About the speakers


Dr. Ansje Löhr (Environmental Sciences, Open Universiteit)

Ansje is Associate Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences of Open Universiteit (the Netherlands) and visiting lecturer at the Soegijapranata Catholic University. She holds a Master’s degree in Marine Biology (University of Groningen, NL) and a PhD degree in Ecotoxicology (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL). Her teaching and research activities have a strong focus on plastic pollution and marine litter. Since 2014 she works in close cooperation with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Partnership on Plastic pollution and Marine Litter (GPML) as project leader of capacity development activities such as the Massive Open Online Course on Plastic pollution and Marine litter and the Community of Practice on Capacity Development. In the Resilient Indonesian Slums Envisioned (RISE) project (NWO - RISTEK-BRIN), led by Radboud University and Universitas Indonesia, she leads the Knowledge Sharing and Capacity Building work package together with Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial (HIVOS).

Carla Friedrich MSc (Source to Sea Pollution Unit, UNEP)

Carla works currently as Programme Management Officer for Plastic and Marine Litter Pollution at UNEP’s Source to Sea Pollution Unit. Before she has coordinated the UNEP North America Office’s work on ecosystems and on chemicals and waste, and worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water. Carla has two Master’s degrees, the first in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, and the second in International Health from the Charité Medical School of Humboldt University and Free University in Berlin, Germany.


Dr. Thomas Maes (Waste & Marine Litter Programme, GRID-Arendal)

About Thomas Maes, Senior Scientist (Consultant)





Prof. Steve Fletcher (Global Plastics Policy Centre, University of Portsmouth)

Steve is the Director of the University of Portsmouth’s Revolution Plastics Institute and founder of the Global Plastics Policy Centre. He is a member of the UN International Resource Panel and has advised the World Bank, G20, and UN Environment Programme on plastic policy matters. He is Editor-in-Chief of Cambridge Prisms: Plastics, the first journal focusing on interdisciplinary tackling the global plastics crisis. He has produced over 120 publications and reports and is amongst the top 2% of researchers worldwide by citations.


Dr. Jean Hugé (Environmental Sciences, Open Universiteit)

Jean Hugé is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences of Open Universiteit (the Netherlands), and a Visiting Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB ) and at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB ) in Belgium. He holds a MSc in BioScience Engineering, a MSc in Development Studies (both at Ghent University, Belgium) and a PhD in Sciences (VUB & ULB, Belgium). His research focuses on biodiversity conservation, conservation social science, impact assessment, human-wildlife conflicts and collaborative environmental management in the Global South.