The 100 women selected to date for the fourth Homeward Bound Program all have a background (that is, a degree qualification, or equivalent) in science, technology, engineering, mathematics or medicine (STEMM). They come from all over the globe, cover a broad range of professions, occupations and career levels, and were selected based on their potential to have an impact on decision making as it relates to the state of the planet.

Pathways and mechanisms for having impact form a core part of program content and discussions, and the ongoing intention of Homeward Bound is to develop a 1000-strong network of women with backgrounds in STEMM who can support each other in creating change. We aim to have 100 participants in this cohort  – we are holding five positions free for now, in the event that we are able to raise/attract scholarship funding to be able to invite women from countries most affected by climate change, who have the most potential to make a difference through their participation in this program, and who are unable to raise the funds to cover program fees. (If you are in a position to help fund any scholarship positions, please contact us.)

HB4’s online program will commence in November 2018 and will conclude in December 2019 in Antarctica.

Alex Jenkin
Project Manager (Schools), Gatsby Plant Science Education Programme,
University of Cambridge,
 United Kingdom

Alex specialised in plant sciences at undergraduate level and then studied for an MSc in Science Communication. She currently manages the Science and Plants for Schools project, aiming to inspire teacher trainers, school science teachers, technicians and the students they work with about plant science. Before this, Alex spent four years presenting and writing science shows and workshops at Centre of the Cell, a science education centre in London. She cares deeply about supporting school-based educators and considers school science education to be one of the most important routes to engaging young people in contemporary science issues.
To support Alex’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Amelia Tandy
Program Support Officer, CSIRO
Canberra, ACT, Australia

At age 10, Amelia decided to become a marine biologist and eventually studied marine biology at Flinders University. After university, she lived in Johannesburg and Amsterdam, working for NGOs. When she returned to Australia, she joined the public service and has enjoyed working on marine policy for the last 12 years. Amelia has a particular interest in the interaction of science and policy, and hopes that Homeward Bound will help her to improve environmental policy in Australia. In her spare time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen, sharing meals with friends, and spending time with her two energetic young daughters.

Anna Cabre
Research Associate at Institute of Marine Sciences
Barcelona, Spain

Anna began her scientific career in Barcelona with a thesis in cosmology, and then moved to Philadelphia (USA) for a postdoc. But she needed something more grounded, so she transitioned into studying the Earth’s climate. Her research combines climate dynamics, physical oceanography and biogeochemistry, with the goal of understanding how the Earth works as a system and how it will evolve with a changing climate. She believes that a better world is possible and wants to promote the necessary change to achieve it. Meanwhile, she spends lots of time being the “mama” of two little children. Support Anna’s fundraising campaign here.

Anthea Nicholls
Retired Researcher, Charles Darwin University
Victoria, Australia

Anthea began her career in theoretical chemistry, when computer programs were written on card decks. More recently she completed a PhD, while living with the Yolngu people in Arnhemland, documenting the social life of the computer there, as it made its way from white-fella offices to the pockets of the teenagers. She has also worked in clinical chemistry, education and curriculum development. Her most rewarding work always involved small effective teams and networking. It is the opportunity to interact with other women around the world, all caring about the future of our planet, that inspired her to apply for Homeward Bound.

Blanca Bernal
Senior Program Associate, Winrock International
Virginia, USA

Dr Bernal is part of the Ecosystem Services Unit at Winrock International, where she applies science-based approaches oriented to build capacity in creating resilient and sustainable communities, and in mitigating climate change. Her work includes developing user-friendly decision support tools and technical guidance oriented to assist governments and stakeholders to assess the benefits of their land-use strategies and NAMAs, and account for greenhouse gas emissions and removals. As a wetland scientist with a biogeochemistry background, she also investigates carbon sequestration strategies and other climate change mitigation options, nutrient cycling and ecosystem response to environmental change. To support Blanca’s HB campaign click here.


Carolyn Hogg
Research Manager, Australasian Wildlife Genomics Group, The University of Sydney
NSW, Australia

Carolyn is a conservation biologist who has been working with threatened species for over 20 years, both in Australia and overseas. Carolyn has been working closely with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program for over 8 years and with other threatened species more recently. Through her partnerships with both her academic and conservation colleagues, Carolyn has developed better tools and technologies to integrate molecular genetics into real-time conservation management decisions. To quote John Ruskin – “What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.”

Charity Mundava
Spatial Scientist, WaterNSW, Sydney NSW, Australia

Charity is a Geo-Spatial Sciences specialist, with interests in both the spatial and natural sciences. Her science journey has taken her from Africa to Europe and now Australia. Currently, she provides spatial advice for water quality, catchment protection and drought mitigation projects in rivers and catchments across New South Wales. She is the STEMM ambassador for the Parramatta electorate. In this role, she has the opportunity to bridge the gap between scientific research outcomes and their direct application in a real-world context, especially in shaping and influencing policy at various levels of government. She loves travelling, hiking and team sports. To support Charity’s fundraising campaign, click here.

Clo Langlais
Research Scientist, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere,
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

 French / Australian

Dr Clothilde Langlais is a physical oceanographer and a modeller at CSIRO. She began this career in 2003 as a PhD at the University of Toulon, France. In 2008, she moved to Australia to join a booming and stimulating marine and Antarctic science community in Hobart, and never left. Her research activities are dedicated to better understanding the mechanisms governing ocean circulation. After 10 years of research on ocean dynamics, climate variability and change, she is now focussing her research on multidisciplinary coastal projects, closely related to impact, adaptation and management of our coastal resources. Clothilde has a passion for connecting people and is a strong advocate of women in science, and early career researchers.

Eleanor Bruce
Senior Lecturer, School of Geosciences, University of Sydney
NSW, Australia

Eleanor is a physical geographer working on interdisciplinary projects examining coastal system response to climate variability. She investigates the physical impacts of climate stressors on the livelihoods of communities living within low-lying coastal areas in the South Pacific. Eleanor uses multiple exploratory tools including spatial modelling, remote sensing and field observation to research key drivers of coastal change. This requires innovative approaches to monitor, understand and confront the unprecedented changes unfolding in coastal environments. As an educator and mother of two, she is passionate about science outreach, inspiring and challenging students of all ages to think critically about human-environment interactions and promoting opportunities for women in science.

Emma Kennedy
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, University of Queensland
Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Dr Emma Kennedy is an ecologist specialising in coral reefs and climate change. She currently manages the Seaview Survey, a reef monitoring program that uses scooter-mounted 360° cameras and image-recognition technology to scale-up data collection. Emma grew up in the UK, where she learned to dive in a gravel pit outside London. After completing a PhD in Caribbean coral reef ecology at the University of Exeter, she moved to Australia, where she worked with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to determine whether coralline algae can be used to track the impacts of climate change in the Great Barrier Reef. Emma loves encouraging others to get into the ocean, and she works part-time as a scuba-diving instructor. She is a passionate advocate of citizen science and regular volunteer for citizen-science organisation Reef Check Australia.

Evguenia Alechine
Science Communicator and Career Coach, location-independent
Argentinean / Russian

Evguenia was born in Russia, but grew up in Argentina, where she completed her PhD in biochemistry in 2014 at the University of Buenos Aires. She has since chosen the career path of science communication to share her knowledge and empower others into taking health into their own hands. She is also passionately training, coaching and mentoring other PhDs into the science communication field. She left her hometown in 2017 to become a world traveller and digital nomad, working remotely and attending scientific meetings all around the world. She strongly believes we can connect, collaborate and co-create a better world.

Frances Separovic
Professor of Chemistry & Deputy Director of Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia

Frances is a biophysical chemist who studies antibiotics and toxins in membranes. After the birth of her son, Frances did a BA and PhD while working full-time. Following a fellowship at NIH, she joined the University of Melbourne and became the first female Professor of Chemistry and Head of School. Frances holds senior roles in several professional societies and has organised over 40 scientific conferences, where she actively promotes the visibility of women. In 2012 she became the first female chemist elected to the Australian Academy of Science and, in 2018, was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

Hinemoa Elder
Professor Indigenous Health Research, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi,
Māori Strategic Leader, Brain Research NZ, University of Auckland
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist – Private Practice
Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand
Māori New Zealander

Dr Elder is Māori of Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupouri, Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi descent. She is the Professor of Indigenous Health Research at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, the Māori Strategic Leader for Brain Research NZ and a Fellow of RANZCP. She is a former Eru Pomare Post-Doctoral Fellow, funded by Health Research Council of New Zealand. Dr Elder’s clinical work is in youth forensic psychiatry and neuropsychiatry. Her PhD and Post-Doc developed recovery approaches for Māori with traumatic brain injury. She is a member of the NZ Mental Health Review Tribunal and Board member of Emerge Aotearoa.

Humera Iqbal
University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan

Humera is a graduate from Agriculture University Faisalabad, Pakistan. She is a performance-oriented and highly-driven project manager, with 10 years of extensive experience in different organisations related to community development projects, training and capacity-building in agribusiness, including livestock care and extension services. Her current role aims to improve the profitability of smallholder farming households in Pakistan, through making farms more efficient, and developing dairy and beef market opportunities. She is highly familiar with agricultural financial needs and recommending apposite strategies.

Jazmin Daniells
Junior Doctor, Hunter New England Health / Conjoint Fellow, University of Newcastle
NSW, Australia

Jazmin grew up in rural Australia – in Gunnedah, NSW and in Far North Queensland. She is passionate about sustainability, gender and health equity, preventative health, and rural and global health. Outside of her work at the hospital, Jazmin has a love of yoga, travel, live arts and all things culinary; she’s a certified yoga teacher and loves baking her own sourdough. She’s currently studying a Master of International Public Health and continues to teach at the University of Newcastle. In the future she hopes to create sustainable health equity in both rural Australian and global settings.

Jeanette Starpine
Writer / STEM Education Advocate
San Diego, California, USA

Jeanette Starpine, PhD, has a background in chemistry, earning her doctoral degree while studying the anticancer properties of natural products. Through that experience she discovered her passion for writing and education. Now she enjoys using the power of education to help others, whether that’s as the Director of Fizzics Education USA bringing interactive science workshops to kids of all ages, as a Marketing Executive for Makers Empire introducing 3D Printing and Design Thinking into K-8 schools, or as the Editor-in-Chief of Cheeky Scientist, empowering PhDs with the knowledge they need to find meaningful careers outside academia.
To support Jeanette’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Justine Smith
Consultant, First Person Consulting
Melbourne, Australia

Justine has a background in applied ecological research and is driven by a desire to see science used to positively inform decision making and the management of our environment. She currently works in evaluation, and enjoys the challenge of working out how to assess the impact of our actions and report in a way that enables continual adaptation and development in our approaches. Justine’s work has spanned the forests of south-east Australia and its small mammals, the grasslands of Mongolia and the Murray-Darling Basin – Australia’s largest river system.  She is happiest when surrounded by eucalypts.
To support Justine’s fundraising campaign, click here.

Julia Ward
Environmental Engineer, Woodside Energy
Meditation & Yoga Teacher and founder of The Open Space
Perth, Western Australia
New Zealander

Julia is passionate about three things. Firstly, through her corporate roles as an Environmental Engineer and Climate Change Advisor: meeting the growing global energy demand as sustainably as possible; she gets particularly excited about energy efficiency projects and innovative renewable energy solutions. Secondly, through teaching meditation and yoga: helping people to experience clarity of mind, life in flow and living with an open heart. Thirdly, female empowerment and gender equality especially in engineering, leadership and the resources sector. She is an active committee member in the Gender Equality Matters group at Woodside and hopes to inspire other women to be empowered in the work they do and lives they choose to lead.

Katie Sizeland
Postdoctoral Fellow, Australian Synchrotron
Melbourne, Australia
New Zealander

Katie Sizeland is a Postdoctoral Fellow on the Small Angle X-ray Scattering beamline at the Australian Synchrotron, part of ANSTO. Originally from New Zealand, Katie obtained a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and Nanotechnology and a PhD in Engineering from Massey University before moving to Melbourne in 2016. Katie’s research explores the nanostructure of collagen, one of nature’s building blocks, and bridges the gap between synchrotron-based science and industry, leading to real-life benefits in the biomedical and agricultural industries. Katie is passionate about science outreach and gender equity in STEM. Katie loves new adventures, travelling the world, hiking and running.

Karen Spenley
Process Improvement Manager, Schlumberger, United Kingdom

Karen was born and raised in the UK, and received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cambridge University. She has experience in design and development, operations support, HR, marketing and business transformation. She’s worked in both the US and UK, and travelled globally to many non-holiday-destination oilfield locations. Having done studies on design best practice and corporate business performance, Karen sees that it is possible to include other factors into design and management that include impact or sustainability considerations. Karen is hoping HB4 can help her persuade industry that it can play a much greater part. As a mother of three, she sees how children are being educated today to take responsibility for the environment and believes there are many day-to-day decisions we can all make. They all enjoy exploring and our favourite places are wandering through the woods, dinosaur hunting or lying on the grass cloud-animal spotting.

Katie Mahon
Program Manager, Engineers Without Borders – Ireland

Katie is a Mechanical Engineer with a passion for environmental and social change. She has worked in pressure vessel design and manufacture in Ireland, clean cookstove design in Kenya, and a microgrid supplier in Germany, Zambia and Myanmar, harnessing hydro and solar power for off-grid locations. Outside of her current role at Engineers Without Borders, Katie is a volunteer Project Co-ordinator for Refill Ireland, and is a Zero Waste and STEM Ambassador. She is also a board member of EIL Intercultural Learning and The Urban Co-op. You will most likely find her hiking up a mountain or swimming in the sea, whenever she has spare time (whatever that is).
Support Katie’s campaign for HB4 here.

Lia Hemerik
Associate professor, Biometris, Mathematical and Statistical Methods, Wageningen University
ageningen, The Netherlands

Lia Hemerik is a theoretical biologist. She got both her degrees – PhD in biology and Msc in mathematics – from Leiden University in the Netherlands. During her career she has been using all kind of mathematical and statistical models in the life sciences for answering real-life questions. The topics covered by her research range from biological control, threatened species, regime shifts to food web ecology. In her spare time Lia tries to keep in shape by doing fitness and yoga. She also loves traveling and handicrafts. During nature walks she inspires people with her knowledge about nature and environment.
To support Lia’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Ling Sun
Postdoctoral Scholar in Physics, California Institute of Technology,
Pasadena, USA

Ling recently completed her PhD in Physics at the University of Melbourne, working on gravitational wave data analysis projects within the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. In late-August 2018, she starts her new appointment at California Institute of Technology as a Postdoctoral Scholar, continuing her research in gravitational waves. She achieved her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Communication and Information Systems from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) and worked in IBM China System and Technology Lab as a software engineer and project manager before starting her PhD in mid-2014.  She is passionate about hiking, running and photography.
To support Ling’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Marissa Parrott
Reproductive Biologist, Zoos Victoria
Victoria, Australia

Dr Marissa Parrott is the Reproductive Biologist for Zoos Victoria, a zoo-based conservation organisation fighting extinction. Her research focusses on improving captive breeding and reintroduction success for endangered animals including marsupials, rodents and frogs. Marissa has been involved in a variety of wildlife and community conservation programs across Australia, Asia, Africa and the Americas, and in 2018 was named an Australian Science Superhero by the Australian Government’s Office of the Chief Scientist. Marissa is passionate about supporting students in STEMM, improving conservation partnerships and outcomes, and upholding Zoos Victoria’s commitment that no Victorian terrestrial vertebrate species will ever go extinct.

Melody Ding

Melody Ding was born and raised in China where she completed her undergraduate education in marine biology. She then moved to the USA to pursue postgraduate education in public health, followed by her relocation to Australia for her postdoctoral research. Now a Senior Researcher at the University of Sydney, Melody works broadly at the intersection of lifestyles, epidemiology, and chronic disease prevention. She is a passionate scientist and communicator, inspired to promote the health and well-being of people, communities, and the planet. In her spare time, she enjoys an active lifestyle with lots of yoga, dance, and water-based activities, reading a good book, and having deep and meaningful conversations with like-minded people.

Monica Naranjo
Director of LUMA / Multimedia Correspondent
San Jose, Costa Rica
Costa Rican

Monica’s career has been driven by a passion for storytelling, translating complex concepts into engaging messages. That mission has taken her from her childhood in Costa Rica and Mexico to countries across the world. She is especially passionate about working with NGOs and research organisations on projects of social and environmental value. Her company, LUMA, has helped businesses and organisations of all sizes craft their messages and communications strategies. Nowadays, Monica develops bespoke audiovisual products to draw research and knowledge closer to decision-makers and target audiences. To her, communication is the key to tackle the world’s most pressing issues.

To support Monica’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Patricia Dunne
Director, Applied Social Science, Stakeholder Engagement Conservation International
Washington DC, USA

Patricia is a cultural anthropologist who focusses on the science and practice of stakeholder engagement in conservation initiatives at Conservation International. She is passionate about supporting indigenous peoples and local communities in their efforts to sustainably manage their lands, and her work frequently takes her to communities throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. Patricia grew up in New York’s Hudson Highlands, and enjoys hiking, kayaking, photography and painting in her free time. She holds a PhD in Environmental Anthropology from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor’s degree in Visual and Media Arts from Emerson College in Boston, MA.

Rachel Cooper
Independent Contractor
Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealander

Rachel is passionate about combating climate change and inequality. She has a wide variety of working experience, such as being a climate change researcher at The University of Auckland. Rachel has worked in advocacy as a youth delegate to the United Nations Climate Change Negotiations. She has been trained to provide science-based policy recommendations by New Zealand’s Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. She is also starting her own business, in which she will run outdoor education and science (both mainstream and Mātauranga Māori science) programs for high-school girls in New Zealand with the goal of encouraging them into STEMM careers.

Rebecca Handcock
Senior Data Scientist, Edith Cowan University
Perth, Western Australia

Rebecca is a geographer and data scientist from a small coastal town in Western Australia. Loving science and maps, she completed her PhD in Geography from the University of Toronto. Her research ranges from remote sensing of agriculture and water to health and bibliometrics. Rebecca enjoys visualising patterns in data and communicating the stories they tell about people and the environment. She is also an avid crafter and loves projects which link art and science. Through Homeward Bound Rebecca wishes to use her skills to communicate the challenges we face as a planet and empower others to help make a difference.

To support Rebecca’s HB fundraising campaign click here


Sam Burnham
Team Leader & Senior Research Scientist Health & Biosecurity, CSIRO
Melbourne, Australia
British / Australian

Sam is an engineer turned data analyst who is trying to elucidate early-stage markers of Alzheimer’s disease. She works at the intersection of disruptive technologies and health, and is especially interested in the innovation ecosystem. Sam is a Diversity & Inclusion champion, with a specific focus on gender equity strategy. She is a mum of three young, amazing and determined children who test her problem solving and juggling skills extensively. Sam wants the next generation to have the best of opportunities and with this legacy mindset is determined to make a difference.

Suzie Lavoie
Senior Research Fellow Orygen, National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health & Centre for Youth Mental Health,
The University of Melbourne
Victoria, Australia
Canadian / Australian

Dr Suzie Lavoie is a researcher in the field of youth mental health. She leads a research program aiming to better identify the neurobiological mechanisms underlying mental illnesses via the collection of large datasets. Identifying and treating mental illnesses early in life is crucial in order to provide our younger generations with a brighter future. Originally from the French part of Canada, married to a Swiss Italian man and mother of a gorgeous Aussie boy, Suzie embraces diversity and is always ready for new challenges that will open her horizons. She is passionate about reducing her impact on the environment and she sees the Homeward Bound program as a great opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge and leadership to advocate for a greener lifestyle.

Tammy Eger
Research Chair, Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health /
Full Professor, School of Human Kinetics,
Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Tammy has over 15 years of teaching and research experience and currently holds a Research Chair in Occupational Health and Safety. She has delivered keynote lectures in Australia, China, Sweden, Peru and the United States. In 2017, Tammy co-led the development of a mobile lab to support research in occupational safety and health in rural and remote regions of Ontario. As an undergraduate, graduate and research coordinator, Tammy has collaborated to promote diversity in STEM. Tammy holds a Masters Degree and Doctorate in Biomechanics from Queen’s University, where she also played ice-hockey, a sport she continues to play in her spare time.

Yona Jacobsen
Isotopia Lab Manager & Research Fellow, Monash University
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Yona is a geologist with an interest in isotopes. Her main research interests are the Early Earth and high-temperature geochemistry. Some say she is a lab rat, which she takes as a compliment! If she is not researching, tinkering with mass spectrometers or dissolving rocks in acids, she enjoys running, softball, a good book and the company of her three children. She strongly believes in the power of positive role models, which is her main reason for embarking on the HB journey.
To support Yona’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Yvonne Avaro (née Kohnle)
Senior Marketing & Competitive Intelligence Analyst, HolidayCheck AG, Bottighofen (Thurgau), Switzerland, Lecturer at University of Konstanz, Germany

Yvonne is not only tall in size – 6″1 – but she also has one of the longest job titles: Senior Marketing & Competitive Intelligence Analyst. Currently, she is working in Switzerland in the tourism industry. Dr Kohnle is a lecturer at the University of Konstanz, where she teaches students an applied Intro to Marketing with a special focus on Sustainability Marketing.  At the University of Konstanz, she also did her PhD that was a mix between Marketing, Behavioural Economics and Motivational Psychology. Her research focus lies in analysing consumers´ irrational behaviour; particularly analysing the divergence between consumers´ stated and revealed preferences.
To support Yvonne’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Ali Leeper
Aquaculture Project Manager and PhD Student jointly at Matís ohf, Iceland and The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

Ali started scuba diving at 12 years old and has been hooked on the ocean ever since. After pursuing a BSc in Marine Biology and Oceanography she went to work offshore as a seismic navigator. Her work took her to remote locations where she saw first-hand the impact humanity has at sea and the inequity of food resources. This created a desire to drive positive change. Ali completed an MSc in Marine Environment and Resources and is now managing projects and carrying out her PhD in sustainable aquaculture jointly between an industry and an academic institution.

Andrea Mangel Raventos
PhD Candidate, TU Delft The Netherlands
Originally from Costa Rica

After getting her engineering degree in Chemical Engineering, she worked as a lecturer in the University of Costa Rica. Andrea then moved to The Netherlands for her Master studies in Sustainable Energy Technologies. Now she is working on her PhD project in the area of large scale renewable energy storage at TU Delft. Her childhood was marked by many scientific experiments at home, all supervised by her scientist mother. She is looking forward to the Homeward Bound experience to inspire future generations of scientists.

Andrea Parisi
PhD Candidate, National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health,
Australian National University, 
Canberra, ACT

Dr Andrea Parisi is a Canberra-based researcher focussing on the epidemiology of invasive and multi-drug resistant Salmonella infections. She tutors medical students and is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She completed her medical degree in the Czech Republic and has undertaken internships in France, Spain, Thailand, USA and Vietnam. These experiences made her aware of the health inequalities and the necessity to adopt a One Health approach, considering the role of changing environments with regard to infectious and chronic disease risks. She believes that it is crucial for good research to be translated into policy and practice, the reason why she is looking for leadership roles in organisations actively involved in shaping health policy.

Aparna Lal
Research Fellow and Program Lead, Spatial Epidemiology, Australian National University
ACT, Australia

Aparna is an ecologist interested in the influence of environmental variability, including past and future environmental change, on spatial and temporal patterns of infectious disease. As a mother of three young children, she is passionate about communicating her science to the next generation.

Anna Vinkhuyzen
Research Fellow and Research Project Manager
Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland,
Brisbane, Australia

Anna Vinkhuyzen has a strong passion for translating science into public health applications. She works at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia. Anna was born and raised in The Netherlands, where she obtained a Master’s degree in Neuropsychology and a PhD in Population Genetics. She is interested in the genetic underpinnings of common complex disease, and enjoys the challenge of translating scientific discoveries into mechanisms for improved prevention and early diagnosis. She loves to explore the Australian outdoors with her husband and two young children.
To support Anna’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Chelle Adamson
Business Development Manager, CSIRO Canberra
ACT, Australia

Chelle is inspired by, and contributes to, the progress and application of science in a number of disciplines including neuroscience, nanotechnology, innovation policy and digital technologies. She is passionate about harnessing the disruptive capacity of data technologies to achieve great economic and social benefit. Everyday, she advises the Commonwealth Government to solve some of Australia’s biggest challenges through the application of cutting-edge digital technology. Currently, she’s driving the use of emerging technologies that are critical to our future – technologies that are, at their core, trustworthy and ethical – through the application of ethical machine learning and privacy-preserving data technologies.

Deb Mueller
Trauma Surgeon, University of Texas Health
San Antonio Texas, USA

Deb was encouraged by a high school teacher to participate in a health careers awareness program. She shadowed a surgeon and realised her love of needlework could be used in a profession and embarked on the long road to become a trauma surgeon. She joined the Air Force to fund her education, and ultimately this allowed her to practice surgery and teach on five continents. She currently teaches and practices surgery at the University of Texas Health, San Antonio. She loves reading, hiking, traveling and revelling in the beauty of simple things when outside.

Emma Towlson
Associate Research Scientist and Lecturer, Center for Complex Network Research,
Northeastern University Boston, USA

Dr Emma Towlson is a network scientist, with specialisation in neuroscientific applications. She obtained her PhD from the University of Cambridge, and her Masters in Maths and Physics from the University of Warwick. She believes complex systems science is at the heart of understanding our interconnected world, and the organisms that share it. Emma is a passionate educator and has diverse teaching experience in countries from South Africa to Mexico. She finds and loses herself through travel and running, and currently lives with her husband in Boston, where they are lodgers in an apartment owned by three cats.
To support Emma’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Elisabeth (Liz) Deschaseaux
Research Fellow Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry
Southern Cross University, Australia
Elisabeth is a marine scientist working on dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in coral reefs, a sulfur gas that can influence the Earth’s climate. She completed her undergraduate degree in France and her Honours and PhD in Australia. A few years ago, she started campaigning against plastic pollution in the ocean, becoming nearly plastic-free herself and volunteering for several associations in Australia and Costa Rica to gain a better understanding on how to start an NGO and contribute to conservation in a more active way. Her goal is to implement changes to protect our ocean while creating better opportunities for local communities.

Gillian Starling
Managing Director and Principal Marine Scientist/Natural Resource Manager, MCC Environmental
Perth, Western Australia

Gillian is a Marine Scientist who provides leadership in the strategic development and implementation of natural resource management & conservation initiatives. Gillian is an experienced program manager who has delivered outcomes across a broad range of marine and coastal projects in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. With a keen interest in community-based natural resource management (CBRM) and climate change, Gillian focuses on developing relationships with individuals, communities and organisations to build their capacity to better manage their natural resources, to achieve positive environmental and social outcomes. Gillian is highly organised and has extensive people and project management experience. She has excellent communication, negotiations skills and is a team player. Gillian is committed to challenging status quo, continued learning and harnessing opportunity. Gillian works with integrity and professionalism to achieve positive environmental outcomes.

Hana Starobova
PhD Student, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland
Brisbane, Australia
Czech / German

Hana is a PhD student with special interest in pain and the development of new painkillers from animal venoms, such as from spiders and scorpions. Hana began her research career with a pharmacy degree in Germany and her current work focusses on neuropathic pain. Hana is using sophisticated research techniques investigating gene and protein changes in disease models to develop and test new painkillers for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Additionally, Hana is passionate about knowledge, science communication, advocacy of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and animal welfare. She is a passionate surfer and nature lover.
To support Hana’s fundraising campaign, click here.

Iryna Dronova
Assistant Professor, Dept of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning,
UC Berkeley California, USA

Iryna is a junior faculty at the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at UC Berkeley. She is passionate about using science and geospatial analysis platforms to help future landscape designers become more effective environmental stewards, and to increase the representation of women in the applied landscape sciences and profession. She grew up in Ukraine, where she became interested in environmental issues of human-dominated landscapes and obtained her BSc in Ecology. She also holds a MS in Natural Resources/Terrestrial Ecosystems, a Certificate in Spatial Analysis from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from the University of California Berkeley. In her spare hours, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, birdwatching and nature photography.

Jana Schniete
Postdoctoral Researcher at Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde,
Glasgow, UK

Jana is an interdisciplinary scientist working in biology and physics. She holds a PhD in Molecular Microbiology and is currently working in bioimaging. As she has lived in Germany, Argentina, Spain, Mexico and Scotland, she is trilingual and enjoys new cultures and thinks that key to being a scientist is to communicate about it. She is also a mother and thus wants to inspire future generations. Being able to take part in Homeward Bound will enable her to learn how to increase women’s impact on tackling climate change and pollution, and build up valuable leadership skills.
To support Jana’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Jessica Todd
Graduate Student, Dept of Aeronautics & Astronautics,
MIT Massachusetts, USA

Jessica is pursuing her MSc and PhD in Aerospace Engineering at MIT, combining human and robotic systems for terrestrial and space exploration. Jessica is passionate about developing engineering systems in conjunction with scientists to effectively address global environmental issues and enable further exploration of the solar system. Jessica is a passionate advocate and mentor of women in STEMM, and is looking forward to sharing her Homeward Bound experience to inspire more women to enter STEMM fields. She’s from Wollongong, Australia, has lived in both England and Sweden, and completed Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering and Science (physics and biology) at the University of Sydney.

Jing Hu
Postdoctoral Researcher, Argonne National Laboratory
Chicago, USA


Dr Hu holds a DPhil in Materials from the University of Oxford (2016). Jing’s work has been focussing on designing cutting-edge materials technology for the benefit of fighting climate change. When not running the electron microscopes in the lab, she organised the Oxford Climate Forum (2015), campaigned at COP21, interned at the IAEA, and is currently co-founding a third-generation quantum dot solar cell company that will hopefully enable wireless charging using solar power anywhere, anytime, under any conditions (she is excited to bring it to test in Antarctica in 2019!).

Karen Aitken
Principal Research Scientist, Team Leader, CSIRO Agriculture and Food
Brisbane, Australia


Karen is a principle research scientist in CSIRO’s Northern Crops program and leads the Sugarcane Improvement team in Brisbane, Australia. Originally from the UK, Karen obtained her degree from University of Reading and a PhD from University of East Anglia. Her research focusses on understanding complex plant genomes and polyploidy, she is PI of a US Department of Energy community science project that is sequencing the sugarcane genome. Karen is passionate about encouraging women into science and making science more accessible to the wider community.

Kim-Anh Lê Cao
Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne School of Mathematics & Statistics
Melbourne Integrative Genomics
Melbourne, Australia
French / Australian

Dr Kim-Anh Lê Cao was born and raised in France, with Vietnamese origins. Kim-Anh moved to Australia for her first postdoc in 2008, and the rest is history! Kim-Anh develops computational methods for large biological datasets, which help researchers mine and make sense of their data. She is a fervent advocate for open science to enable fast progress beyond her own research and is dedicated to the training of the new generation of computational biologists. Support Kim-Anh’s Homeward Bound campaign here.

Kristin Raja
Commissioned Officer, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
California, USA

Kristin majored in engineering with an eye on applying technical knowledge to environmental problems. She joined the NOAA Corps in 2012, first serving as a Junior Officer aboard NOAA Ship Fairweather, a hydrographic survey vessel. She then managed a dive centre for NOAA in Hawaii, and now serves as Vessel Operations Coordinator at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. She is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, DAN Instructor, NOAA Rescue Swimmer, and NOAA Divemaster & Field Trainer. A former competitive swimmer and water polo player, she loves to be in or on the water as much as possible.
To support Kristin’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Katja Ovchinnikova
Computer Scientist, European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Heidelberg, Germany

Katja’s background is in artificial intelligence, cognitive science and computer science. Her application fields include language processing, robotics, computer vision, computational biology. Lately she’s been working on applications in marine science and ecology. Being closely connected with the Hawaiian culture, Katja is interested in issues relevant to indigenous people in academia. She gives lectures at educational institutions of Hawaii, aiming at inspiring students to explore sciences. She has a deep interest in unconscious bias studies, social-political theories and ethics in science. Katja is passionate about nature and the animal world. She is vegan, loves surfing, rock climbing and drumming in a band.
Support Katja’s campaign for HB4 here.

Kirsten Müller
Professor of Biology
Assistant Vice President of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs
University of Waterloo, Canada

Kirsten is a phycologist (studies algae) and current President of the Phycological Society of America. Her research focuses on the evolution, ecology and taxonomy of marine and freshwater algae including toxic and invasive species. More recently, she has been examining the impact of forest fires on rivers and the resulting algal blooms that occur from these events. Kirsten is passionate about being a role model for women and advocating for increasing graduate student diversity in STEM and feels that empathy for others is our best path forward. Kirsten grew up in Northern Canada, where the outdoors was a huge part of her life and this continues to today. She loves to explore and go on adventures with her spouse and three children and has been an avid writer since she was eleven years old. Kirsten is thrilled to be part of HB4 and looks forward to expanding her leadership skills and meeting like-minded women who share her goals in addressing equity, improving science communication and creating a better world for future generations.

Laura Fernández
Social innovation Consultant
Vigo, Spain

Laura is an independent consultant in social innovation, sustainability and impact investment. She is specialized in structuring blended finance projects to support social and environmental impact programs with grass roots organizations and social businesses. Laura has an extensive work experience in Latin America, and has a background in business administration and actuarial sciences and postgraduates in corporate social responsibility and microfinance.

Laura is passionate about innovative business models and intersectorial collaboration to achieve fair and sustainable livelihoods that value diversity and nature. She believes that the future is inclusive, regenerative and circular, where systemic leadership will be fundamental.


Linh Do
Australia and Pacific Lead, The Climate Reality Project
Melbourne, Australia

Linh Do is the Australia and Pacific lead for The Climate Reality Project, Al Gore’s climate change leadership program. She has a decade of experience across social movements, new media and multilateral institutions. Linh’s environmental advocacy has seen her work with everyone from high school students to the United Nations. Prior to returning to Australia, Linh served as publisher of The Verb, where she worked with a global team to localise and humanise stories. Linh is an accomplished public speaker and writer, whose work has been featured in Al Jazeera, Vogue, the Huffington Post and the Washington Post.

Louise Harris
Civil Engineer
Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

Louise is an engineer working in the highway sector, leading projects to change and improve safety of the local highway network. She studied a Masters in Civil Engineering at Loughborough University, UK. She is passionate to see an increase of strong female leaders in the engineering sector, as well as supporting and inspiring other young engineers. She encourages a sustainable, long-term, asset management-led approach to decisions made on the UK’s highway network. Louise is a lover of the great outdoors, enjoys playing touch rugby and paintball, and is an avid traveller.
To support Louise’s Homeward Bound fundraising campaign, click here.

Lisa Mills
Health, Safety and Environment Advisor, GeelongPort
Victoria, Australia

Dr Lisa Mills completed a BSc (Chemistry) and BEng (Environmental) before embarking on a PhD, which led her to investigate biosorbent properties of biosolids for heavy metal and cyanide remediation of acid mine drainage. Lisa has worked in the mining, power generation and consulting sectors over the last 20 years. She recently commenced work with GeelongPort and will be working on environmental and sustainability initiatives. Lisa has a passion for gender equality and hopes to be a role model for the next generation of females interested in both STEM and environmental sustainability. Lisa is also a wife, mother of two amazing humans, coffee connoisseur and an avid traveller.

To support Lisa’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Mary-Jo Ford
Anaesthesiologist / Chronic Pain Medicine Specialist
Los Angeles, California, USA

Mary-Jo is an anaesthesiologist and chronic pain medicine specialist based in Los Angeles. She volunteers for Beach Cities Health District, a preventative health agency that identifies and targets factors in health and longevity, and has participated in global health initiatives in Uganda, Southeast Asia and Haiti. Dr Ford believes that health and access to medical care offer communities the stability to focus on a sustainable global future, and looks forward to amplifying her health policy voice. She loves adventure travel, motorcycling and stand-up paddling, and is excited to connect with inspiring leaders over the coming year. Support Mary-Jo’s fundraising campaign here.

Melissa Cristina Márquez
Marine Biologist / Wildlife Educator
Puerto Rican-Mexican

Melissa is a Latina marine biologist and wildlife educator with a BA in Marine Ecology and Conservation degree and MSc in Marine Biology. Her main research focus is Chondrichthyan (sharks, stingrays, skates, and chimaeras) habitat use and media portrayal. She is co-host on Shark Week 2018, a TEDx speaker, founder of The Fins United Initiative (TFUI;, host of the Spanish-speaking ConCiencia Azul podcast (on Spotify and Apple podcasts;, and a freelance environmental contributor. A strong science literacy advocate, she is currently working on an educational sci-fi series with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Pallavi Prathivadi
Academic General Practitioner, Department of General Practice, Monash University
Victoria, Australia
Australian / Indian

Dr Pallavi Prathivadi is a practicing clinician and researcher in Melbourne with interests in women’s health and pain management. She completed her MBBS and BMedSc (Hons) from Monash University and an MMed (Pain Management) from the University of Sydney studying worldwide opioid access and utilisation. Dr Prathivadi is currently undertaking her PhD in the area of improving opioid prescribing in Australian general practice at Monash University, where she is also an Assistant Lecturer. She is a passionate social activist, advocate for women in STEMM and is the Secretary of the Australian Medical Association Women-In-Medicine Committee.

Patricia Menendez
Lecturer – Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics, Monash University Melbourne
Spanish / Australian

Dr Menéndez education is in mathematics and statistics and she received her PhD from ETH Zurich (Switzerland) in 2009. Prior to that, she was a MEXT fellow at Okayama University in Japan. Patricia has worked on multidisciplinary projects to answer research and policy-making questions in the fields of climate change and environmental sciences besides criminology. She has expertise developing and applying statistical methodology and computational methods as well as providing training to statisticians and non-statisticians. She is very passionate about the application and development of statistical methodology to solve real life problems and bringing statistical knowledge closer to other disciplines. Patricia loves travelling, being outdoors, yoga and violin playing!
To support Patricia’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Siobhan Heatwole
PhD student, University of Wollongong
NSW, Australia

Siobhan specialises in marine ecology and animal behaviour. She completed a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science (Honours) at the Australian National University, which allowed her to pursue her diverse interests in learning about different cultures, learning other languages and doing biological research. Siobhan has worked in policy development roles for Australian government agencies, as a marine researcher at universities in Australia and Taiwan, and at a conservation organisation in Indonesia. Her recent projects have examined the resilience of coral reefs to human disturbances, and the effectiveness of coral reef restoration. She is now doing a PhD at the University of Wollongong, studying the evolution and variability of social behaviour in anemonefishes. When she’s not underwater, you’ll likely find her hiking, snowboarding or sharing a meal with friends.

To support Siobhan visit her fundraising page

Shumaila Arif

Vet / PhD student, Charles Sturt University

Shumaila has recently submitted her PhD thesis at Charles Sturt University and her project was to investigate epidemiology of brucellosis in smallholder farming systems in Pakistan. She is starting her new role as a postdoctoral with an ACIAR (Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research) funded project in Pakistan on goat health and production. She graduated from the University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan, with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and followed with a PhD (in progress) from Charles Sturt University, Australia. Shumaila has keen interest in infectious disease control, zoonoses, One Health and climate change impact on infectious diseases.


Terri Jump
President, TJ Insights Inc
Indianapolis, USA

Dr Terri Jump is a highly respected American leadership consultant, educator and thought leader. She develops and evaluates innovative STEM initiatives, leads strategic planning, acquires resources for schools (over $100 million), facilitates leadership training and renewal, and advocates for girls/women in STEM. She earned a doctorate from Indiana University and has received the highest awards in her profession. As a volunteer boat captain/naturalist for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, she shares her passion for preserving the Everglades. Dr Jump travels the globe seeking sacred places, hikes the Camino de Santiago, and stands for creating a better world for children.

Xiao (Sophie) Shen
ORISE Research Fellow at USEPA
Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA

Xiao is an ORISE Research fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She is a passionate researcher on watershed management, providing science-based, community-supported solutions to meet local water quantity and quality challenges. Meanwhile, she is a volunteering lecturer for the Green Seeds Educational Project and researcher of the River Watcher Center in China. By putting her passions and skills to good use through supporting those non-profit organisations, Xiao is seeking an effective way to link science, society and policy to promote watershed protection. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a MS degree, concentrating on hydrological sciences.


Ying Zhang
Associate Director, Teaching and Learning,
School of Public Health, University of Sydney,
NSW, Australia

Dr Ying Zhang is an epidemiologist with many years’ experience conducting research on climate change and health. Ying has a Bachelor of Preventive Medicine, Master of Epidemiology, Master of Sustainability, Maser of Education, and PhD in Public Health. Ying’s research focusses on building community resilience to changing climate, especially for the most vulnerable populations in the Asia-Pacific Region. Dr Zhang is an Elected Council Member of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) Asia Chapter, a member of the ISEE Capacity and Educational Committee, and the Co-Chair of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Global Health Working Group on Environmental Health. 

Allyson O’Brien
Research Fellow and Tutor, University of Melbourne
Victoria, Australia

Allyson is a marine ecologist working as a Research Fellow and tutor at the University of Melbourne. Her research focusses on using molecular approaches to monitor the impacts of pollution on marine ecosystem health. She values working with friends and good colleagues, and is committed to equipping her students with strong communication skills. She strives to communicate her research outcomes in ways that can be used broadly in teaching, policy and citizen science. Allyson’s career aspirations are to go beyond traditional academic metrics of publications and grants, and create research impact through strong leadership and engagement.

Amanda Hensley
Veterinarian (Owner), Colorado Animal Rehab
Longmont, Colorado, USA

Amanda is the owner of, and primary veterinarian for, Colorado Animal Rehab, a specialty practice that is focussed on rehabilitation and pain management for companion animals. Amanda is also currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health and has a special interest in the One Health initiative. She plans to transition from clinical veterinary practice into the public health field once she completes the MPH next year. Amanda enjoys exploring the great outdoors and spends most of her free time hiking, backpacking, rock climbing and practising yoga and meditation.

Anika Molesworth
PhD Candidate in Agricultural Science
Centre for Regional and Rural Futures, Deakin University
Riverina, NSW

Anika splits her life between her family’s arid outback sheep station in Far Western NSW, her PhD crop trials in Griffith NSW, and lush green rice paddies in Southeast Asia working as a researcher in international agricultural development. She is a passionate advocate for sustainable farming, environmental conservation and climate change action. Anika helped establish Farmers for Climate Action, and promotes rural resilience through her platform Climate Wise Agriculture. Anika was awarded the 2015 Young Farmer of the Year, 2017 NSW Finalist for Young Australian of the Year, and most recently the NSW Young Achiever Award for Environment and Sustainability.
To support Anika’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Bianca Das
Soil Specialist / Agricultural Systems Modeller
Brisbane, Australia
New Zealander

Bianca has a BSc (Hons I) from Lincoln University, an MPhil from The University of Queensland and is currently pursuing a PhD in soil phosphorous cycling. Having grown up in New Zealand where ‘Kaitakitanga’ or ‘guardianship of the land’ is encouraged, Bianca grew a passion for understanding and improving soil quality and ultimately securing future global nutrition. This has led her to researching a variety of global challenges such as quantifying N2O emissions from dairy soils, improving infiltration of saline-sodic soils and reducing nitrogen losses in sugarcane systems.
To support Bianca’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Carly Quisenberry
Conservation Science Project Manager, The Nature Conservancy’s Palmyra Atoll Program
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Carly Quisenberry is a lover of the natural world. This love drives her desire to further scientific research and conservation efforts for the preservation of our planet. Currently, Carly serves as the Conservation Science Project Manager at The Nature Conservancy’s Palmyra Atoll Program. She has worked as a Research Technician across the Pacific, Caribbean, and Southern Oceans over the last decade. Her enthusiasm to conduct and support conservation research is matched by her desire to share its importance through outreach and environmental education. She’s an avid outdoor adventurer and when not working, can be found dancing across the world’s mountaintops or mermaiding through its seas.
Support Carly’s campaign for HB4 here.

Cristina Otano Jimenez
Team Lead Resilience Climate Change Program – Senior Operations Officer, World Bank – Global Facility Disaster Reduction and Recovery
District of Columbia, United States

Cristina works as a Senior Operations Officer at the Global Fund for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) within the World Bank Climate Change Group where she manages the Resilience to Climate Change Initiative and coordinates the Gender in Disaster Risk Management Agenda. In the last 14 years she has developed her career in the World Bank working in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Previously she worked for the sports industry in Brussels, Belgium, and in La Paz, Bolivia, where she was a fellow from the Spanish Ministry of Economy. Cristina has a BSc in business administration and management from the Public University of Navarra, a MSc in foreign trade from Carlos III University, and a MSc in international public policy from the University of London (UCL). Cristina firmly believes that diversity is key to improving decision-making process, and to fostering innovative solutions. Participating in Homeward Bound, she hopes to help promote environmental sustainability and diversity in decision-making.

Elaine Huber
Associate Professor and Director of Educational Development in Business, The University of Sydney
NSW, Australia
British / Australian

Dr Elaine Huber is a lifelong learner who embraces change and loves a challenge. As a young woman from Liverpool, she studied at Surrey University and worked as an electrical engineer, but knew her passion lay elsewhere. She moved to Japan and became an English teacher, where she cultivated her love of travel, cultures and the great outdoors. Another career change has led her into academia, innovating the science curriculum through the integration of technologies. She wants to be a role model for her two children and a mentor for young women considering a STEM career.

To support Elaine’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Emeline Pettex
Research Scientist at Cohabys (ADERA), University of La Rochelle, France

Emeline is a marine biologist and a specialist of marine top predators. During her PhD, she studied the foraging ecology of seabirds in the North Atlantic. Then she coordinated the first large-scale aerial surveys in the French EEZ to investigate the abundance and distribution of seabirds, marine mammals and turtles. Her current research aims at reducing the effects of noise during windfarm construction on marine mammal populations. Passionate about fieldwork, Emeline has spent long stays in polar regions, where climate changes are obvious. Married and with one young daughter, she loves Latin dance, kayaking and hiking.

Georgiana Sidor
Senior Pricing Manager, Amazon Luxembourg

Georgiana is an industrial engineer turned business strategist via Harvard Business School with a passion for people, innovation and business ethics. She spent the beginning of her career leading international teams of engineers to deploy cutting-edge oil and gas technology in some of the remotest parts of the planet, such as the Okhotsk Sea where she worked at -46°C. In 2014, she entered Harvard Business School to pursue an MBA and since graduation, she has been focusing on building expertise in international business expansion. A strong believer in women’s potential to continue to make a positive impact in all spheres of life, she encourages them to always seek to act with grace and courage.

Harriet Bartlett
PhD Candidate, University of Cambridge, UK
After three years studying veterinary medicine and graduating with a BA, Harriet is now a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge in the departments of Zoology and Veterinary Medicine. She researches livestock sustainability and the relationship between the biodiversity impact, greenhouse gas emissions, antimicrobial use and animal welfare of different pig systems. She wants to identify systems that are best for people, our animals and the planet. In the past she has worked at CSIRO, Australia, researching pathways to carbon neutrality for the red meat industry and is passionate about inspiring the next generation of women.

Dr Heidi Pass
Chief Geochemist, global mining company
Perth, Western Australia

Canadian / Australian

As a Chief Geochemist, Dr Heidi Pass uses her analytical mind, ore deposit knowledge and natural curiosity to unravel geochemical signatures in the search for gold deposits. As a dynamic leader, she invests in her relationships and ability to influence at all levels, to create successful engagement. Heidi’s professional roles have taken her from the Arctic to the Outback, and now the Antarctic. Heidi is passionate about enhancing gender equality to promote opportunity and growth for all. She’s honoured to be a role model supporting the progression of women leaders in STEMM. She is currently a member of the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy: Gender Diversity Reference Group. Dr Pass has loved learning about the Earth and revealing its secrets through geochemistry for close to 20 years. She completed her double major Hons BSc at UVIC in Canada (Chemistry, Earth and Ocean Science), and graduated from UTAS with a PhD in Economic Geology (Australia). She has a love of adventure, Latin dancing and often has beach sand between her toes.
Support Heidi Pass with her HB fundraising campaign here.

Ingrid Albion
Interpretation and Education Officer, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service
Tasmania, Australia

Originally from New Zealand, Ingrid is a passionate environmental educator and has played key roles in wildlife programs including Save the Tasmanian Devil, Fox-Free Tasmania and Whale Rescue Training. She currently runs the Discovery Ranger Schools Program and spends all her spare time inspiring others to act on climate change. She recently set up the Tasmanian Climate Change Stories program because she believes that sharing firsthand stories will help others connect, understand and act both locally and globally on this issue. She is the proud mother of three fully-fledged daughters and in her spare time she and her husband breed Grausturm Weimaraners.
To support Ingrid’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Jay Gomboso
Biosecurity Economist
Canberra, Australia

With a degree in (quantitative) Economics, and PhD in hydrogeological-economic modelling, Dr Gomboso’s research career focusses on integrating science and economics. Jay is currently Director of Biosecurity Economics with ABARES, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Previously, she was the Senior Nature Conservation Policy Adviser with the WA Department of Conservation and Land Management, and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in water resource at Australia’s CSIRO. Jay also has a strong interest in antimicrobial resistance in agriculture and biosecurity “gamification”. Outside biosecurity, Jay runs an Aussie wool clothing company (ReddDog), raises money for Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation, and is a typical mum.

Jessamyn Fairfield
Lecturer, National University of Ireland
Galway, Ireland


Jessamyn Fairfield is a physicist, writer and comedian who researches nanoelectronic devices and their transdisciplinary applications. She is a lecturer at the National University of Ireland Galway, as well as the director of Bright Club Ireland, a comedy night bringing academic research to the public. Jessamyn is an award-winning science communicator, known for her humour and her humanity, who previously journeyed on a science/art residency in the Arctic Circle in 2017. Hailing from Los Alamos, the hometown of the atomic bomb, Jessamyn believes that science must connect to culture to truly make a difference.

Jill Sewell
Clinical Director Children’s Bioethics Centre,
Paediatrician, Centre for Community Child Health,
Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria

Jill is a consultant paediatrician, working to improve the health and developmental trajectory of individual children, and promoting early childhood and life chances of all children. Bioethics responsibilities are to support clinicians with ethical decision-making when complex care leads to disagreements between parents and doctors. Jill has had leading roles in medical training, workforce development and regulation, community development, childhood advocacy, and quality and safety in health care. She chairs the Victorian Clinical Council, advising the government on health policy. Jill leads the Australian Medical Council, setting standards and accrediting all Australian medical training organisations.

Ka-Ming Wu
Associate Professor, Cultural and Religious Studies
Chinese University of Hong Kong

Ka-ming is a cultural anthropologist specialising in ethnographic investigation of public culture, gender and nationalism, waste and society. Her academic papers in high-impact international journals and university presses have been taught and widely read. She is also director of the MA program in Cultural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She aims to teach and raise awareness among students on the emerging topics of gender, class and environmental humanities, in order to influence cultural and policy changes. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys travelling, learning Indonesian and reading science fiction.

Katie Piazza
Bioanalytical Chemist,
Syracuse, New York, USA

Katie grew up along the shorelines of Lake Ontario and enjoys spending as much time as she can on or in the water and outdoors. She is currently fulfilling her life-long passion for science, working as a bioanalytical chemist for a global contract research organisation. She earned her BSc in Chemistry at Le Moyne College and, before completing her Master’s in Chemistry at SUNY Oswego, spent one year living as a Jesuit Volunteer in Baltimore, Maryland teaching maths and science at a public Montessori school. Katie is very excited and honoured to be a part of the Homeward Bound initiative!
To support Katie’s HB fundraising campaign, click here.

Krissa Skogen
PhD Conservation Scientist, Chicago Botanic Garden
Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University Illinois, USA

Krissa is a botanist with a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut. Her research focusses on plant–insect interactions and investigates the role of floral scent in mediating interactions between plants in the evening primrose family, pollinators (hawkmoths and bees) and antagonists. Krissa mentors graduate and undergraduate students and has hired over 1100 interns who participate in federal conservation projects. She is active in public policy efforts to support federal funding for science and in making evidence-based policy decisions. Her free time is spent with her two daughters and husband, and the weeds in her garden. Support Krissa’s campaign for Homeward Bound 4 here.

Laura Garcia
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Columbia University Medical Center
New York City, USA


Laura is a scientist with international experience. She holds a PhD in Immunology by the University of Birmingham (UK) and further research experience in haematological cancers during her postdoctoral time at Columbia University (NY, USA). She is currently transitioning into health policy and has been a trainee at the European Commission in the DG of Research and Innovation.

Over the years she has contributed with different organizations and associations to promote science communication, public engagement and women in science such 500 Women Scientists in NYC and with the Association of Spanish researchers in the USA (ECUSA). With science as her passion, she worries about the spread of anti-science policies, such as anti-vaccine movements, and her goal is to communicate science in an understandable and reachable way. Laura loves the outdoors, travelling and dancing.  Support Laura’s Homeward Bound fundraising campaign here.

Lily Brown
Community Engagement Ranger, Parks Victoria
Melbourne, Australia

Lily studied conservation of Australian wildlife, fire ecology and teaching. After working as a forest fire fighter and a teacher in a remote community, she now works as a Community Engagement Ranger in Melbourne. Combining her passions for conservation and education, Lily is working on improving equity in park visitors, engaging with diverse communities to connect them to parks, improving health outcomes and providing people opportunities to grow and develop. She loves being out bush; her hobbies include surfing, hiking and camping. As a yoga teacher, Lily also maintains a daily yoga and pranayama practice.

Marga Gual Soler
PhD Senior Project Director
Centre for Science Diplomacy, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Washington DC, USA

Dr Gual Soler is a science diplomat, exploring the power of science as universal language to build bridges between peoples and nations. She works with governments, universities and international organisations worldwide, promoting the role of science in foreign policy and training emerging leaders at the science-diplomacy nexus. She was named one of “100 Spanish Experts in Innovation” and “40 Under 40 Latinos in Foreign Policy”. Before joining AAAS, she was Arizona State University faculty and UNESCO consultant. Marga received her PhD from the University of Queensland in Australia and was a Global Competitiveness Leadership Fellow at Georgetown University. When not on a plane, you will find her scuba diving. Support Marga’s fundraising campaign here.

Michele Finn
President/Owner, MA Finn Consulting LLC
Orange Beach, Alabama, USA

Captain Michele Finn retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Commissioned Officer Corps with 25 years of service to the United States. She has supported environmental programs as a ship officer, scuba diver, pilot, biologist and program manager. Michele served as the Assistant Superintendent of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Chief of Staff of the National Ocean Service and the Deputy Director of the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Centre. Michele is now focussed on environmental project management, operations planning and contract/grant proposal development. She is an active volunteer with animal rescue and marine conservation programs.

Mita Brierley
Chief Business Officer, Astronomy Australia Ltd
Sydney, Australia
Indian-born New Zealander

Mita earned her PhD in Astronomy from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and then moved to Australia and into research management. She currently leads the Sydney office of Astronomy Australia Ltd, working with Australia’s astronomers, National Observatories, and the Australian Government to advance the goals of the Australian Astronomy Decadal Plan. Mita believes that many of the large-scale problems humanity is facing would benefit immensely from STEMM-trained leaders effectively communicating and working together with Government and Industry. She aspires to be such a bridge, and is very excited at the opportunity to expand her skill set and networks through the Homeward Bound program in support of this goal. Support Mita’s fundraising campaign here.

Nina Tirnitz-Parker
Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University,
Perth, Western Australia
German / Australian

Nina grew up in a wine region in Germany and studied zoology, genetics, anthropology and physiological chemistry before she found her passion in stem cells and cancer biology. She holds a PhD in Biochemistry, heads the Liver Disease and Regeneration Laboratory at Curtin University and serves on the Australian Liver Association Executive Committee. Nina loves travelling, documentaries, a good book or concert, and shares her passion for outdoor adventures and wildlife with her Australian husband and two active little girls.

Rachel Sheffield
Senior Lecturer STEM Education, Curtin University
Western Australia

Rachel is a very passionate science educator. She works with pre-service teachers (teacher education) teaching science and STEM education.  She feels that if she can engage and enthuse her students, they will carry this passion and energy into the classroom and start the STEM pipeline flowing with primary and secondary students who love science.  Her background is in science, and she loves education, and has been working with the STEMinist group for several years in Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and India.

Raelene Forbes
Spatial Solutions Principal, Snowy Hydro Ltd, Cooma,
NSW, Australia

After being an educator and then software consultant, Raelene jumped ship from an undergraduate degree in climate studies 13 years ago to complete a Bachelor of Spatial Information Science and hasn’t looked back since. Raelene loves that she is now guiding a company so deeply and historically rooted in renewable energy generation to fully leverage their spatial potential. More recently, she has developed a deep commitment to increasing the participation of women at all levels in STEMM, especially in regional areas. Aside from trying to be a good wife, mother and soon-to-be home renovator, her immediate goal is to help her company become a leader in gender equality in science and engineering.

Samia Elfekih
Research Scientist/Engineer, CSIRO Health & Biosecurity
Honorary Fellow at the Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne
Victoria, Australia

Dr Samia Elfekih grew up in Tunisia, the land of Carthage. After graduating as an engineer, she decided to pursue her dreams of becoming an international researcher and was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to conduct her PhD in genetics in the US, followed by a postdoc funded by a UNESCO-L’Oréal fellowship at Imperial college London. Her research is focussed on the genomics of invertebrates and their distribution shifts under climate change. She also investigates biocontrol strategies managing vector-borne diseases (dengue fever and malaria). Samia is passionate about modern art, haute couture and travel between New York, Tokyo, London and Melbourne.

Stephanie Dolrenry
PhD / Co-founder & Director of Science, Lion Guardians Organization
Amboseli, Kenya / Wildlife Guardians, USA

Stephanie’s passions are with field-based conservation research, specifically carnivore adaptation to humans, and learning from and incorporating communities into conservation. Stephanie has studied human-wildlife interactions throughout America and Africa, working at remote sites and diverse habitats ranging from alpine to savanna, and species from endangered birds to lions and hyenas. She has spent the past decade co-leading a team of conservationists and Maasai warriors. Stephanie is a member of the PRIDE Lion Conservation Alliance comprised of women leaders of lion conservation groups in addition to African Lion Working Group, and a research affiliate at the University of Cape Town.

Therese O’Brien
Water Engineering Professional
Melbourne, Australia
German / Australian

Therese is a water and wastewater environmental engineer and scientist (Dipl. Ing., MEng, MSc) with a dedication for all aspects related to water treatment, sustainability and the environment. She is specialised in the design of drinking water processes, drinking water risk management planning and risk workshop facilitation. Therese has supported the Australian Water Industry through various leadership roles for the past 15 years.  Therese is married and a mother of three daughters, and she is passionate about supporting female participation in sports and events, and is heavily involved in her daughters’ many activities.  She is also a lover of the outdoors, sports, a keen traveller, and enjoys sharing food and wine with family and friends.

Tracy Cai
Co-founder and CEO, SynTao Green Finance

Tracy’s expertise lies in sustainability, with a banking and financial background. She is a co-founder/CEO for SynTao Green Finance, a professional services consultancy in green finance and responsible investment in China. Tracy is also a co-founder and board member of globally recognized non-profit SRI platform-China SIF (Social Investment Forum), who promote responsible investment of capital markets in China, and support the development of individuals and institutions on sustainable finance.  Tracy has worked in policy/sustainable finance within World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and is also a co-founder/CFO of Habitat Watcher Foundation, protecting habitat for wild animals in the environmental-sensitive areas.

Valeri Nicol Vasquez
PhD Student, Energy & Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley
American / Ecuadorian

Valeri is a PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California Berkeley, and a Moore/Sloan Fellow at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science. Her research interests include the use of mathematical models to examine drivers of infectious diseases – particularly how environmental factors alter these drivers and exacerbate the economic impacts of climate change. Prior to graduate school, Valeri worked at the US Department of State, where she focussed on international climate policy. This included advising the mediation of negotiations amongst the 195 nations party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in the development of the Paris Agreement.

Yuxi Lei
Founder/Researcher, NANOxARCH
Shenzhen, China

Inspired by the scientific education on materials research at University of New Hampshire (US) and South-Central University for Nationalities (China), Yuxi has been trying to explore potential approaches to promote sustainability at the intersection between materials and design. In 2018, she initiated NANOxARCH, a social venture that designs sustainable spaces using only outstanding sustainable materials/products from NANOxARCH’s original global database, which scouts and collects outstanding sustainable materials/products (quality, reasonably priced, attractive) from all over the world, many of which are upcycled/recycled from so-called trash/waste. Yuxi believes that there should be no such thing as ‘waste’ on Earth, and that everyone’s purchasing behaviour could potentially create bonus value in shaping a more sustainable homeland together.

Zhimin Mao
Young Professional, World Bank
Washington DC, USA

Zhimin is a young professional currently working at World Bank. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’s Environment and Natural Resources Program with a focus on China’s low carbon development. Prior to joining the Belfer Center, Zhimin was a PhD Fellow at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. Her RAND experience focussed on energy, environmental policy and international development. She has also worked at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and Environment, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, and Asian Development Bank.

In memoriam: Lilly Marie
PhD Candidate, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
Maori (Taranaki Tuturu, Ngai Tahu)

Lilly Marie had a fierce passion for science, conservation and art. It was these interests that led her to pursue a PhD in Chemistry. As an advocate for equality in STEMM, she hoped that her participation in Homeward Bound would help turn dreams into reality. Sadly, her journey with us was cut short, with her passing in January 2019.


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