Helen Bostock

Learn about the Kermadecs

A chance to follow in Sir Peter Blake’s footsteps on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to one of the planet’s most unique and special places

Helen Bostock joins the Young Blake Expedition to the Kermadecs as part of the expert crew chosen by the Pew Environment Group. 

Helen has been working as a marine geologist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Science (NIWA) for the last 5 years. She says,

I probably became a geologist because my dad used to drag me on field trips as a teenager and I also loved the outdoors (tramping, skiing, rock climbing, mountaineering) as a child. As a kid we always lived by the sea and spent a lot of time swimming, snorkelling and kayaking. I also wanted to be a great explorer

Helen Bostock

Helen realised, after she undertook geological mapping expeditions to Chile and Greenland during her undergraduate degree, that the last place on earth that hadn't been explored yet were the oceans. 

As a scientist Helen's main interests are in the interaction between the oceans and the climate. She describes herself as a geochemist - a mix between a geologist and a chemist. She uses the chemistry of the water and the organisms that used to live in the ocean in the past to interpret changes in the climate over 100s to 1000s of years. Her specific interest is in ocean acidification - the changing pH of the oceans due to the uptake of CO2, and how this might affect the organisms that have shells. She has been on 5 scientific voyages in the last 9 years, leading one of them to the Southern Ocean, south of New Zealand. She has had several postgraduate students participate on these voyages in the last few years and enjoys teaching and learning. 

She still loves the outdoors and regularly get out into the New Zealand bush and mountains to go tramping, mountain biking and skiing, often with kids to do their Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. She is a girl guide ranger leader and a qualified life guard, so spent half her weekends during summer at the beach. She is also a keen gardener and loves to grow things to cook and eat. 

Helen has a BA in Natural Sciences from Jesus College, University of Cambridge, followed by an MSc in Geology from University of Cambridge and a PhD in Earth and Marine Sciences from The Australian National University in Canberra. She has been working at NIWA for the last 5 and half years since finished her PhD.


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