About us

Homeward Bound

In February 2018, UK-based Maddie Brasier, Hannah Laeverenz Schlogelhofer and Cathy Sorbara will embark on the largest ever female expedition to Antarctica as part of a groundbreaking leadership initiative for women in STEMM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Medicine) known as Homeward Bound. It aims to heighten the leadership capability of women to enhance their influence and impact on policy and decision-making as it shapes our planet.

Homeward Bound’s strategic ambitions are three-fold:

  1. “Every woman participating must be able to lead more effectively as a result.”
  2. “Every woman participating understands we are stronger together.”
  3. “Homeward Bound has an impact on our world.”

As part of this phenomenal opportunity, each woman must raise over $16,000 USD to cover the costs of the voyage and leadership programme. Full details of the cost breakdown can be found here.

To help fund this journey, we invite you to take part in ‘An Evening of Empowering Women’ and create a stronger network that can follow Homeward Bound’s ambitions.

Maddie Brasier

PhD Student, University of Liverpool and Natural History Museum

Maddie Brasier is a PhD student at the University of Liverpool and Natural History Museum, London. Her PhD research combines DNA barcoding, modelling and stable isotope analysis to further our understanding of the diversity, biogeography and trophic traits of Antarctic Polychaetes. She has collaborated with British Antarctic Survey and the US Antarctic Program on expeditions and research projects. She is passionate about science communication; regularly organising and delivering outreach events as a STEM Ambassador and with the UK Polar Network. After her PhD Maddie wishes to remain in polar science and is really excited to go south with Homeward Bound!

Hannah Laeverenz Schlogelhofer

PhD student, University of Cambridge

hannah in the lab-5.jpg

Hannah loves the outdoors and enjoys trekking, ski-mountaineering, yoga and contemporary dance. She studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge, specialising in Chemistry. She then continued at Cambridge joining the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Doctoral Training Programme. Hannah is now a PhD student working in the Physics and Plant Sciences Departments at Cambridge and is a Scholar of the Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability. Her research is in the field of microbial ecology and focuses on the mutualistic nutrient exchange between algae and bacteria.


Catherine Sorbara

Chief Operations Officer of the Cheeky Scientist Association and Chair of Cambridge AWiSE


Cathy completed her PhD in 2014 at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Her dissertation focussed on the molecular mechanisms which lead to axon degeneration in Multiple Sclerosis. She has since shifted gears to help academics find their own passion.  She currently resides in Cambridge UK where she is the Chief Operations Officer of Cheeky Scientist, a training platform for academics who want to transition into industry. She also cares about strengthening the voice of women in science and is Chair of Cambridge AWiSE, a regional network for women in science, engineering and technology in both industry and academia.



Why Women?

  • Evidence shows that women typically lead with more compassion and empathy and their negotiation style is more open and inclusive. This is in line with modern ideas of transformative leadership.
  • In developing nations, having women at the table impacts how policy resources are spent — either through gender budgeting efforts or simply, such as in the case of climate change, showing how women in the developing world experience issues differently from  men.
  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has noted, “Women typically invest a higher proportion of their earnings in their families and communities than men.” USAID, meanwhile, says that when “10% more girls go to school, a country’s GDP increases on average by 3%,” adding that when women have the same amount of land as men, “there is over 10% increase in crop yields.”


Why Antarctica?

  • Regions of Antarctica are currently showing amongst the fastest responses to climate change seen anywhere on the planet
  • The study of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and their roles in the climate system, provides critical insights into global-scale change, and the influence of human activities on environmental change
  • The continent is iconic as a wild, beautiful and unique environment that has captured the imagination of many leaders in the past
  • By taking this journey together we envision the experience will create strong bonds, inspire action and lead to extraordinary collaborations between the women