Model and environmentalist, Laura Wells – along with 78 others – has made her way to Antarctica to take part in a forum with the goal of conquering climate change.
The Sydney-born Ms Wells is an international plus size model who is also a fully qualified marine biologist.
The 33-year-old was selected to be part of a science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) project launched by Homeward Bound – a year-long initiative to help boost the visibility of women in science.
Here, she speaks to FEMAIL about the voyage, and why she thinks it’s her duty to be a positive ambassador.
Model and environmental advocate Laura Wells (pictured) said being selected to take part in the Homeward Bound program was a ‘career highlight’
‘Being selected as a participant of Homeward Bound has been a career highlight,’ Ms Wells told FEMAIL.
Ms Wells’ voyage to Antarctica with a group of 80 women from 18 countries – all leaders in STEMM – closed the 12-month program with important discussions on focused on environmental solutions.
‘The optimism and knowledge among the women of Homeward Bound is extremely uplifting and encouraging and makes me hopeful for the future of our planet,’ she said.
’80 women with incredible minds all working towards a sustainable, healthy future is not only urgently needed, it is imperative to actually facilitate change.’
Ms Wells’ voyage to Antarctica with a group of 78 women from 18 countries was the culmination of a 12-month program focused on developing women working in science
The passionate environmentalist shared how venturing to the icy destination with a cohort of other equally enthusiastic and committed women was the perfect location to learn about the impact, and challenges, of climate change.
‘Antarctica is a wilderness like nothing I have ever experienced,’ she continued.
‘Seeing species normally found in Antarctica that you can’t see anywhere else is something that stays with you forever.’
Laura Wells (pictured far left with other members of her group) shared how venturing to the icy destination was the perfect location to learn about the impact of climate change
Unfortunately, the marine biologist said it’s also a place where the rapid effects of environmental changes could be most clearly seen.
Ms Wells explained how her group had visited certain locations during their journey and had witnessed first-hand how the continent was being affected.
‘Along the Peninsula, we have seen huge tabular icebergs presumably coming from the Larson B ice shelf, evident of the collapse of the shelf and an indicator of how climate change is affecting the area,’ she said.
The marine biologist said the remote continent was a place where the rapid effects of environmental changes could be most clearly seen
‘Homeward Bound has opened my eyes even wider to the need for collaboration and understanding for how to effectively communicate with those around us,’ said Ms Wells
The model-turned-environmental advocate said taking part in leadership program had boosted her skills and pushed her towards wanting to achieve even more.
‘This program is a once in a lifetime opportunity and to be part of it with other incredible women from all over the globe has given me the confidence and drive to work harder to spread my message and become a steward of the future.
‘Homeward Bound has opened my eyes even wider to the need for collaboration and understanding for how to effectively communicate with those around us.’
Ms Wells’ efforts as a model and eco-warrior has afforded her great respect
Other issues discussed by the women on-board their voyage to Antarctica included addressing why women in science aren’t paid the same or offered the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
Ms Wells’ efforts, not just as a world-renowned plus-size model and eco-warrior, has afforded her great respect among young women.
It’s a responsibility the scientist said she takes seriously and believes her presence and public visibility can make a positive contribution.
‘Just by setting an example, you can even subconsciously educate those not in your sphere of influence without the need for exchanging words,’ she said.
‘We all have the power to create a world that is equitable and just for everyone and it starts with each one of us.’