USA Innovation Manager currently assisting multiple startups to achieve their entrepreneurial, social and/or commercial goals. As a former scientist, his interests lie in the collection and publication of microplastic research data.
SASCHKO STEVEN SCHMID
Saschko is a profesional cinematographer with more than 16 years of experience with a focus on TV productions and documentaries. He produces and takes care of all the video material being produced from our expeditions and workshops for our website, presentations, etc.