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Joanna Ruxton

Key Opinion Ambassador

Jo Ruxton is a passionate campaigner for the Ocean. After achieving her BSc Hons in Biological Sciences from the London University her career in conservation took off in the ‘90’s when she started the first marine programme for WWF in Hong Kong, where she lived for 14 years. During that time, she was a key advocate for the establishment of the first marine protected areas there.

She was a lead member of the BBC Natural History Unit’s diving team for many years and has been producing and directing underwater sequences since the first days of filming on the award-winning Blue Planet series in 1997. During her 12 years at the BBC she was involved in numerous underwater films from Antarctica to the pristine reefs of the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean for the BBC and the Discovery Channel.

Recognising the need to increase the conservation messages in the BBC films she worked on, Jo decided to leave to work independently. When she started to hear about the devastating problem of plastic waste in the ocean, she knew she had to tell the story of the ocean as it really was, and not how the beautiful wildlife documentaries portrayed it to be. She began to raise the funds needed to make the film, A Plastic Ocean and it took 2 years just to get the filming started. The more she learned about the subject the more determined she was to tell the story as research was revealing a much bigger problem than she had ever imagined. It was 8 years before her multi-award-winning film, A Plastic Ocean, was finally released in 2017 in more than 70 countries and in 15 languages.

Jo is the Founder of Ocean Generation (UK registered Charity No. 1139843 (formerly Plastic Oceans). Ocean Generation exists to restore a healthy relationship between humanity and the our Ocean, by tackling ocean threats through science and storytelling. Their youth engagement programes are empowering young people to fall in love with our Ocean and to find their own unique way to safeguard it in their daily lives and throughout their careers. 

Jo is an experienced and engaging speaker who has addressed audiences from schools to corporations, in parliaments and government establishments and to audiences throughout the world after screenings of her film. She was invited to at COP 26 in Glasgow and during the G7 summit in Cornwall and has been involved in several brand ambassador and influencer campaigns with companies including Longchamp and Guess.

Awards and accolades
Jo was awarded the MBE for Services to Marine Conservation in the Queen’s 2022 New Year’s Honours.

Featured in the 2018 Sunday Times, ‘Alternative Rich List’ – celebrating people who are rich in different ways.

Winner 2018 Daily Telegraph ‘Pioneering Woman of the Year’
Jo was listed by British Airways as one of the ‘100 Modern Britons who helped shape our country’ in celebration of their 100-year anniversary in 2019. Copy and paste this link to watch here:

Jo lives in Cornwall close to her daughters and granddaughters and when not diving on location she enjoys cold-water sea swimming, whatever the season.

Jo Ruxton LinkedIn
Ocean Generation Instagram
Ocean Generation website