UniSA scientist sets sail for Antarctica on global leadership expedition

Antarctica_500x500.jpgUniSA environmental scientist Professor Erica Donner has set sail for Antarctica with 67 other female scientists from around the world, all committed to a sustainable future for our planet.

Prof Donner boarded The Ushuaia in Argentina in early November for the 19-day voyage, joining STEMM women from 18 countries in a global leadership initiative created by Homeward Bound, an organisation that funds women on Antarctic expeditions.

Homeward Bound has been leading female-only STEMM expeditions to Antarctica since 2016, focused on building leadership skills and undertaking research to protect one of the most fragile ecosystems on Earth.

Prof Donner is a research scientist specialising in environmental risk assessment and risk management. She focuses primarily on chemical and microbial pollutants, soil and water quality, and wastewater treatment and reuse.

In 2022 she was announced as the project leader for CRC SAAFE: a $149-million, 70-partner research centre tasked with tackling antimicrobial resistance, one of the biggest health challenges facing the world.

Professor Erica Donner_500x500.jpg
Professor Erica Donner

In Antarctica, Prof Donner will observe firsthand the impact of humans on the rare and remote environment and the global-scale changes required to ensure its future.

“The sustainability of our planet is in crisis and so is the state of leadership in our world,” Homeward Bound founders say. “We aim to address both these global issues through the Antarctic expeditions.”

Founded in 2106, Homeward Bound was literally a dream of Australian leadership expert Fabian Dattner, who believed the world needed a program to unlock the leadership potential of outstanding women in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical fields (STEMM).

“The aim of Homeward Bound has always been to identify and foster outstanding leadership potential in STEMM,” Dattner says. “All the outstanding women selected for this Antarctic expedition have the potential to lead, influence, and contribute to decisions about the future of our planet.”

Prof Donner is the only scientist from South Australia selected for the 2023 Antarctic voyage.

The expedition is due to return on 22 November.

/UniSA Release. View in full here.