John Michael Allaby is an Aventis Junior prize-winning author. He was born on 18 September 1933 in Belper, Derbyshire, England.
He was a police cadet from 1949 to 1951. After that, he served in the RAF from 1951 to 1954, becoming a pilot. After leaving the RAF, he worked as an actor from 1954 to 1964, including "The Keys of Marinus" Doctor Who storyline. He married Ailsa McGregor on 3 January 1957.
From 1964 to 1972, he worked as an editor for the Soil Association in Suffolk, England, editing Span magazine from 1967 to 1972. He was a member of the board of directors for Ecosystems Ltd. in Wadebridge, Cornwall, England, and was an associate editor of Ecologist from 1970 to 1972. He became a managing editor in 1972. In 1973, he became a freelance writer.
He has written widely about science, particularly about ecology and weather. He edits and writes dictionaries and encyclopedias for Macmillan Publishers and Oxford University Press. He co-authored James Lovelock's first two books: The Greening of Mars and Great Extinction.
His book, The Food Chain, was runner-up for the Times Educational Supplement Information Book Award in 1984. The New York Public Library chose Dangerous Weather: Hurricanes as one of its books for teenage in 1998. He won the Aventis Junior Prize for Science Books in 2001 for How the Weather Works. He is also a member of the Society of Authors.