Location: Simons IMAX Theatre

Aquarium Lecture Series

How to Be a Good Creature

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Sy Montgomery, naturalist and author of the National Book Award finalist “Soul of an Octopus” and the recently released “How to Be a Good Creature”

Knowing someone who belongs to another species—or even another phylum—can be transformative. Come meet some of the 13 individual animals—from her first dog, a Scottish terrier, to two emus she met in the Australia Outback, to a giant Pacific octopus at New England Aquarium—who transformed the life of best-selling author, adventurer, and naturalist Sy Montgomery.

Montgomery counts animals among her best teachers, mentors, and friends. These creatures helped her find her passion, taught her the meaning of family, and gave her the gifts of forgiveness and gratitude. In this talk, she shares stories and images from her most recent best-seller, a memoir of the 13 animals who lent this book its title and showed her, by their example, how to be a good creature.

About Sy Montgomery

To research books, films, and articles, Sy Montgomery has been chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Zaire and bitten by a vampire bat in Costa Rica, worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba and handled a wild tarantula in French Guiana.

She has been deftly undressed by an orangutan in Borneo, hunted by a tiger in India, and swum with piranhas, electric eels, and dolphins in the Amazon. She has searched the Altai Mountains of Mongolia’s Gobi for snow leopards, hiked into the trackless cloud forest of Papua New Guinea to attach radio collars to tree kangaroos, and learned to scuba dive in order to commune with octopuses.

She has also worked closely with New England Aquarium. Her international bestseller “The Soul of an Octopus” was researched largely at Aquarium. One of her books for younger readers, “Amazon Adventure,” stars Aquarium Senior Aquarist Scott Dowd and showcases his conservation work in Brazil with Project Piaba.

Sy’s 28 books for both adults and children have garnered many honors. “The Soul of an Octopus” was a 2015 finalist for the National Book Awards and has been translated into nine languages. “The Good Good Pig,” a memoir of life with her pig Christopher Hogwood, is also an international bestseller. Her work with man-eating tigers, the subject of her book “Spell of the Tiger,” was made into a National Geographic television documentary she scripted and narrated. Also for National Geographic TV, she developed and scripted “Mother Bear Man,” about her friend Ben Kilham, who raises and releases orphaned bear cubs, which won a Chris Award. Among her dozens of honors are several lifetime achievement awards for humane education and three honorary degrees.