Explorer, National Geographic

Justine Ammendolia is a marine biologist, plastic pollution researcher and science communicator based out of Toronto, Canada. In 2014, she was awarded the National Geographic Young Explorer Grant to travel to Eastern Greenland to research Arctic seabirds and lived off-grid for 6 weeks. During this time, she fostered a deep passion for protecting the corners of our planet and their unique ecosystems, particularly those in our Northern environments. For the past few years while living in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Justine helped develop the Placentia Bay Ocean Debris Survey, a research team focused on monitoring plastic pollution on the coastlines of Newfoundland. Using a combination of citizen science methods and working with locals, her work aimed to better understand the presence and movement of plastics in coastal waters. Justine is also passionate about sharing her knowledge and experiences in STEM with younger audiences and has keynoted a number of youth leadership events. Through her research and communication, Justine aims to inspire others to care about protecting our aquatic environments.