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Meet the crew: Peter Puskic

Meet the crew!🙋‍♂️

Today we introduce Dr. Peter Puskic, who will be sailing with EUROPA from Talcahuano to Easter Island! Next to visiting the world’s most remote beautiful places, we focus on taking care of the environments we visit and adding to research where we can!

Q: What is your name, where are you from, and how old are you?
A: Dr Peter Puskic | Tasmania, Australia | 27

Q: What initially sparked your interest in your field?
A: I studied Zoology and Archaeology in undergraduate, with a particular focus on ancient civilization and early human evolution. This undergraduate may have been an unlikely pairing, though, during my master’s and PhD I began to focus on marine biology and pollution, with a specific focus on plastics. Plastics can be viewed as our “future fossils”, the stuff that we will leave behind.
My PhD explored the impacts of plastic ingestion on seabird health and worked with local island communities and indigenous seabird harvesters to answer many big questions around plastic pollution sources, impacts, and fate.

Q: What do you hope to achieve with your research during this voyage?
A: This voyage is particularly exciting as we may pass through the South Pacific Garbage Patch. It is a region of the ocean that we expect to see higher plastic concentrations due to ocean currents and wind conditions. This is an understudied part of the ocean so we will be exploring this region for the first time and hope the data can support our ocean plastic models.

Q: Can you tell us more about your upcoming project on board?
A: We will be deploying “Manta Trawls” to look at microplastics and plankton densities as we cross the South Pacific Ocean Gyre. We will hopefully get to survey for larger plastics, marine mammals, and seabirds too. And all of this will help us to understand the sources, sinks, and potential impacts of plastics in this region of the world.

Q: Why did you choose to conduct your research aboard Bark EUROPA?
A: Sailing is both a fun and sustainable way to travel across the vast ocean. I am excited to learn more about this iconic ship, and to have the opportunity to share knowledge with crew and passengers.

Q: What specific aspects of the voyage are you most eager to explore?
A: I am particularly exciting to cross the south pacific garbage patch to confirm our estimated plastic densities in this region. I love seabirds and have a PhD studying their physiology, so I am hopeful that we will see some amazing seabirds this time of year and I can share my knowledge with guest on board. I am also excited to spend some time at our final destination – Rapa Nui/Easter Island – to explore and learn about the rich cultural and archaeological history of the island.

Q: Have you ever been on a research expedition at sea before? If so, how do you think this experience will be different?
A: I have crossed the Atlantic and worked on research vessels in the Southern Ocean. Typically, marine research is done aboard large research vessels. While this is great fun and very important work there is something much more romantic about conducting research abroad a sailing boat. I am excited to be better connected with the ocean, relying on wind and weather to carry us, and to share the experience, the knowledge, and the science with guests on board.

Q: What's one surprising fact you've learned about the ocean or the creatures that call it home?
A: I have so many bird facts but I’ll save those for the folks aboard 😉

Q: If you could choose any marine animal to encounter on this trip, which would it be and why?
A: As much as I love seeing whales and feeling small in their presence, I am excited to see which critters we will find in our plankton trawls. It’s a weird and wild world at the sea surface, think jellyfish, and blue copepods, and blue dragon sea slugs!

Q: Beyond research, what are you most looking forward to experiencing on this adventure?
A: I am excited to learn to sail a ship like the Bark Europa! It looks like a lot of fun and a lot of work.

Q: What do you do when you are not on the ship?
A: I am a lover of the sea and am a keen surfer, swimmer, and birdwatcher.

Q: Is there anything else you haven't mentioned now and would like to share?
A: I am currently learning Dutch. Bark Europa is a Dutch vessel. Maybe we can learn together!

🇨🇱 24/4 Embarkation Talcahuano, Chile 17:00 H
🗿16/5 Disembarkation Hanga Roa, Rapa Nui 09:00 H

Will you join Peter on this great adventure from Talcahuano to Rapa Nui? We have a special promo available for last minute adventurers! Send us an email at for more information!

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