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Race for Water team

Kim Van Arkel

Scientific advisor

“In my view, Race for Water is a protagonist that is taking concrete action on the ground, whilst unveiling positive messages, which are essential for helping to preserve the ocean.”

Having grown up in the Morbihan, I quickly turned my attention to the preservation of the coastal and marine environment. After pocketing a degree in marine science at the University of Quebec in Rimouski, a master’s in oceanography at the University of Aix Marseille and another in toxicology of the environment at the University of Angers, I’ve specialised in ecotoxicology to discover more about the impact of pollution on ecosystems, and notably human health. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my knowledge of the marine environment and contributing to concrete actions on the ground to deal with this pollution.

It is with this mindset that I joined the Race for Water Foundation as scientific advisor in early 2015. At that point, I played an active part in the first Race for Water Odyssey launched by the Foundation. Throughout this Odyssey, I assessed the plastic pollution on the beaches of the islands situated close to the oceanic gyres and contributed to the exchanges with the local populations (scientists, NGOs, institutions, entrepreneurs, etc.), most notably through the organisation of events and conferences about all the stopovers made. Since then I’ve been in charge of any links established together with the monitoring of results in connection with our scientific partners.

Following these encounters, I have been hosting an online international community of Water Guardian Experts, which is open to the general public, to enable exchanges about recent scientific discoveries and information regarding the issue of plastic pollution, with the focus on the solutions to be implemented to reduce this pollution. Following the launch of the latest Race for Water Odyssey 2017-2021, I am also in charge of relations with the scientific partners and I contribute to the scientific logistics of each of the missions carried out aboard the Race for Water vessel. I also play a part in setting up events (workshops, conferences, school visits…) at each of the stopovers.”