Alumni & Supporters

Dr Helen Scales

Dr Helen Scales

British marine biologist, broadcaster and writer (Msc Tropical Coastal Managament 2000)

Dr Helen Scales is a British marine biologist, broadcaster and writer. She studied for a Masters in Tropical Coastal Management at Newcastle University and later went on to gain her PhD from Cambridge University.

For 10 years she worked as a marine science consultant specialising in protecting fragile marine habitats and controlling the international trade in endangered species, with various conservation organisations in the UK and overseas. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Science and the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

Among her books, Spirals in Time explores seashells and the animals that make them (published in 2015 by Bloomsbury Sigma). It was chosen as a Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4, book of the year by the Times, the Guardian, the Economist and Nature and short-listed for the Royal Society of Biology’s book award.

Topics of her other books include seahorses, octopuses, coral reefs and the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. Helen also writes regularly for BBC Focus and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

A familiar voice for the oceans, she’s pondered the wonders of the deep sea with Robin Ince and Brian Cox on BBC Radio 4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage and donated an imaginary tank of seahorses to The Museum of Curiosity. Her BBC radio documentaries include The Life Subaquatic exploring the dream of living underwater and Making Waves when she went in search of the perfect wave.

In December 2016 she appeared on the annual Christmas edition of University Challenge, alongside her fellow Newcastle Alumni musician Wilko Johnson, poetry publisher Neil Astley and TV presenter Charlie Webster.

Dr Helen Scales headshot