Thor Hanson - Author & Biologist

Kathleen Ballard Photography


Thor Hanson is represented by:

Laura Blake Peterson
Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Ten Astor Place
New York, NY 10003
Telephone: (212) 473-5400
Fax: (212) 598 0917


For media inquiries regarding BUZZ, THE TRIUMPH OF SEEDS, and FEATHERS contact:

Kait Howard, Publicist

Basic Books
(212) 364-0663


For community reads or other speaking engagements contact:


Dawn Stuart

Books In Common
23075 Bear Creek Rd.
Bend, OR 97702
(541) 318-6288


For autographed copies of Thor's books contact:

Griffin Bay Bookstore
155 Spring Street
Friday Harbor, WA  98250
(360) 378-5511

Download Author Bio

download author photo


see below

Speaking Engagements

see below

Autographed Books

see below


Thor Hanson was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, where he now lives on an island with his wife and son. He caught his first salmon at age four, and often collected a wide array of temporary summertime pets, from caterpillars and tadpoles to garter snakes, hermit crabs, and tree frogs. His early interest in the natural world steered him towards a career in conservation biology. Hanson received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands, his master’s from the University of Vermont’s Field Naturalist Program, and his doctorate in a joint program through the University of Idaho and the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza, Costa Rica.

Hanson’s research and conservation activities have taken him around the globe. He has studied Central American trees and songbirds, nest predation in Tanzania, and the grisly feeding habits of African vultures. He served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda, where he helped establish the mountain gorilla tourism program in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and he has also helped manage a brown bear tourism project for the U.S. Forest Service in Alaska. He often works at the interface between natural and human systems, and has conducted research on habitat fragmentation, endangered species, and the ecological impacts of warfare.

Hanson is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Switzer Environmental Fellow, and an independent conservation biologist based in the San Juan Islands. He has received research grants from the Organization for Tropical Studies, the DeVlieg Foundation, and the National Science Foundation’s IGERT Program, among others. He teaches field courses, reviews for academic journals, consults for conservation groups and government agencies, and is a sought-after public speaker.  Hanson's many media appearances have included NPR's Fresh Air and The Splendid Table, PRI's Science Fridayand  The WorldThe Current on CBC, and Book Lust with Nancy Pearl.

His 2015 title, THE TRIUMPH OF SEEDS won the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science and the Pacific Northwest Book Award and was a finalist for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize.  Accolades for his prior book FEATHERS included the John Burroughs Medal, the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize, the Pacific Northwest Book Award, and nominations for the Samuel Johnson Prize . Both FEATHERS and TRIUMPH OF SEEDS were finalists for the Washington State Book Award.  He is also the author of THE IMPENETRABLE FOREST and the illustrated children's favorite BARTHOLOMEW QUILL, as well as co-editor of the academic volume WARFARE ECOLOGY. Hanson has contributed chapters to WILDERNESS COMES HOME, WHAT TO READ IN THE RAIN, and ONE HAND DOES NOT CATCH A BUFFALO, and his articles and essays have appeared in dozens of popular and scientific publications, including AudubonBBC Wildlife, Orion, The Wall Street Journal, The Times of LondonThe Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Miami HeraldBioscienceConservation Biology, Environmental Conservation, Molecular EcologyThe Wilson Journal of OrnithologyNeotropical Ornithology,The Journal of African EcologyBiotropica, and The Huffington Post​.