I am an author of books on wildlife and science for adults and kids; I like to tell a story that hasn't been told using my own style of narrative nonfiction. I am also a researcher and lecturer (working in Japan, Russia and many other countries). I like exploring new frontiers, trying new things...I have been very fortunate to work with various dolphin and whale species in many countries, as well as ants in the tropical rain forest.
My first book, Orca: The Whale Called Killer, tells the story of seven summers I spent living among three big "families" or pods of killer whales (orcas) off northern Vancouver Island, Canada.
In Seasons of the Whale, I follow several known humpback, right and blue whales through a momentous year in their lives -- a true story of the year that the North Atlantic Ocean began to "talk back" to those who cared about it as well as those who didn't.
In The Earth Dwellers, I get down to a few centimeters off the ground and trace several years in the lives of a colony of leafcutter ants and the scientists who study them in Costa Rica. In alternative chapters, I weave the story of the ants and the story of the scientists -- two well known entomologists (insect scientists), EO Wilson from Harvard and Bill Brown from Cornell who trade arguments, jokes and banter in their pursuit of the big find.
I loved researching and writing Creatures of the Deep, with its literary, historical, mythical and actual journeys to the bottom of the sea as well as along the world's longest mountain range (underwater) and starting from the tiniest organisms up the long food chain to the top predators. It's a story of a dark, high pressure, unexplored world and bizarre, little known creatures that communicate by touch, flashing lights and who knows what else.
These books are for adults but variously enjoyed by young adults and older kids. I have also written four other books just for kids.
As a working scientist and conservationist, I also write scientific papers, reports and books such as Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. A world handbook for cetacean habitat conservation (Earthscan, London, 516pp, 2005). I am Senior Research Fellow with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission - Cetacean Specialist Group as well the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and the High Seas Task Force. I also help direct the Far East Russia Orca Project, a long-term project with Russian scientists to understand the killer whales in the vast Russian waters.
I enjoy giving talks and illustrated presentations. In the past few years, I have been invited to speak in the UK, France, Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, the US, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Monaco, Argentina and Chile. I especially enjoyed working in Japan giving simulated whale watch presentations at the 2005 World Expo (theme: nature's wonders) and at the World Whale Watching Conference and the Symposium: New Tales about Whales in Science, Society & Art, at the UN University, Tokyo, Dec 2010. My other talks are about "my life with orcas", creating marine reserves, "from ants to whales", and the future of marine conservation, "creatures of the deep", and the best dolphin and whale watching around the world. I also give talks on writing popular science with a story: narrative nonfiction, and on preparing book proposals that sell.
Please see my web sites www.erichhoyt.com and www.cetaceanhabitat.org.