Science editor and writer

seahallas@gmail.com
+64 (0)27 688 4775

I've been involved in science and science publishing since the 1980s. Let me bring my extensive experience, special skills and sense of style to your project – whether it's for the general public or a highly specialised reader.
Background and skills
I have a PhD in zoology, from the University of Canterbury, and have authored several scientific papers. I've been working successfully as a freelance science and non-fiction editor since 2003, and before that worked full-time in a scientific editorial team for 5 years.
Language matters! I am adept at helping authors publish clear, concise text with a tone appropriate for their audience, and with correct grammar and word usage. I've completed Plain English Writing courses and have run writing workshops for young scientists.
I work in a wide range of science disciplines, including: natural history; human anatomy and physiology; zoology; botany, horticulture and forestry; biochemistry; nutrition, pharmacology and medicine; ecology and resource management; mathematics and statistics.
I am experienced in all stages of the publishing process, from developing a publication's concept, to advising its author(s) during writing, and then editing drafts to prepare them for the next stage. I also work with images, preparing them for inclusion and I design and lay-out a publication's components. I also check page proofs.
I communicate well with you, the author, and will help you communicate your science to the reader. I draw on over 30 years of experience in communicating science – to the general public, to students of tertiary institutes and to readers of various backgrounds. I have a Certificate in Adult Teaching.
Lastly, I work fast and efficiently, helping authors meet their deadlines.
Editing and proofreading
Improve the text for your book, report or scientific article by engaging me as an editor or proofreader.

  • I've worked on all sorts of science publications, from massive, four-volume-long tomes to short abstracts or posters, and everything in between. New Zealand's native trees (2012, Dawson & Lucas) won Best Illustrated Non-fiction Book and Book of the Year at the 2012 NZ Post Book Awards.
  • Potton and Burton, Canterbury University Press, Te Papa Press, Auckland University Press, Random House, Penguin/Viking, Reed Publishing, Hazard Press, and various local bodies and government departments, as well as private authors, have all sought my help.
  • In addition to the books pictured, I've also worked on: Protecting paradise (2016, Dave Hansford); No place to hide (2016, James Flynn); The storm of life (2016, Gretchen Rasch); Ghosts of Gondwana (both editions, George Gibbs); The fishes of New Zealand (2015, Clive Roberts and others); Our big blue backyard (2014, Janet Hunt); Whales and dolphins of Aotearoa New Zealand (2014, Barbara Todd).
  • I make full use of modern technology to ensure that content is the best it can be, working with a combination of electronic/digital resources and time-tested reference texts.
Writing
I can help you plan your publication before you start writing. That might involve:
  • drawing up an outline for you to follow
  • advising you on the appropriate style and tone
  • setting specific content structure and flow.

Alternatively, I can craft the text, based on consultation with you. We then can fine-tune it together to produce a spot-on finished product.

Publication lay-out
Using powerful software (Pages or InDesign), I can create all the files your publication needs to go to print, such as:
  • the cover
  • the contents page and other preliminary matter
  • the body of the book
  • the end material.

I can also help you make the most of any images you want to include, using Photoshop and other software.

The final design will not only display your publication's content but will also be clean, easy to follow – in a word, attractive.

The files can be printed directly or sent to a commercial printer.
Contact me
Contact me to discuss how I can help you publish your scientific paper, report, poster or book.
Phone: +64 (0)27 688 4775
E-mail: seahallas@gmail.com

I live in beautiful Nelson, in the top of the South Island of
New Zealand, where I run my editing business.

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