Peter Knudtson is a Victoria-based science writer whose articles have appeared in North American publications such as Natural History, Equinox and Oceans. His topics range from genetics and wildlife biology to animal behavior, anthropology, and ethics. He has co-authored several books with David Suzuki. Knudtson holds a Master's degree in biology, with a specialty in animal behavior and ecology, from California State University, where he carried out field studies on the social behavior and ecology of marine mammals. In addition, he has a B.A. in premedical zoology from the University of California, Riverside and has carried out graduate studies at both the Department of Zoology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to becoming a full-time writer in 1984, he worked as a wildlife biologist in remote areas of coastal Alaska, a technical writer in both the U.S. and Canada and a science teacher in an alternative high school for Native students in southeastern Alaska and a Native-run college in Vancouver.

His book credits include the international best seller (#1 in Canada and Australia) Wisdom of the Elders: Honoring Sacred Native Visions of Nature (Bantam, Stoddart, 1992; senior co-author) and the Canadian best seller Genethics: The Clash Between Human Values and the New Genetics (Harvard University Press, Stoddart; others, 1989; co-author). Wisdom of the Elders appears frequently on reading lists of curricula in Comparative Religion, Environmental Philosophy, and Native Studies in universities around the world. Genethics has been listed by Harvard University Press in its "Classics in Science and Philosophy" list. His other works include A Mirror to Nature: Reflections on Science, Scientists, and Society (Stoddard, 1991), The Wintun Indians of California (Naturegraph,1977),Orca: Visions of the Killer Whale (Sierra Club Books, Douglas & McIntyre, 1996; also trans. French, Japanese), and The World of the Walrus (Sierra Club Books, Douglas & McIntyre, 1998).

DATE OF BIRTH: February 28, 1947




EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: Secondary science teacher; technical writer; curriculum design.

AWARDS: Quality Paperback Book Club Selection (Wisdom of the Elders), Second Prize-Best Canadian Nonfiction Paperbook Book (David Suzuki Talks About AIDS), Nate Haseltine Memorial Fellowship in Science Journalism (Graduate School Journalism, UC-Berkeley). Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award, Canada Council, for outstanding artistic achievement in writing, entire body of work (2006).


"The World of the Walrus" (Greystone Press, 1998).
"Orca: Visions of the Killer Whale (Greystone Press, 1996).
"Wisdom of the Elders: Native and Scientific Ways of Knowing about Nature" (Greystone); also American edition, "Wisdom of the Elders: Honoring Sacred Native Visions of Nature" (Bantam Books, 1992, senior co-author).
"Genethics: The Clash Between the New Genetics and Human Values" (Harvard University Press, 1989, co-author).
"A Mirror to Nature: Reflections on Science, Scientists, and Society" (Stoddart, 1991).
"David Suzuki Talks About AIDS" (General, 1987, co-author).
"The Wintun Indians of California" (Naturegraph, 1977).

[BCBW 2012] "Whales" "Science"