Lauren is a marine conservationist with a degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology from Plymouth University; she’s also a PADI dive master. Lauren has over 10 years experience working in one of the marine sciences growth areas – the impact of plastic pollution and beach litter on our oceans and coasts, She currently leads a citizen science marine project involving thousands of people, inspiring them to understand one of the biggest environmental threats facing the planet today – plastic.
Lauren has appeared on BBC Coast, Blue Peter, Newsround, Springwatch, BBC Breakfast, Countryfile and numerous local and national radio stations talking confidently about the impacts of plastic pollution on wildlife and people, mass strandings of starfish and sea temperature effects on White Beaked dolphin distribution off the Dorset coastline, among others. Lauren can turn complicated data analysis into easy to understand statistics for a wide audience.
Lauren has been a contributing ‘voice’ for the film ‘Between the Tides’, dedicated to the shores of North Devon – a place close to her heart and where she spent much time surfing, working in a professional capacity alongside fishermen recording cetacean echolocation for presence and distribution, and where she got married on the beach! She is passionate about the importance of cleaning the coastline and regularly talks to groups of almost 200 beach cleaners about the importance of being a volunteer – in the most challenging of locations: the beach.
Lauren has always had an affinity with the ocean – age seven she told her grandma she wanted to become a marine biologist – that she wouldn’t have much money, she said, but she would have a good life!
This early fascination involved regularly exploring the coasts of the UK, often rockpooling with her family on trips to the sea. Lauren’s childhood reflected what was to become a career when she took part in a litter and water quality project when she was just five years old. Her Dad signed the family up to survey a few stretches of beach in Wales and Somerset, sparked by studying Geology and Oceanography at that time. Now, 30 years later, it’s come full circle and Lauren regularly takes her three year old son on beach clean events as part of her passion and profession.
Born in Australia, but moved to the UK when she was six months old, Lauren has travelled the world for work and pleasure but always for marine conservation. Canada, America, Europe, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Africa and, whilst on honeymoon, to Borneo, exploring one of the best places to dive in the world, Sipadan. Professionally, she’s attended conferences and meetings across Europe and America, presenting her expert knowledge on beach clean surveys and marine litter to a global audience.
Off the back of this, Lauren has since been invited by Keep Norway Beautiful to be part of their program committee for a conference planned in 2019 with a focus on clean ups and National and International questions.
She travelled back to Australia in 2016, with her husband and two year old son to spend a sabbatical working for the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
Lauren says: “I have witnessed the rising tide of plastic pollution first hand both here in the UK and overseas. Managing the Marine Conservation Society’s Beachwatch programme has allowed me to speak to millions of people via the media and help more people than ever understand the damage we are doing to our planet and how we can all do something about it by working together. By talking to people, particularly children and teenagers in a language they understand, we can make dry data really accessible and relevant.”
Lauren is a keen surfer and diver and travels to the coast regularly from her home in South Wales. Lauren, also known as Lozza, is the butt of constant jokes about how cold she gets! She’s like a marine iguana!