Author: Helen Scales

  • Why whale poop is worth a fortune

    Did you know there may only be 3000 sperm whales alive today that are capable of making ambergris? Find out more about this rare, strange stuff with a smell that is very hard to describe, in this a short podcast I made for Chemistry World.

  • Fiji fish arrive in New York – guest post from Amy McDermott

    Following our fish collecting expedition to Fiji in July with Dr Josh Drew here’s a catch up on what’s happened to the fish, in a guest post from Amy McDermott. Amy’s about to start her masters at Columbia University but for now Josh is putting her to work in the lab. It’s a gray afternoon in…

  • Fiji fish. You catch them, then what?

    During our expedition in Fiji we caught a lot of fish to add to the collections at the American Museum of Natural History. But how did we get them there? Here’s Josh Drew explaining to me how to process the fish ready for packing up and putting on the plane. [vimeo][/vimeo]

  • Catching lionfish with my bare hands

    My recent trip to Fiji was my first time catching fish. Up until now, most of my research and work underwater has involved watching fish, writing notes on waterproof paper, sometimes filming them, but essentially coming back to land empty handed. And one of the many things I learned from Josh Drew during the expedition…

  • Fiji fish – the Drew Crew go gathering fish

    You’ll know if you’ve been browsing through Seamonster this past month or so that I’ve been in Fiji with Dr Joshua Drew and four research students from Columbia University. We’re all back home now but I still have heaps to share with you from our trip. Here’s the first of my latest batch of videos…

  • Saying goodbye to village life

    This evening we said a sad goodbye to our wonderful hosts in Nagigi village here in Fiji. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and warm to us and it honestly felt like a great privilege to spend time in their company – more on that later. But for now, since it’s already late and we have another 4am…

  • When the diving gets tough

    My plan for today in Fiji was to get up early, go out fishing with the women of Nagigi to record a piece for BBC Radio, then join the rest of the Drew Crew for diving to sample more fish. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. Last night the metal roof of the house…

  • Moving on from Savusavu

    The research team here in Fiji has been in the small town of Savusavu on Viti Levu for a few days now and we’ve all decided this is one of the most perfect spots in the world. The town lies along a tranquil stretch of water with dense mangrove forests and craggy, cloud-tipped mountains as…

  • Studying Fijian fish

    Here’s Dr Joshua Drew just up from our first dive here in Fiji talking about the science we’re doing, studying the fish diversity on the coral reefs around the village of Naigigi (prounounced Nai – ni). [youtube][/youtube] #CUinFiji

  • Fiji’s blue ocean – just to make you jealous

    Today was our first day of field work here in Fiji. We’re all exhausted from diving, interviewing, and processing fish samples. So I’m afraid all I have for you is some envy-inducing photos. (I promise to post more about the science soon!).