Helena Symonds is Co-Director of the orca research station OrcaLab on Hanson Island in British Columbia, Canada, and a director of the non-profit Pacific Orca Society.
Helena’s special interests are in orca acoustics, social aspects of orca behavior, and impacts of human activities on orcas and their habitat. With her husband Paul Spong, she has been developing OrcaLab since 1979.
Helena is largely responsible for the “assistant” program which has brought more than 200 international volunteers to OrcaLab since 1983.
With Japanese and Canadian partners, Helena and Paul have brought the everyday life of orcas to the world via the web sites Orca-Live and Explore. Together, they are involved in numerous quality-of-life issues that affect orcas and other whales and marine wildlife, including commercial whaling, captivity (especially the Free Corky campaign) whale watching and critical habitat.
Helena has a B.A. degree in Theater and a Teaching Certificate from the University of British Columbia.