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About the book
  • Published: 15 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9781775530794
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288
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Looking for Darwin


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An award-winning zoologist travels in Charles Darwin's footsteps, and in search of the meaning of life.

An award-winning zoologist travels in Charles Darwin's footsteps, and in search of the meaning of life.

In one of the most inhospitable places on Earth, zoologist Lloyd Spencer Davis comes face to face with an enraged leopard seal. Towering ice cliffs, a ferocious creature of the deep, and the extreme Antarctic environment all turn Davis's world view on its head. 'What the hell am I doing here?'

This question sets Davis on a quest for insight and meaning in a world that still pitches theories of evolution against belief in a Creator; the science of natural selection against a faith that asserts our world was crafted by Intelligent Design.

With a self-deprecating grin packed along with his cabin baggage - even when his passport isn't - Davis decides to follow the travels of the eminent nineteenth-century naturalist, Charles Darwin: the man who did more to change our understanding of this planet than any other biologist. Looking for Darwin gives us a personal and intimate insight into Darwin and what drove the man.

It is also an attempt to resolve that initially panicked — and then far-reaching — question, that first hit Davis on the big ice. With a wealth of research and vivid imagery — along with a disarming honesty —Lloyd Spencer Davis takes the reader on an unforgettable world tour.

  • Pub date: 15 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9781775530794
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the Author

Lloyd Spencer Davis

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.

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