Ms. Anika Ballent
Education Coordinator, Algalita Marine Research and Education


Ms. Anika Ballent dove into the underwater world of plastic in 2010 when she was in her second year studying Earth and Space Sciences at Jacobs University in Bremen Germany. Actually, it was Algalita’s website where she first read about and saw images of the serious but then little known problem of marine plastic pollution. In 2012, after completing a Bachelors thesis in which she researched the transport properties of pre-production pellets in a submarine canyon environment, she returned to her hometown, Long Beach CA, and joined the team of Algalita scientist and educators.

During her time at Algalita she has developed her new found passion. She has been involved with organizing events such as the Plastic Ocean Pollution International Youth Summit, she has tabled many events for youth and locals alike such as the Children’s Water Day Festival in Irvine and various clean-up events. Developing hands-on education materials and inspiring care for the planet by teaching about plastic pollution at middle schools and high schools across Southern California have been some of the highlights of her experience at Algalita. She has also been a part of the research team, processing gyre samples and sampling plastics and fish from the Alguita with Captain Moore and Dave Selvam.

Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s of Geology at the University of Western Ontario in Canada where she is investigating microplastic pollution in the sediments of the Great Lakes. Anika sees a future in which plastic pollution is absent from our planet’s beautiful ecosystems and she takes each day as an opportunity to contribute to the plastic pollution solution, one which will require teamwork, understanding, innovation, patience, optimism and dedication from all of us involved.