Scientific Advisory Board

The International Scientific Advisory Board is made up of internationally recognized scientific researchers, with complementary expertise on marine plastic pollution.

The International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB) reflects our wish to base our projects on a rigorous scientific approach and to offer the international scientific community the opportunity to collect quality data on marine plastic pollution.

Its missions :

Photo Dr. Claire DUFAU

Expert in modelling remote sensing data and surface currents, CLS Group

Dr. Claire DUFAU

Dr. Claire DUFAU is a multidisciplinary engineer with an additional master in coastal physical oceanography (2000) and a PhD in regional ocean modeling (2004).

She has well recognized scientific expertise both in sea level monitoring with satellite altimetry, ocean modelling and data assimilation.

She has participated to numerous EC, national and international projects : FP7-ECOOP, FP7-MERSEA, FP7-Myocean, Copernicus Marine service (CMEMS), ESA-Globcurrent.

She co-chaired the Altimetry for Regional and COastal Model (ARCOM) group within the GODAE Ocean View group and led several initiatives to meet users’ needs.

She leads now the “Ocean and Coastal Application and Projects” team within the Environmental and Climate Monitoring Business Unit of CLS, a French company subsidiary of CNP and CNES.

Her team focus its work on developing monitoring, alert and decision-helping services dedicated to territories, such as the Sargassum monitoring in the West Indies or the Plastic Drift monitoring at ocean surface in Indonesia.

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Photo François GALGANI

Expert in marine plastic pollution, at IFREMER

François GALGANI

Dr. François GALGANI is a project manager at IFREMER, the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea.

He has spent time in Polynesia, Japan, the United States and conducted more than 70 oceanographic campaigns worldwide. He is specialized in marine pollution and particularly in the study of marine litter. As such, he coordinates a European Commission group on marine litter and is co-responsible for a group of UN inter-agency experts (International Oceanographic Commission / GESAMP). He acts as an expert for many French and foreign institutions (UNGA/UNEA, Barcelona conventions, OSPAR, Ministries, European Commission). He is the author of more than 150 international scientific publications and reports on marine litter for the European Commission and the United Nations.

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Photo Dr. Umi MUAWANAH

Marine and fishery resource conservation economist


During her last two degrees, Dr. Umi Muawamah focused on the area of resource economics with specialty in marine and fisheries. Her professional experience was mainly on the area of economic related to the marine and fisheries conservation.

During her post graduate study, she has experienced as an teaching and research assistant in the area of environment and resource economics at the University of Rhode Islands (2008) and University of Connecticut (2009-2012).Her one year Knauss Fellowship at the USFWS in the US has sharpen her interest in bridging science to policy world.

She has an excellent skills in economic modeling tools, bio-economics, production models, econometrics including choice models and impact evaluation. She uses tools such as MATLAB, SAS and STATA. Her research interests are economics of fishery management, co-management, and science to policy communication.

During the last 5 years back to MMAF, she has been actively involve in the researches of national strategic issues such as impact of IUUF policies, economic integration model for fishery product added value industries, right-based fishery management in Indonesia, the tuna economics in Indonesia and many more. Furthermore, in many occasions, she is active in the discourse of bridging research/science to policy in the topic of ocean and marine resource management.

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Photo Dr Bernard GINDROZ

Expert in circular economy, eco-design, public policy and commercial analysis

Dr Bernard GINDROZ

Dr. Bernard GINDROZ is very active in standardization, Chairman of several technical and strategic bodies at ISO level and CEN/CENELEC level, including ISO TC 268 on Sustainable Cities and Communities, JTC 6 on Hydrogen in Energy Systems, CEN/CENELEC Sector Forum Energy Management-Energy Transition (SFEM), the joint CEN and CENELEC Strategy and Advisory Body on Energy Management-Energy Transition, mapping research, pre-normative and standardization needs in support to EU strategic targets, as well as in support of innovation to markets strategies. Several working groups are under his responsibility, i.e. Energy Storage, Energy financing schemes, Behavior change, Hydrogen, CCS. He is an active member of several Standardization Coordination Groups and task forces, i.e. smart grids, smart metering, circular economy, eco-design, blockchain, AI.

He is an EU expert in Adaptation to Climate Change (EU mandates), and a projects’ evaluator/reviewer of several EU research and innovation programs. In addition, he is leading programs about circular economy and eco-design in EU Member States and EU candidate countries.

He has been working for the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) as Regional Director, Head of Industry then Director Energy. In 2005, he joined the French Agency for Industrial Innovation (AII), supporting large innovative cooperative projects – state aids -, as Director for Energy, Environment, Transport and Climate Change, advanced manufacturing.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Bernard Gindroz has been working for the French Ministry of Defense, as Research Scientist at Direction des Constructions Navales - Bassin d’Essais des Carènes (DCN-BA), then as Institutional Business Manager at Direction des Centres d’Essais - Bassin d’Essais des Carènes (DCE-BEC).

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Photo  Britta Denise HARDESTY

Principal research scientist, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Oceans and Atmosphere

Britta Denise HARDESTY

Dr. Denise Hardesty has been an extremely productive research scientist, rapidly rising to manage large national and international projects and developing a significant profile on the international stage. She has a strong commitment to engagement, with colleagues in the academic community, with policy makers and environmental advocates, with industry and with the public at large. Recently she has run a major national project on plastic pollution impacts on marine species in Australia, engaging with more than 8,000 school kids, teachers, business leaders, and members of the public over 3 years. In the last few years alone, Denise has given more than 50 professional and public presentations, more than 2/3 of which have been as an invited speaker at professional and public meetings and/or workshops.

She has been leading a portfolio of projects focused on understanding plastic pollution in the oceans for the last decade plus, resulting in global recognition of her impact in this area. As recognition of plastic pollution as a global issue with potential for tremendous biodiversity impacts grows, Denise is regularly approached by inter-governmental and national agencies, non-government organizations, and industry bodies to provide expert opinion on marine debris related matters.

In the past few years Denise has served as a scientific expert for working groups and panels including the International Whaling Commission (IWC), The Australian Federal Government, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Group of Experts on Scientific Aspects of Marine Protection (GESAMP), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), for the US National Oceans and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and numerous state and regional panels within Australia.

Following from her research on the effects of abandoned fishing gear she has become a key player at national and international workshops with government, industry, fisheries and other stakeholders aiming to reduce this transboundary issue. Her current grant funding reflects this recognition, with projects funded by the United Nations Environment Program, the Australian Packaging Covenant, the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and Ocean Conservancy, and numerous philanthropic organizations.

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Photo Dr. Jean Francois SASSI, PhD

Expert in polymer chemistry, biopolymers and fine chemicals, CEA Cadarache

Dr. Jean Francois SASSI, PhD

Dr. Jean-François Sassi was educated first as a polymer chemist, with an engineer diploma from the National Chemistry School of Montpellier, France (1991). Then, he obtained a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Grenoble, France (1995), based on research work performed at CERMAV-CNRS on topochemical aspects of cellulose acetylation and application to nanomaterials. He then moved to the Department of Chemistry at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY, USA) as a post-doc, where he studied dendritic polymers for one year.

Back to France, he started his professional career with working for 10 years as a polymer researcher in global chemical companies (Rhône-Poulenc; Rhodia), then worked for 7 years in a technology transfer institute (CEVA, Centre d’Etude et de Valorisation des Algues, Pleubian, France). JF Sassi joined CEA Cadarache in 2013 as group leader for algae processes and technologies.

He has been hired as expert scientific evaluator for European framework programs since 2016. In 2017, he was distinguished as International Expert for Algae at CEA. His current research work involves among others the use of algae as renewable feedstock for biodegradable plastics. Holding 30 years of experience of biobased chemistry, JF Sassi has co-authored 27 peer-reviewed papers, 5 book chapters and policy-making papers, more than 80 communications and 24 patents. Since 2014, he has been a Council Member of the Executive Committee of the International Society of Applied Phycology (ISAP). In 2019, he was appointed as a member of the scientific committee of the European Algae Biomass Association (EABA).

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Photo Laurent LEBRETON

Physical oceanographer, expert in modeling marine plastic pollution, the Ocean Cleanup Foundation


Laurent Lebreton started his research on ocean plastics in 2010 where he tried to predict the formation of ocean garbage patches using numerical models on his computer at his home office in Raglan, Waikato.

Following the publication of his results, he became more and more involved with the very dynamic field of marine litter science, including cooperation with international field researchers and participation to GESAMP and other UNEP funded working groups on the questions of global sources and accumulation of marine litter.

Laurent is now Head of Research at The Ocean Cleanup, a non-for-profit organisation that develops technology to rid the ocean of plastic. His research group focuses on understanding the sources, the transport and the fate of ocean plastics by leading large scale field expeditions, developing advanced numerical models and investing in remote sensing technology. Ultimately, Laurent is interested in closing a global mass balance budget for plastics in our oceans as a direct tool for the rapid implementation of a wide range of mitigation strategies from local to global scale.

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Photo Yannick LERAT

Scientific Director, The SeaCleaners

Yannick LERAT

Yannick Lerat holds a PhD in oceanography from the Brest University (UBO, France) with a specialty both in chemistry and biology. The subject

of his PhD was on coastal biogeochemical cycles related to water and sediment exchanges. He spent 15 years at Eastman Kodak Company in the R&D team with various projects among which a project to

integrate bio-inspired approaches in the design of new materials and devices. Coming back to his early coastal ecology interest, he joined CEVA (Pleubian, France) a technical centre providing R&D on algae

applications. After 12 years as scientific director at CEVA, life decided that it was time for Yannick to join The SeaCleaners team. He is very proud of having this opportunity to significantly help global earth

ecosystems by working on marine plastic litters with The SeaCleaners and the Manta project.

Photo René GARELLO

Expert in signal processing, remote sensing, IMT-Atlantique


René Garello was born in 1953. He received the Ph.D. degree in Signal Processing at the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble (INPG) in 1981. From 1982 to 1984 he worked as a Research Associate at Aeronomy Lab, (NOAA) at Boulder, Colorado (USA). He joined Telecom Bretagne, Brest, France in 1985. In 1988 he became Professor in this engineering school in the field of signal processing and image processing.

His main research interests lie in Remote Sensing, 2D signal processing, statistical and spectral analysis applied to ocean surface features detection and characterization.

Prof. Garello has authored or co-authored more than 40 papers, a hundred and thirty conference communications and three books.

Prof. Garello was elected Vice-President Conference Operations for the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society and then re-elected in 2006 and 2008. He was elevated to the grade of Fellow of the IEEE, class of 2006, “for contributions to signal processing applied to remote sensing of the ocean”. He received the OES Service Awards in 2006 for developing and implementing the two OCEANS conference policy. He is a Distinguished Lecturer since 2010.
He was elected President of the Oceanic Engineering Society in October 2012 for the period 2013-2014 and reelected On September, 15 for two more years, 2015-2016.

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Photo Jean LE BIDEAU

Expert in materials sciences and vibrational spectroscopy, IMN Jean Rouxel, Université de Nantes


Jean Le Bideau is a professor at the University of Nantes, at the Institut des Matériaux Jean Rouxel (IMN). He previously spent ten years at the University of Montpellier as an associate professor, and two years at Michigan State University as an associate researcher, after obtaining a PhD and an engineering degree in materials sciences. His work focuses on organic-inorganic hybrid materials; more specifically, in recent years, it has been aimed at confining liquids in macroscopically solid materials: solid, but with liquid properties, these materials have applications in biomedical and electrical energy storage. Their shaping by the surgeon or engineer becomes possible, while maintaining the advantageous dynamic properties of liquids. In the case of water containment, they will be hydrogels for tissue engineering of bone, cartilage or intervertebral disc; in the case of ionic liquid containment, they will be ionogels, e.g. for lithium batteries, for supercapacitors, for optical sensors and transmitters. Emphasis is placed on the study of interfacial effects in order to control the good diffusion properties of the confined species. In this context, studies of polymers, whether of natural or unnatural origin, and their interfaces with liquids or biological media require specific approaches and tools.

Jean Le Bideau has led numerous research programs, both in the public domain and with various companies, leading to publications, patents, communications. In addition to his teaching and awareness raising actions on ecology, his international responsibilities for the university, he actively participates in collective actions of the university and the socio-economic world, with a particular interest in the maritime world.

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Photo Odeline BILLANT

Member of the All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors program


Odeline Billant is a PhD candidate in environmental law at the University of Western Brittany (UBO) since October 2019. She develops a methodology aiming to measure the implementation and enforcement of marine environmental law.

Inspired from interdisciplinary methods, her work is focused on law related to land-based pollution, and more specifically on plastic, wastewater and pesticides. Her nine study-countries span across the European, African and American continents, offering a diversity of legal systems and socio-economic contexts key to a comparative approach.

Odeline Billant graduated from a Master programme in international relations from Sciences Po Paris in 2017 and a Master 2 in international and comparative environmental law from the University of Limoges in 2019.

She is part of the All-Atlantic Youth Ambassador Programme, endorsed by the European Commission.

Her PhD supervisor is Marie Bonnin.

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Photo Dr Sarah-Jeanne ROYER

Bio-geochemist and oceanographer

Dr Sarah-Jeanne ROYER

Dr. Sarah-Jeanne Royer is a bio-geochemist and oceanographer and currently working on plastic and microfibre degradation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Prior to this work, she investigated on the emissions of greenhouse gases from plastics in the environment at the Center for Microbial Oceanography, Research and Education. She also worked with Prof. Nikolai Maximenko on marine debris at the International Pacific Research Center at the University of Hawaii where her research was linked to the pathways and fate of marine debris and plastic accumulation in the ocean in relation with the North Pacific Garbage Patch. For more than a decade now, she has been working with several organizations to share her science, bring awareness to the growing issue of plastic in the environment and organized several educational workshops. She has been highly involved with the organizations Parley for the Oceans and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. For five years she served as their science advisor and started using data collection from volunteers for citizen science projects. Her goal is to pursue plastic research to understand better the degradation and fragmentation processes of plastic and fate in the ocean in addition to the plastic accumulation on the different islands of Hawai’i. Her long-last objective is for policymakers to use data from scientists and volunteers to design better laws and policies to reduce plastic production & consumption.

In addition to her background in environment and marine biology, she was the first female sergeant leading a group of 40 people in the first French Canadian regiment of the Canadian Army. She served for the Voltigeurs de Quebec for 13 years and participated in two missions in Kabul and Kandahar (Afghanistan) on international development and lead a project on Afghan women.

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Photo Dr Christophe MAES

Physical oceanographer, Laboratory for Ocean Physics and Satellite remote sensing

Dr Christophe MAES

Holder of a PhD thesis in physical oceanography from the Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC, Paris VI) since 1996, and a Habilitation to Conduct Research from the Paul Sabatier University (Toulouse III) since 2009, Dr Christophe Maes has been a research fellow at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) since September 2000.

Since the end of 2014, his assignment is located within the Plouzané-Brest technopole where he has become the deputy director of the Laboratory of Ocean Physics (LPO) and then of the Laboratory of Physical and Spatial Oceanography (LOPS), a position he hold until mid-2019. Over the last five years, the theme of studying the dispersion of marine debris and waste has emerged, focusing only on the characteristic scales of ocean dynamics, and more recently on the source scenarios to be taken into account in estimates on global scales, whether they are of physical origin such as river inputs or even more societal, including the population density living near ocean coasts.

Dr. K. Dr. Maes is a member of the SCOR International Working Group 153 "FLOTSAM (Floating Litter and its Oceanic TranSport Analysis and Modelling)", and of the team in charge of one of the IRD's interdisciplinary and partnership structuring programmes dedicated to "Geo-Resources, Human Development and Environment", GEODHE, whose two general objectives are firstly to identify, manage and enhance the value of primary and secondary resources and their derivatives, in particular plastics, and secondly to promote a paradigm shift towards more sustainable and inclusive development models.

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Photo Isabelle POITOU

Founder of Mer-Terre Association

Isabelle POITOU

Isabelle Poitou is the founder of the Mer-Terre association and works on the problem of waste in aquatic environments. With a DEA in Marine Biology and a DEA in Social Sciences, Isabelle decided to found the association Mer-Terre in 2000 in order to continue her research on the subject that concerns her: the pollution of aquatic environments by solid waste visible to the naked eye, called macrowaste. Her thesis completed in 2004, Isabelle Poitou, within her association based in Marseille, is dedicated entirely to implementing the actions and tools she identified and developed during her research. In order to know the origins of waste, implement reduction actions and evaluate them, she is convinced of the need to centralize quantitative and qualitative data. She created the ODEMA (Aquatic Waste Observatory) in 2006 which proposes a standardized method of evaluating macrowaste to actors on the ground so that they can witness what they collect on rivers, shorelines and seabeds. This data set is proving to be a tremendous tool for R&D programs. In 2010, the MerTerre association is structured around four axes: the search for tools for characterizing macrowaste and decision-making for managers, the foundation of the association that puts it among national, European and international experts, supporting governments and businesses in the construction and implementation of curative and preventive reduction programs, identifying and coordinating the social network that organizes voluntary clean-ups, The development of awareness tools and programs for policy makers, the general public and children.

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