Dr. Adriana Marais, award-winning theoretical physicist, Mars One astronaut candidate and founder of Proudly Human, will head the “Off-World” simulation experiment, bringing her research expertise to the project and guiding the crew through the nine-month journey.
Dr. Marais is an internationally renowned speaker on exploration-driven innovation, director at the Foundation for Space Development, faculty at Singularity University & Duke Corporate Education and a member of the South African government advisory task team on the 4th Industrial Revolution.
head of engineering
Akshay Nayak is a mechanical engineer with a masters in technology management and is currently Technology and Customer Relations Manager at Securonix. With his expertise in areas from engineering design to cybersecurity, he will drive and oversee the Off-World Tech Hub and its relationship with a range of technology partners, and manage the range of technologies in Antarctica for ARC’s sustainability, from life support to communication.
head of communications
Carla Sharpe has an executive MBA from the International Space University in France and is currently working on her PhD in Economics and Space Studies at the University of Cape Town. She is passionate about space and her motivation is to positively impact lives in Africa through space technology. She is a founder of the South African Space Association and the Foundation for Space Development and currently serves on the Management team of both, as well as Women in Aerospace Africa. Carla is the African Programme Manager for the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, that is driving Africa’s largest Science undertaking, the Square Kilometre Array Telescope (ska.ac.za).
Founder & President - Biosphere Foundation
Chief Operations Officer & Captain of sailing vessel Mir - Biosphere Foundation
Chief Financial Officer & Director of Agriculture & Forestry - Biosphere Foundation
CEO of White Desert Antarctica
Having been part of the youngest and fastest team to ever reach the South Pole in 2002, Patrick went on to lead the first ever East to West traverse of Antarctica, covering 1850km in a total of 75 days.
Outside of the Polar World, he has been on many successful expeditions, summiting unclimbed mountains in Tibet and Kyrgyzstan, kayaking down uncharted rivers in the Amazon and being part of the team to set the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. In 2015 he broke the record for the fastest traverse of Greenland.
Find out more about White Desert here.
Multidisciplinary scientist in the field of Astrobiology
Psychiatrist and mindfulness meditation teacher
Dr. Jonathan Starke is a psychiatrist and mindfulness meditation teacher with a master’s degree looking at the effects of stress on health, and a special interest in the clinical applications of mindfulness in mental healthcare, health professional wellness and burnout-prevention.
Before becoming a psychiatrist, he worked in emergency, remote site and expedition medicine. From 2004 – 2006 he was the over-wintering team leader and doctor for the 44th South African National Antarctic Expedition, and later provided medical support to research teams on the SA Agulhas vessel, Marion Island and Gough Island until 2009. He has also worked for MSF in Pakistan, as well as surviving for 30 days on an uninhabited island in the Andaman sea with only what he could fit in a 5-litre dry bag. He has an ongoing interest in supporting teams working in extreme settings.
Go Trolley Films - Production
Joanna Higgs, a skilled filmmaker, narrator and communicator, internationally award-winning documentary director/producer and potential PhD candidate has been a journalist, editor, producer and director for both local and international television networks. She started Go Trolley Films in 2007 and working with the ethos that ‘anything is possible’, the team has grown into a family of talented, committed professionals.
Jo is a specialist in media for development on the African continent with particular skills working in Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation. Go Trolley Films is profoundly proud to be the production partner for Proudly Human and the ‘Off-World’ series.