The UBC Institute for European Studies (IES) and the Goethe Institute Toronto welcome Alexander Smoltczyk as the 2009 IES Goethe Writer in Residence. Smoltczyk is one of Germany’s leading reporters in print journalism, with works published in periodicals and newspapers such as the tageszeitung, Geo, Der SPIEGEL and Die Zeit.

While at  the IES, Smoltczyk will be  looking at the environmental situation in Western Canada, focusing on the issues surrounding the Pacific Salmon as a case study.  As part of his activities, Smoltzcyk will participate in the collaborative efforts between the IES and the UBC Fisheries Centre (under the leadership of Dr. Rashid Sumaila), and will give talks at both the UBC Vancouver School of Journalism and UBC Okanagan. This research is but a one component of the pillar in the IES program to fight and research global warming.

Smoltczyk was born in Berlin in 1958 and studied philosophy, economics and agriculture in Berlin and Montpellier (France). In 1989 he moved to Paris as a  correspondent for the left-centered daily “tageszeitung”, then joined the editorial east-west-project “Wochenpost” in Berlin. His travel writings appeared in GEO-Magazine and were awarded by two “Kisch-Preis” for the best reportage of the year. Since 1998, he has been a staff reporter for Germany’s newsmagazine “Der SPIEGEL” and covered diverse topics, ranging from 9/11 to siamese twins to the hunt for the Caucasian snowman in Abkhazia.

Since 2005, Smoltczyk lives with his wife and daughter in Rome, covering Italian politics and the Vatican.

He has written several books, among them a biography of Ken Adam, a set designer for the early James Bond films, and a book about the French Revolution. His latest work, written in 2008, is “Vatikanistan”, which is a traveler’s companion to the Holy Sea.

To learn more about his current activities, read Alexander’s Writer in Residence Blog.