strange behaviors

Cool doings from the natural and human worlds

  • Richard Conniff

  • Reviews for Richard Conniff’s Books

    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

  • Wall of the Dead

  • Categories

  • Advertisements

Booking Richard Conniff as a Speaker

Posted by Richard Conniff on January 2, 2013

Author photos Richard Conniff

Richard Conniff with friends

I have given talks to audiences as varied as Audi of America corporate executives and the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (keynote speaker). Below, you can find my bio note, some of the topics of my past (and future) talks, and responses from audiences. To book a talk, please contact richardconniff (at) comcast (dot) net.


Richard Conniff’s latest book​ is House of Lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and The Story of Life on Earth (Yale Press 2016). ​He won a National Magazine Award in 1997 and a 2009 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.  He was a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow​ and a 2012 Alicia Patterson Fellow.​ His other books include The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth (Norton, 2010), Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time:  My Life Doing Dumb Stuff with Animals (Norton, 2009), The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide (Norton, 2002) and Spineless Wonders:  Strange Tales of the Invertebrate World (Holt, 1996).  His articles have appeared in Time, Smithsonian, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, and other publications. He has been a frequent commentator on NPR’s Marketplace, and is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He has written and presented television shows for the National Geographic Channel, TBS, and the BBC, among others.


House of Lost Worlds

For 150 years, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History has been remaking the way we see the world. Award-winning author Richard Conniff recounts some of that story in his new book House of Lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and the Story of Life on Earth (Yale University Press), introducing a colorful and sometimes combative cast of bold explorers, roughneck bone hunters, and visionary scientists. They are most famous today for wrestling Brontosaurus, Triceratops, and other celebrated dinosaurs. But they were also pioneers in fields from the rise of modern ecology to the development of Caribbean archaeology. This talk throws open the doors to a great museum, welcoming curious listeners to the abundant delights of its storied past and present.

The Species Seekers

Acclaimed science writer and NPR commentator Richard Conniff brings to life the story of the bold and colorful adventurers who risked death to discover strange life-forms in the farthest corners of planet Earth. Conniff will retrace the footsteps of these daredevil “species seekers,” ranging from the father of modern taxonomy, Carl Linneaus, to Thomas Jefferson, who laid out mastodon bones on the White House floor.

Far Afield and Close to Home

Conniff takes the audience along on an expedition into an unexplored corner of the Suriname rainforest, in search of new species.  He’ll show photos and tell engaging stories about how scientists search for the unknown–and wake up to find a river running under their hammocks.  He’ll also share some observations on species closer to home and make the case for learning to see the wildlife in our backyards.

The Ape in the Corner Office

Details to come.

The Natural History of the Rich

Details to come.


“The Old Saybrook Land Trust engaged Richard Conniff to speak at our annual meeting recently. He delivered an informative, enjoyable, humorous, and enlightening presentation on a research trip he took to Suriname for National Geographic. Land Trust members loved it! Richard has a breezy yet authoritative style of speaking, and he clearly knows his stuff when it comes to natural history and the animal kingdom. His accompanying slideshow drew appreciative gasps of delight from the audience numerous times. I highly recommend Richard as a speaker at any event where the audience seeks to be entertained and informed.” Mike Urban, Old Saybrook Land Trust, April 30, 2013

001RC speaker recommendation Shedd

RC speaker recommendation AudiRC speaker recommendation Yale


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s