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I chat argonauts, deep coral reefs and Jacques Cousteau’s films with Robin Ince and Brian Cox. Listen again online or download the pocast.

Limpet teeth University of Portsmouth

Move over spider silk, there’s a new tough material in town: limpet teeth. For Chemistry World, I give the low down on goethite, the stuff that makes limpet teeth the strongest known biological material.

Helen Scales and fish copy

I was in Florida Keys recently making a documentary for BBC Radio 4 and got to visit the amazing Aquarius Reef Base (the world’s only underwater research station).

A few clips from BBC Radio 4 and World Service programmes I’ve been on as a studio guest and reporting from around the world.


Naked Oceans finale

It’s the last day of 2012 and I’ve just finished making the last episode of the Naked Oceans podcast. In it, I catch up with a bunch of the folks who’ve appeared on the show over the last two series, and chat with them about the future of the oceans. This whole Naked Oceans thing …

sulcata tortoise helen scales

Tortoises on the radio

Tortoises are not well known for being noisy. They are in fact pretty much silent creatures and perhaps not great on radio. But I still managed to catch them making sounds on tape for my latest BBC broadcast, on Radio 4’s Saving Species this week. Listen here to a clip from the programme. During my trip …

home planet pic

Home Planet BBC Radio 4

For six years I was an oceans expert on the BBC Radio 4 series Home Planet. It was a huge pleasure to join my colleagues on air, including most weeks Philip Stott, to answer listeners questions about science and the environment. Here are a few of my favourite questions: If squeezing gases makes them hot, …


Cold feet & dwarf seahorses

You can hear me this week on BBC Radio 4’s Saving Species meeting some of the teeniest members of the syngnathid family. I went to Tampa Bay in Florida and did a spot of seahorse hunting with the wonderful Professor Heather Mason-Jones. Assisted by a gang of keen students (all of them ladies – go girls) …

seahorse playground ride by elston

Museum of Curiosity

And so I make my debut on comedy radio which came as something of a surprise, I can tell you. Well… not by the time this week’s episode of The Museum of Curiosity hit the airways but a few months back when I got an unexpected email asking if I’d fancy being on the show …

fish cake

How to make a podcast

Can it really be a year since I started making podcasts about the sea? 12 months have flown by in a blur of chatting with amazing ocean experts, getting to grips with microphones, recorders, editing software, and websites, and having a lot of fun talking oceans alongside the lovely Sarah Castor-Perry. We’ve just put the …


Introducing Naked Oceans

For several years now I’ve been regular co-presenter on the Naked Scientists – a fun, live science show broadcast from Cambridge University. And if any of you have ever listened in, you’ll know that I tend to talk about the oceans, a lot. Well, now I’m getting the chance to talk about nothing else, in …