Hella was born and raised in the Netherlands. Since childhood, she has had a deep fascination for animal behavior and the natural world. A BSc. degree in Wildlife Management, Policy, and Education led her into the realm of the oceans’ giants. Passionate about the threats our planet and its inhabitants are facing, her belief is that education is the most powerful tool to create ambassadors for the natural world. Since 2004 Hella has worked in cetacean research, conservation, and education worldwide, including Scotland, the Canary Islands, Canada, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Iceland, and the Azores. She has also been trained as an offshore marine mammal observer in the seismic industry. In 2016, after two polar winters leading whale-watching expeditions in Northern Norway, Hella joined the expedition cruise industry in the Arctic and Antarctica as a lecturer, zodiac driver, and kayak guide.