Richard Ellis is one of America’s leading marine conservationists, and is generally recognized as the foremost painter of marine natural history subjects in the world. He was the principal designer of the Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History, and designed the blue whale. His paintings have appeared in Audubon, National Wildlife, Smithsonian, Australian Geographic, the Encyclopedia Britannica, and numerous other national and international publications. His paintings have been exhibited at one-man and group shows from coast to coast. In 2005, in conjunction with the publication in Italian of his Encyclopedia of the Sea, Richard Ellis was given a one-man show of his drawings at the Museo del Mare in Genoa.
From 1980 to 1990, he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the International Whaling Commission. In pursuit of his subject matter, Mr. Ellis has traveled to Quebec, Vancouver, Baja California, Newfoundland, Hawaii, Bermuda, Nantucket, South Georgia, the Azores, Alaska, Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, Japan, South Africa, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, the Faroes, the Galápagos, the Falklands, the Aleutians, the Commander Islands, the Kuriles, Kamchatka, Spitsbergen, the Antarctic, and the North Pole.
His books include The Book of Sharks, The Book of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, Great White Shark, Men and Whales, Monsters of the Sea, Deep Atlantic, Imagining Atlantis, The Search for the Giant Squid, Encyclopedia of the Sea, Aquagenesis (The Origin and Evolution of Life in the Sea), The Empty Ocean, Sea Dragons (Predators of Prehistoric Oceans), No Turning Back (The Life and Death of Animal Species), Tiger Bone & Rhino Horn (The Destruction of Wildlife for Traditional Chinese Medicine), Singing Whales and Flying Squid, (The Discovery of Marine Life), Tuna (A Love Story), On Thin Ice (The Changing World of the Polar Bear), and The Great Sperm Whale.