Helen Scales is a science presenter and writer who true to her name specialises in the underwater realm and all things fishy. An explorer, scuba diver and free diver, Helen travels the world in pursuit of ocean wonders. She has searched for endangered fish in Borneo, lived for a year on a tiny Indian Ocean island, and tagged sharks in the Pacific Ocean. Helen has a zoology PhD from Cambridge and can be heard as a science and environment presenter on BBC Radio. For her BBC World Service documentary Inside the Shark’s Mind, Helen explored the science behind shark attacks and went swimming with some very big sharks. For Radio 4’s The Life Sub-Aquatic Helen explored the human obsession with inhabiting the depths and meets aquanauts who want to go down and stay down. She has also contributed to BBC2’s World’s Weirdest Events where she discussed the very strange living arrangements of a Pearl fish and a Sea Cucumber. Away from TV and Radio she is a member of the award-winning science communication collective, the Naked Scientists, and also appears on stage talking about everything from seahorse sex to why Antarctic cod don’t freeze.


Her first book was about the remarkable lives of seahorses: Poseidon’s Steed: the Story of Seahorses from Myth to Reality, and was published by Penguin US in 2009 and her second book Spirals in Time: the Secret Life and Curious after life of Seashells was realised in May 2015 by Bloomsbury.

November 2017, Helen published her third book: 11 Explorations into Life on Earth, with a foreword written by none other than Sir David Attenborough. Each chapter features one of the Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures, past and present, that explores the wonders of the living world. In May 2018 Helen also published her fourth book, Eye of the Shoal: A Fish-watcher’s Guide to Life, the Ocean and Everything, a follow-up to Spirals in Time.