What a Fish Knows: A Conversation with Scientist and Author Jonathan Balcombe

What a Fish Knows: A Conversation with Scientist and Author Jonathan Balcombe

Jonathan Balcombe introduces us to the inner lives of our underwater cousins – Fish.

Arguably the least understood, and certainly the most exploited vertebrates on Earth, fishes have been mainly viewed by us in two contexts: as a source of food, and as a source of recreation. It is as if they didn’t have lives of their own. Modern science shows otherwise. In this eye-opening, illustrated presentation, Balcombe combines science with story-telling to explore the colorful lives of the most diverse group of vertebrates on Earth. Balcombe explores fish perceptions, cognition, emotion, social behavior, and cooperation, and wraps it in the context of our evolving relationship to fishes and their vital aquatic habitats.



Jonathan Balcombe is a biologist with a PhD in ethology, the study of animal behavior. His books include Pleasurable Kingdom, Second Nature, The Exultant Ark, and What a Fish Knows—a New York Times best-seller now available in fifteen languages. His next book for grown-ups, Super Fly, will be published May 2021 by Penguin Books. A children’s story book about a boy and a fish is also scheduled for publication in 2021. Jonathan does professional editing for aspiring and established authors, and he has taught courses in animal behavior and sentience for the Viridis Graduate Institute, and Humane Society University. He lives in Belleville, Ontario where in his spare time he enjoys biking, baking, birding, Bach, and trying to understand the neighborhood squirrels.