Jo Ruxton: Journey to Antarctica

Jo Ruxton: Journey to Antarctica

Jo Ruxton is a woman of many talents. As well as founding our charity partner Ocean Generation, she is a film producer, anti-plastic pollution campaigner and has received an MBE for her ocean advocacy work.

Hailed by Sir David Attenborough as “the person responsible for the plastic-free movement” she spent many years at the BBC Natural History Unit, starting on the first ‘Blue Planet’ series as well as numerous other underwater wildlife films. Her award-winning independent 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.

Jo’s latest role combines her love for the ocean with her passion for safeguarding it, becoming the first ocean conservation ambassador for Aurora Expeditions.

Aurora Expeditions was founded by adventurer Greg Mortimer and specialises in small ship expeditions, offering travelers the opportunity to explore some of the most remote and unspoiled destinations on our planet – Antarctica, the Arctic and beyond.

The company launched its second purpose-built small ship, Sylvia Earle, which embarked on her inaugural voyage from Ushuaia, Argentina to Antarctica in December 2022. A floating ambassador for the conservation of the planet, the ship is named after one of the world’s leading ocean conservationists, and its decks are named after other leading female voices in the science and conservation arena – one of which, unsurprisingly, is Jo Ruxton.

Jo joined other thought leaders in the fields of science, art, education and economics on an Antarctic climate expedition with Dr. Sylvia Earle in February 2023.  It was an opportunity to bring a specialist group of people together in a place that is most vulnerable to climate change, to focus the daily discussions and to produce and publish a resolution of the steps needed to tackle climate change from individuals to governments, corporations and businesses.

The ship is certified 100% climate neutral, and has a dedicated citizen science centre onboard, alongside an interactive programme led by its expedition specialists. Each of the ship’s decks are names after female conservationists and deck seven bears Jo’s name.   Jo says: “It was an honour to be appointed by Aurora Expeditions as its first ambassador. Together we hope that their new ship Sylvia Earle, named after the esteemed American oceanographer Dr Sylvia Earle, will be part of the ‘change engine’ that will educate and engage audiences across the globe. Cruise has been engulfed by various reports of damaging behaviour, certainly around coral. It’s time we had another look at this. The industry depends on the ocean being healthy, and that’s why this initiative is so important and why I am delighted to be involved.” 

Jos Dewing, Managing Director Aurora Expeditions EMEA says: “We acknowledge female scientists are leading the way in global conservation initiatives and through the deck theming, aim to educate our expeditioners on the impressive and important conservation work they continue to do.”

Ocean Generation is Sea Change’s global charity partner. It works to empower an inclusive global movement to tackle ocean threats via science and storytelling and help the environment by campaigns, partnerships and youth programmes:

You can find out more about Aurora Expeditions here.

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