Named by The National Geographic Society as one of the “Explorers for the Millennium,” Dr. Wade Davis is world-renowned as an author, researcher and speaker on one of the most dwindling of natural resources-human cultures, languages and traditions.
A National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Davis has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet, and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” With degrees in anthropology and biology and a Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University, Davis has led an amazing life’s journey to understand indigenous cultures and their relationship to the planet.
He has spent more than three years in the Amazon and the Andes as a plant explorer, living among 15 indigenous groups in eight Latin American nations, investigated folk preparations implicated in the creation of zombies in Haiti, and countless expeditions to the Himalayas, East Africa, Borneo, Peru, Polynesia, Mali, Benin, Togo, New Guinea, Vanuatu, Mongolia and the high Arctic of Nunavut and Greenland, among other destination across the globe.
A professional speaker for over 20 years, Davis is the author of Passage of Darkness, The Serpent and the Rainbow (later made into a Universal motion picture), Penan: Voice for the Borneo Rain Forest, Shadows in the Sun, Nomads of the Dawn, The Clouded Leopard, Rainforest, Light at the Edge of the World, The Lost Amazon, Grand Canyon, Book of the People of the World and One River. He has also published more than 150 scientific and popular articles on subjects ranging from Haitian vodoun and Amazonian myth and religion to the global diversity crisis, the traditional use of psychotropic drugs, and the ethnobotany of South American Indians.
He is currently writing two books, Fire on the Mountain, a history of the early British efforts on Everest, and Sheets of Distant Rain.
One of Davis’ great concerns and topics of presentations is the rapidly declining numbers of indigenous cultures and languages that threaten to wipe out through extinction so much of human history. We are losing not only our biosphere and atmosphere, but also our ethnosphere, David explains.
A native of British Columbia, Davis is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2002 Lowell Thomas Medal from The Explorers’ Club and the Lannan Foundation prize for literary non-fiction. Davis’ research has been the subject of more than 700 media reports and has inspired numerous documentary films as well as three episodes of the television series, The X-Files.
Davis has lectured at virtually every major venue of scholarship from the American Museum of Natural History and The Smithsonian Institution to the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. He has presented at more than 250 universities as well.
He is the host and co-author of “Light at the Edge of the World,” a four-hour ethnographic documentary series shot in Rapanui, Tahiti, the Marquesas, Nunavut, Greenland, Nepal and Peru, which is currently airing in 165 countries on the National Geographic Channel and The Smithsonian Channel. Davis is the host, co-writer and co-producer of a two-hour special, “Peyote to LSD,” a social history of the psychedelic movement that aired on The History Channel. He has also appeared in many other documentaries and IMAX films.
Davis is married with two children and divides his time between Washington, D.C. and a fishing lodge in the Stikine Valley of northern British Columbia.
The Lost Amazon
Davis has presented to: