HOYT, Erich

Author Tags: Natural History

Erich Hoyt began his writing career in Vancouver in 1975. Orca: The Whale Called Killer, his book on killer whales (Dutton, New York, 1981), was based on seven years of research in B.C. and reached its third printing in 1990 and ebook formats from 2014. Hoyt has written for The Guardian, Sunday (London) Times, New York Times, Equinox, National Geographic and Canadian Geographic based on various expeditions. largely in British Columbia, including main or cover stories on South Moresby Island and Ninstints in the Queen Charlotte Islands; Steller sea lions; Nimpkish Island ("In search of Canada's tallest trees") and others. Awarded a Vannevar Bush Fellowship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in 1985-86, he spent several years in Cambridge, Massachusetts before moving to Scotland in 1989, followed by Dorset, England in 2013. His work and interests have been based mainly around the Pacific Rim, including work in the Russian Far East, Japan and B.C. Three of his adult nonfiction books, The Earth Dwellers, Insect Lives, and Orca: The Whale Called Killer have been optioned for films. He has written film treatments and scripts for the above as well as for “Silent Paddles” in process 2015. He was associate producer on the feature documentary “The Last Ocean,” produced and directed by Peter Young in 2013.

DATE OF BIRTH: September 28, 1950



ARRIVAL IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: 1968 (until early 1980s, frequent research visits since then)

EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: Senior Research Fellow, Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC); Co-director, Far East Russia Orca Project; Co-chair, IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force

AWARDS: Mandy McMath Conservation Prize, 2013, from European Cetacean Society for body of writing and other work supporting marine conservation; Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award, 2012 [for Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises]; Book of the Year Award, American Society of Journalists & Authors, New York, 2002 [for Creatures of the Deep]; James Thurber Writer in Residence (1992 and 2000); one of 25 Books to Remember 1996, New York Public Library Association; plus others


1. Weird Sea Creatures (Firefly, 2013)
2. Whale Rescue (Firefly, 2005)
3. Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises (Earthscan, 2005; Taylor & Francis/Routledge, 2nd ed. rev., 2011)
4. Creatures of the Deep: In search of the sea's "monsters" and the world they live in (Firefly, 2001, 2nd ed. rev., 2014)
5. Insect Lives: Stories of Mystery & Romance from a Hidden World (Wiley, 1999; Harvard University Press, 2002; Harvard ebook, 2012)
6. Whales & Dolphins: The Ultimate Guide to Marine Mammals (co-edited and co-written with Mark Carwardine and others; HarperCollins/Discovery Channel, 1998; 12 other translations and editions worldwide)
7. The Earth Dwellers: Adventures in the Land of Ants (Simon & Schuster, 1996; Touchstone 1997; Kadokawa 1998; Hainan, China, 2003)
8. The Performing Orca: Why the show must shop (WDCS, 1992)
9. Riding with the Dolphins (Camden House/Firefly, 1992)
10. Extinction A-Z (Enslow, 1991)
11. Meeting the Whales (Camden House, 1991; Firefly, 2000)
12. Seasons of the Whale (Chelsea Green, Nimbus, Mainstream, 1990; Broquet, Montreal/Paris, 1993; WDCS, HSUS, Nimbus, 1998)
13. Conserving the Wild Relatives of Crops (IUCN, Addison-Wesley, 1988, 1992; 4 foreign translations and editions)
14. The Whales of Canada (Camden House, Firefly, 1984, 1987, 1992)
15. The Whale Watcher's Handbook (Doubleday, Penguin, 1984; Stein, Germany, 1987, 1993, 1996)
16. Orca: The Whale Called Killer (Dutton, 1981; Firefly, 1984, 1990, 1995; Hale, London, 1990; DBS, Tokyo, 2000; Firefly ebook, 2014).

[BCBW 2015] "Whales"