Dr Helen Brooks

Senior Specialist at Environment Agency (England)

Senior Specialist, Environment Agency (England)

Helen Brooks is a Senior Specialist in the Chief Scientist’s Group at the Environment Agency. At present, Helen is scoping and managing research projects on a wide variety of topics surrounding the transition to net zero and the environmental impacts associated with this social, economic and technological shift. A key aim of these projects is to help ensure that the Environment Agency has the underpinning evidence required to fulfil its regulatory role.

Before working at the Environment Agency, Helen was a research associate at the National Green Infrastructure, Newcastle University. This role was affiliated with the ACHILLES research programme (The ACHILLES Programme Grant | Achilles | Newcastle University (ncl.ac.uk)) and focused on understanding how and why linear embankments (e.g. for road/rail networks, or for flood protection) deteriorate over time.

Helen also previously held a postdoctoral researcher and research fellow positions at Trinity College Dublin. Helen completed her PhD in the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. Her research focused on sediment properties on salt marshes, and how variation in these properties relate to the resistance of salt marshes to erosion. This is particularly important, as salt marshes are declining rapidly on a regional and global scale. However in many locations they provide a 'natural' coastal flood defence.

Helen was an NERC funded intern at CSaP in 2018 (March - July). Helen worked on several projects in conjunction with Local Authorities, the Civil Service and Non-Governmental Organisations. Project topics included Urban Green Spaces, Goalposts for the UK Life Sciences sector, Consent and Medical Imaging. Wrote technical and professional reports, contacted and effectively liaised with clients, took minutes and contributed to meetings, and synthesised and critically evaluated technical reports. Organised a round table policy event on the effective use of small urban green spaces, attended by local authority policymakers, civil servants, and organisations/think-tanks.

Before undertaking her PhD, Helen completed an Integrated Masters in Physical Geography at Durham University.