I am a marine conservationist and ocean educator, who draws upon perspectives, whether through spying on whales from space or exploring the human lens, to foster a collective connection to our oceans through science communication.

I am a PhD Researcher, studying cetacean mass strandings and ocean health from space, with SENSE Earth Observation CDT, based at the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Edinburgh. I am working to develop satellite imagery as a tool for long term stranding monitoring programmes in remote areas around the world.

I completed a BSc in Geography at Aberystwyth University with a four month placement at the University Centre in Svalbard, it was here where my passion for the Polar Regions grew. In recent years, I stuck with the cold theme and delivered whole team support for the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT). It was however, after a placement with Oceanswell, and seeing the power of commitment in realising a dream, that I gained the courage to commit to realising my own childhood dream of studying cetaceans. Alongside my role with UKAHT, I have spent the last three years volunteering and interning with the British Antarctic Survey ‘Whales from Space’ team, including an ongoing WWF project focused on the wintering whales of the Western Antarctic Peninsula.

In my dedication to share the stories about the oceans around us, their value and vulnerability, I am Lead Producer of the European Commission, EU4Ocean podcast ‘If Oceans Could Speak’. Our premiere series focuses on the Arctic. Representation matters and by sharing diverse individual connections with the Arctic Ocean, we hope to raise awareness for and inspire positive action towards ocean and environmental stewardship.

If you would like to learn more about my work or to get involved in ‘If Oceans Could Speak’ as a guest or as part of the team, then please get in touch:


BAS ProfilePenny Clarke, Author at British Antarctic Survey (bas.ac.uk)


If Oceans Could SpeakIf Oceans Could Speak (buzzsprout.com)


Clarke, Penny J.; Hannah C. Cubaynes; Karen A. Stockin; Carlos Olavarría; Asha de Vos; Peter T. Fretwell; and Jennifer A. Jackson. (2021). “Cetacean Strandings From Space: Challenges and Opportunities of Very High Resolution Satellites for the Remote Monitoring of Cetacean Mass Strandings.” Frontiers in Marine Science.