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Aurora Expeditions Dedicates New Ship To Female Conservationists

Australia’s award-winning expedition operator, Aurora Expeditions, is celebrating International Women’s Day 2021 by dedicating its new expedition ship to five of the world’s leading female conservationists.

Australia’s award-winning expedition operator, Aurora Expeditions, is celebrating International Women’s Day 2021 by dedicating its new expedition ship to five of the world’s leading female conservationists.

The new purpose-built ship Sylvia Earle, launching in November 2021, is named after the renowned marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer Dr Sylvia Earle.

In a world-first, each of the vessel’s public decks will bear the names of other pioneering female conservationists – Dr Carden Wallace AM, Joanna Ruxton, Sharon Kwok and Bernadette Demientieff – along with a deck dedicated to Dr Earle herself.

“Female scientists are leading the way in global conservation initiatives and we want to honour these five extraordinary women who work tirelessly to make the world a better place,”

Monique Ponfoort, Aurora Expeditions CEO

“The scientists we have chosen are inspiring leaders in their fields, and as part of the deck theming, we will educate our expeditioners on the impressive and important conservation work they continue to do. We are so proud to be able to honour these incredibly talented women.” she adds.

The new ship’s public decks will be named after:

Dr. Sylvia Earle: Hero of the Planet

Sylvia Earle Headshot; Todd Brown
Image: ©Chad Brown

Dr. Earle was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998; and was named by Time magazine as its first ‘Hero of the Planet’.

Her own conservation initiative Mission Blue is creating a global network of marine protected areas known as Hope Spots, and her new Deep Hope project aims to deliver two ‘deep-dive’ submersibles to collect crucial scientific data of as-yet-unseen ocean depths.

Bernadette Demientieff: Arctic Wildlife Guardian

Bernadette Demientieff, Headshot , Chad Brown
Image: ©Chad Brown

Bernadette is a passionate mother/advocate for the rights of Alaska and the Gwich’in people northeast Alaska and northwest Canada.

As Executive Director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, she speaks for the protection of the calving grounds of the porcupine caribou herd known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge against any destruction from oil and gas companies.

Dr. Carden Wallace AM: Coral Conservation Champion

Dr Carden Wallace, Headshot, Queensland Museum-Gary Granitch_
Image: Queensland Museum, Gary Granitch

Principal Scientist Emeritus at the Queensland Museum since 2014, Dr Wallace is a preeminent Australian scientist and the first curator/director of the Museum of Tropical Queensland from 1987 to 2003.

She is an expert on corals and was part of a team that discovered the mass spawning of coral in 1984. In recognition of her contribution to marine science, Dr Wallace was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2021.

Joanna Ruxton: Plastic Free Pioneer

Joanna Ruxton, Headshot, Alastair Scarlett
Image: ©Alistair Scarlett

Joanna has the rare distinction of being hailed as ‘the person responsible for the plastic-free movement’ by Sir David Attenborough himself. She spent many years at the BBC Natural History Unit working on the first ‘Blue Planet’ documentary series.

Her award-winning film ‘A Plastic Ocean,’ released in 2016, shows the devastating impact of plastic waste on ocean ecosystems and has helped to turn the tide against single-use plastics.

In 2009, Joanna co-founded Plastic Oceans UK (now known as Ocean Generation), with the goal of inspiring an inclusive global movement to restore a sustainable relationship between humanity and oceans.

Sharon Kwok: Future Generation Educator

Sharon Kwok with Seal pup

In 2013, Sharon founded the AquaMeridian Conservation and Education Foundation to promote marine education and inspire the next generation to protect and preserve ocean biodiversity.

Sharon continues her advocacy as a Mission Blue and WildAid board member and as Executive Director of the AquaMeridian Conservation & Education Foundation.

For more information, visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au