18 Mar 2024

The Marine Biologist Podcast: Inspiring women crossing an ocean for the ocean

We are joined in this episode by Noelle Helder, marine ecologist, and member of the four-woman Salty Science rowing team that crossed the Atlantic to make a positive contribution to inclusivity in marine science.

The Marine Biologist Podcast brings you conversations about marine life with leading marine biologists whose work featured in the latest edition of the magazine. If you are fascinated by the sea and its inhabitants and want to go deeper, this is the podcast for you.


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Representing three generations of marine scientists, Isabelle Côté, Chantale Begin, Lauren Shea, and Noelle rowed 3,000 miles across the Atlantic in an 8.5 m boat. Noelle describes how she and the team prepared for this epic of endurance, kept their morale high, and worked as a team under the most extreme conditions. They not only won the women's division and came 7th out of 37 boats that finished the race. 
On the way they endured days of 20-foot waves, encountered sharks, tuna, and flying fish, and tried not to think about the consequences of a marlin strike.

Noelle’s description of the sometimes hair-raising journey is refreshingly deadpan – perhaps unsurprising for a self-confessed lover of ‘type II fun’. But beyond testing themselves in the open ocean, the reason the team took on the challenge was to raise support for marine conservation education, and support access for less privileged people to enter careers in marine science. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as Lize and I did.