Helen is a Fellow of the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies at the University of Exeter, where she gained her PhD. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a trustee of the ss Great Britain. She has published extensively on 19th century sail, women in the maritime world, and in 2015, in a departure from her usual maritime theme, published a well received biography of a WW2 fighter ace. She is currently working on a series of books on Isambard Brunel's shipping ventures. Her lecturing experience is wide and she is a speaker onboard all three Cunard ships. She has appeared on radio and television, and is a regular maritime expert for programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are? She is based in Cornwall.