Predator Ecologist

Helen’s role is to strengthen the strategic direction of ZIP’s operations by providing scientific advice, and designing and undertaking research in animal behaviour and the application of new technology.

Since doing a school project on kākāpō at the age of 9 years, Helen has been committed to the cause of protecting Aotearoa’s taonga species. Her lifelong interest in conservation later developed into a fascination for the ecology and behaviour of the mammalian predators responsible for so much biodiversity loss.

Helen gained her PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland in 2016. Her thesis focused on quantifying and identifying trends in ship rat encounters and interactions with traps and detection devices. She now enjoys applying her skills and research interests on a large scale through her work with ZIP.

In her spare time, Helen can be found at her local park or swimming pool with her young daughter, with a flat white and cheese scone close to hand.