What a Fish Knows

August 7, 2019

Buffalo, NY - Canisius College welcomes ethologist and author Jonathan Balcombe, PhD, to campus on Thursday, August 29 at 7 p.m. in the Montante Cultural Center.  His talk entitled “What a Fish Knows,” is sponsored by the college’s anthrozoology master’s program and Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relationships. The event is free and open to the public.

A biologist with a PhD in ethology, the study of animal behavior, Balcombe combines science and storytelling in his presentation which explores startling discoveries of fishes’ colorful lives that will make eyebrows rise and jaws drop. Arguably the least understood, and certainly the most exploited vertebrates on Earth, fishes have been predominantly viewed 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. Balcombe will show how fishes can use tools and create mental maps, recognize shoalmates, deceive others, keep accounts, parent, woo, collaborate and undergo gender reassignment without costly surgery!

Balcombe is the author of four popular science books on the inner lives of animals, including Pleasurable Kingdom, Second Nature, and What a Fish Knows, a New York Times best-seller. He has published over 60 scientific papers and book chapters on animal behavior and animal protection.

Formerly department chair for Animal Studies with the Humane Society University, and director of Animal Sentience with The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, Balcombe works as an independent author, and performs editing services for aspiring and established authors. He also serves as an associate editor for the journal Animal Sentience, and he teaches a course in animal sentience for the Viridis Graduate Institute.

Canisius College is one of 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York.