Helen A. L. Currie

Helen A. L. Currie

PhD Researcher

University of Southampton

Biography

Welcome! 👋 I’m Helen Currie (she/her), a final year PhD candidate in the International Centre for Ecohydraulics Research at the University of Southampton, UK.

My research thesis uses an interdisciplinary approach to investigate group responses of fish 🐟🐟🐟 to environmental change, e.g. noise 🔊. Results are applicable to conservation efforts to reduce the impacts of anthropogenic noise on the collective behaviour of fishes, and the development of acoustic deterrent systems. These technologies could assist in controlling range expansion of invasive species 💪, or reduce screening impingement and fish mortalities 🤕☠️ at dangerous sites (e.g. hydropower dams). My PhD is sponsored by the Natural Environment Research Council and Fishtek Consulting Ltd.

Further to my main research interests, I am also involved in a number of interdisciplinary projects, including:

  1. understanding the mechanical response of nematode infected European eel swimbladder
  2. the impacts of rapid decompression, or “barotrauma”, on neotropical ichthyofauna.

I enjoy public engagement and science communication projects, and have previously worked in science policy, taking a lead role in collating organisational responses to UK Government environmental consultations. Additionally, I am highly active in promoting and advocating for equality, diversity and inclusivity within my research institution.

🎓 Feel free to contact me should you have a collaborative project or idea you wish to discuss - or even a suitable postdoc or consultancy role (I am looking)!

Also happy to chat about:

  • 🏑 field hockey/ sport in general
  • 🎸 live music
  • 🍰 baking
  • ☕️ coffee and 🍻 good beer

Interests

  • Animal communication
  • Anthropogenic disturbance
  • Aquatic ecology and conservation
  • Predator-prey interactions
  • Behavioural development
  • Collective behaviour
  • Fisheries management
  • Science policy and environmental law

Education

  • PhD in Environmental Engineering, ongoing

    University of Southampton

  • ILTeR Introduction to Learning and Teaching for Researchers, 2018

    University of Southampton

  • MSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, 2013

    The Queen's University of Belfast

  • BSc (Hons) in Biology and Psychology, 2010

    Newcastle University

Projects

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Group response of fish to sound

Helen’s PhD project uses an interdisciplinary approach to investigate group responses of fish to acoustic stimuli.

Swimbladder mechanical response

Using tensile testing to understand the mechanical response of fish swimbladders

Barotrauma

Investigating the impacts of rapid decompression on neotropical ichthyofauna.

Public Engagement

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Green Man Festival

16th - 19th August 2018

National Parks Revisited - a literary review?

Michael Gove’s aptly timed launch of the National Parks review in late May is a step in the right direction for UK environmental commitments – but will key issues be addressed and how well will it pack a punch? Helen Currie, policy intern and PhD student at the University of Southampton discusses.

What exactly is the industrial strategy?

Despite the hot weather there was “standing room only for science” according to Chi Onwurah MP at the 30th anniversary of Parliamentary Links Day, the 10th event in this series to be opened by Speaker of the House of Commons Rt Hon John Bercow MP.

The Biologist says goodbye to plastic wrap

This week, when unwrapping your lovely new edition of The Biologist, you might notice a slight difference - the clear protective polythene wrap has been replaced with a milky, biodegradable envelope. This fully compostable biopolymer, known as Mater-Bi, is composed of natural corn starch and vegetable oils. We will no longer use polythene, which is only sporadically recycled by UK councils.

World Fish Migration Day

21st April 2018

Bournemouth Air Show

31st August - 3rd September 2017

BBC Countryfile Live

2nd - 5th August 2017

Glastonbury Festival

21st - 25th June 2017

Brighton Science Festival

11th & 12th February 2017

Featured in Nature Careers

Helen was featured in Nature Careers where she discusses showcasing her research at several UK festivals.

Raising awareness for fish

Helen coordinated two events in 2016 to promote World Fish Migration Day, and raised money for the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Salmon Appeal.

Research Communicator Award

Helen was presented a University of Southampton Roadshow Award in 2017 for her contibutions to research communication.

Towards more diversity, equity and inclusion in academia

In conjunction with co-postgraduate equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) representative Salma Sabour, Helen organised and ran a virtual EDI seminar at the University of Southampton in September 2020, with fantastic keynote speakers from the Royal Astronomical Society, Harvard University, and Imperial College London. The event was recorded and will be available as a future in-house EDI training resource.

Contact

  • (+44) 023 8059 5464
  • Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF
  • Enter Building 178 and take the lift or stairs to the Fifth Floor, Room 5037
  • Monday-Friday 08:30 to 18:00
  • DM Me