A lecturer from the University of Exeter, Penryn campus, was chosen to be the head of science on an all-female sailing trip to research the biggest accumulation of sea plastic in the world.

The trip will involve a diverse and international group of 24 women journey over 3,000 nautical miles through the densest ocean plastic accumulation zone on the planet, the North Pacific Gyre, better known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Emily Duncan is a PhD Researcher at the University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, whose work has focused on investigating the impacts of plastics on sea turtles.

She said: "I'm very pleased to be going and the crew we have are an absolutely great group of women. It will be a really interesting group of people."

The women will conduct experiments to determine the impact of plastic pollution, making daily trawls for plastics and pollutants, and collecting data for a variety of global datasets and scientific research studies.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been difficult to study as pollutants including plastics and chemical sludge are spread over a wide area which makes it difficult to determine the exact size.

According to Ms Duncan, the garbage patch can be difficult for the casual observer to recognise in places, but when water samples are examined they show that it is in fact highly polluted by plastic particles.

This is partly why this trip is so important to scientists like Emily, who went on to say: "There's a lot of oceanographic research but we need to get the empirical data."

On June 23, the team will set sail from Hawaii on their first leg, landing in Vancouver nearly a month later on July 15.

The second leg of the journey will then set off from Vancouver on July 21 and land in Seattle on July 28, and the crew will sail over 3000 nautical miles in total.

The crew is made up of scientists, students, artists, filmmakers, business women, psychologists, actors, ocean activists and sustainability professionals, and novice as well as experienced sailors.

Emily is raising funds to help her conduct her research, readers can donate by visiting: https://exeter.hubbub.net/p/exetermarine/.