About Jonathan

Jonathan Balcombe with a rat friendJonathan Balcombe was born in England, raised in New Zealand and Canada, and has lived in the United States since 1987. He has three biology degrees, including a PhD in ethology (the study of animal behavior) from the University of Tennessee, where he studied communication in bats. He has published over 50 scientific papers on animal behavior and animal protection.

Balcombe's eagerly anticipated next book is What A Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of our Underwater Cousins (Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, June 2016).

He is the author of four previous books:

The Exultant Ark: A Pictorial Tour of Animal Pleasure (University of California Press, 2011)

Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good (Macmillan, 2006)

The Use of Animals in Higher Education: Problems, Alternatives, and Recommendations (Humane Society Press, 2000)

Formerly Department Chair for Animal Studies with the Humane Society University, and Senior Research Scientist with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Jonathan is currently Director of Animal Sentience with the Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, in Washington, DC.

In his spare time Jonathan enjoys biking, baking, birdwatching, piano, painting, and trying to understand the squirrels on his deck.