Public Lecture by Veronique Florec

31 May 2018,
Oceans Institute IOMRC Auditorium, UWA
General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni

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Antarctic Research

Partner event with: 

UWA Oceans Institute  

Antarctica Homeward Bound Voyage 2018

A public lecture by Veronique Florec, Research Associate, Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy, The University of Western Australia.

Plastic pollution in the ocean has become one of the most challenging environmental issues of our time. In 30 years, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish! Thousands of marine animals and seabirds are being killed every year, either due to entanglement or from ingestion of plastic waste. To tackle a problem of this magnitude, we require a global solution. But in some circles where some of the most important decisions that affect our planet are made, women are either absent or only present in small numbers. Globally, women hold less than 15% of leadership positions in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) despite research showing that gender-balanced teams are more effective. 

Homeward Bound wants to change this and, over a period of 10 years, it’s planning to build a global network of 1,000 women in STEMM and equipping them with leadership skills so that they can heighten their influence in policy circles. A global initiative, Homeward Bound is an intensive 12-month leadership program for women in STEMM that culminates in an expedition to Antarctica. The program aims to enhance the impact of women in science in order to influence policy and decision making as it shapes the future of our planet. 

As part of the program, we conducted research on plastic pollution in the ocean and are now looking to bring about change in this area. So what happens when you put 80 women — all passionate about science, gender equity and the state of our planet — on board a ship for 22 days in Antarctica? In a visually beautiful presentation, Veronique will share her experience of participating in the program, the lessons learned throughout the year, her research on plastic pollution in the ocean, and the amazing visit to the white continent.

Veronique Florec is a Research Associate at the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy at The University of Western Australia. She completed her PhD in 2016, in which she applied economic analysis to prescribed burning in the south-west of WA. She currently leads a project on the economics of natural hazards to help decision makers get better value for money from public investments in natural hazards mitigation. In 2017, she became one of the 80 women around the world to be selected to participate in the second iteration of Homeward Bound, a leadership program for women in Science. In February 2018, this program took her to Antarctica, where she spent 22 days at sea learning about leadership, Antarctica, women in Science and today’s major environmental challenges. 

About this Series: All at Sea - Restoration and Recovery

Our Oceans and coasts provide us with food, energy, livelihoods, cultural and recreational opportunities, yet they are coming under increasing pressure. This UWA Institute of Advanced Studies - Oceans Institute Lecture Series explores the wonders of our seas, the challenges they face and how research at UWA- in a diverse range of fields including marine science, ocean engineering, health, humanities and social sciences- are contributing to sustainability.