Upcoming in

Film & Discussion – “Exxpedition – Making the Unseen Seen”

Film and Discussion led by Diana Papoulias, PhD

Diana Papoulias was part of an all-women crew that sailed the Atlantic Ocean sampling for distribution and environmental impacts of plastic on our oceans. She will be screening a film about her expedition, followed with an update on the science and a discussion with the audience.

Exxpedition Crew

The crew for the Exxpedition trip. This all women crew sailed across the Atlantic Ocean measuring plastic pollution. photo courtesy Exxpedition.

Time and Place

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
7:00 pm

Les Bourgeois Vineyards Bistro
View on map

Presentation by Diana Papoulias, PhD, Fish Biologist

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

If you intend on coming early to purchase an amazing dinner at Les Bourgeois Bistro before the presentation, PLEASE call to make a reservation at: 573-698-2300 and…tell them you are with the Big Muddy Speaker Series!

Presentation is FREE and open to the public!

This is a very special Big Muddy Speaker Series.


These is an example of some of the larger pieces of microplastics sampled during their ocean trawl.
photo courtesy of Exxpedition

In 2014, Callaway County resident Diana Papoulias joined a unique expedition. An all-woman crew of scientists, artists, visionaries and sailors boarded a sailboat for a trip across the Atlantic Ocean. The goal of the project, called Exxpedition, was to sample the entire ocean voyage for microplastics suspended in the water column and quantify the impact our plastic lifestyle is having on the most remote regions of the planet – our vast oceans.

Diana was the expedition scientist on the trip, helping to design sampling protocols. As a fish biologist for the US Geological Survey Columbia Environmental Research Center (a position she recently retired from), she had studies the effects of environmental toxins on fish  in the Missouri River and other locations. She discovered a disturbing trend of intersex features in sturgeon in the Big Muddy and studied the causes of this (Find out more on this topic by checking out her Big Muddy Speaker Series talk on this topic). In other words, she was the perfect crew member for this expedition.

Diana will show a 45 minute film on the Exxpedition. She’ll then describe the results of the data they recovered from the trip, a brief review of other science being done on the effects of plastic on our environment and open up the floor for discussion.

Diana Papoulias

Diana Papoulias, PhD

Diana Papoulias, PhD, is a retired fish biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey at the Columbia Environmental Research Center. She is now involved in non-profit work in Peru and Ecuador and is a board member for Missouri River Relief.


  • 14020 W. Hwy BB, Rocheport, MO
  • Take I-70 to the Rocheport, MO, exit (Exit #115). It’s the first exit east of the Missouri River.
  • Head north toward Rocheport.
  • After about a mile, turn left at the sign for Les Bourgeois Bistro. Follow the signs to the Bistro. You will probably need to park in the lot above the Bistro and walk the trail down.
  • The presentations are held in upstairs in the restaurant. The restaurant is no longer open on Tuesdays but the bar is! You are welcome to bring your own food or snacks.

Resources and Links

Dig deeper for more info on this topic.


Organizations and Projects

The Big Muddy Speaker Series in Rocheport

is hosted by these wonderful partners.

Click here for a list of upcoming presentations»

Special thanks to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for giving us the opportunity to use their beautiful space overlooking the Missouri River. All speakers are presenting for free! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us!

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place monthly in Kansas City and St. Charles.

The Big Muddy Speaker Series is partially funded by the Columbia Ecological Services Field Office (USFWS) and the Mo. Dept. of Conservation.