Ronald Orenstein holds a Ph.D. in Zoology (Ornithology) from the University of Michigan and an LL.B. from the University of Toronto. Dr. Orenstein is the author of eight books on science and nature, including Songbirds: Celebrating Nature's Voices (Key Porter / Sierra Club 1997), shortlisted for a 1998 Science in Society Journalism Award by the Canadian Science Writers' Association, and New Animal Discoveries (Key Porter / Millbrook Press 2001), shortlisted for the Norma Fleck Award and winner of the Science in Society Journalism Award for best children's book published in 2001. His most recently published book is Hummingbirds, with photographs by Michael and Patricia Fogden.
Dr. Orenstein is a consultant for Humane Society International (HSI) and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Species Survival Network (SSN) and the Elephant Research Foundation (ERF). Since 1987, he has been an Observer at meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). At the 1989 meeting he was one of the engineers of the compromise amendment that led to an international ivory ban.
In 2002, Dr. Orenstein was appointed to the Freshwater Turtle and Tortoise Specialist Group of the of the World Conservation Union's Species Survival Commission. He is a contributing author to the Handbook of the Birds of the World.
Dr. Orenstein enjoys performing in opera and operetta, especially in Gilbert and Sullivan, and has sung roles ranging from Figaro in The Barber of Seville to Hajj in Kismet. He has performed onstage in Canada, the USA, Australia and Great Britain, and his translations of Offenbach operettas have been performed in Ann Arbor, Chicago and New York, and Virginia.
Dr Orenstein and his wife Eileen Yen live in Canada but spend part of each year in Eileen's home country, Malaysia.