• B.S. University of California Los Angeles, 1985
  • Ph.D. Zoology, University of Washington, 1991

Scholarly and Creative Interests

Helen’s research interests focus on the reproductive biology of marine organisms, and she has studied parental behavior in worms, mating systems in mouth brooding in fishes, and the evolution of self-fertilization in hermaphroditic invertebrates. While she mainly identifies herself as a teacher at COA, she also enjoys including students in her research activities.

More Information about my Courses

Helen teaches a variety of biology courses at COA, most of which involve a significant field or lab component. Her formal training as an invertebrate zoologist has lead her to develop courses that take her and her students wherever invertebrates are found, including local rivers, Maine’s rocky intertidal shores, and Caribbean coral reefs. She also teaches a course in bio mechanics, where students explore how the laws of physics have played a role the evolution of living organisms. 

Helen also has strong interests in teacher education and spends part of every summer involved in courses and workshops aimed at K-12 teachers as well as COA students who are pursuing a teaching credential.


She is currently working with COA students on a project studying the reproductive biology of a large, local sea cucumber species that is the target of an emergent fishery. She is also involved in writing papers with COA students on research projects on cleaning behavior in tropical reef fishes and on the evolution of egg size in fishes.

In addition to publishing in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, Helen also occasionally writes science articles for popular magazines.