Lloyd Spencer Davis fits easily into the category of creative non-fiction writing. He received the PEN (NZ) Best First Book Award for Non-fiction for Penguin: A Season in the Life of the Adelie Penguin, the story of Antarctica as seen through the eyes of a penguin. His next book, The Plight of the Penguin, won Book of the Year at the 2002 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards, as well as winning the non-fiction category at the same awards.
He received a CLL Writer’s Award — New Zealand’s most significant award for the support of nonfiction — for Looking for Darwin, which also won the Runner’s Up Award as the New Zealand Travel Book of the Year, 2008.
His other publications include Smithsonian Q&A Penguins, commissioned by the Smithsonian Institution, and Penguins of New Zealand (with photographs by Rod Morris). With Claudia Babirat he wrote the textbook The Business of Documentary Filmmaking.
In addition, Spencer Davis is a director and scriptwriter of natural history documentaries – his films having won 12 international awards to date. Through his business Adelie Productions (www.adelie.biz), he has been writing, producing and directing documentaries for over 20 years. His films have won 12 international awards, including the ABU Prize of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, Hong Kong and the Prix Special du Jury, Festival de L’Oiseau, Abbeville, France. Film credits include Eating like a Gannet, Under Galapagos, Meet the Real Penguins and, with Wiebke Finkler, a documentary on Shona Dunlop MacTavish, Wind Dancer.
Spencer Davis attended Victoria University of Wellington and Canterbury University before gaining a PhD at the University of Alberta in Canada, as Commonwealth Scholar. He also writes essays for magazines including Natural History and newspapers like the Sunday Star-Times.
He currently holds the Stuart Chair in Science Communication at the University of Otago where, among other things, he teaches creative nonfiction writing. He has been a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, an Anzac Fellowship and a Prince and Princess of Wales Science Award.