Wade Davis

These peoples, these cultures, are not failed attempts at being us — they are unique answers to the fundamental question, ‘What does it mean to be human and alive? – Wade Davis
Named by the National Geographic Society as one of the Explorers for the Millenium,  Wade Davis has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.”

He holds degrees in anthropology and biology, and received his PhD in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. He spent more than three years in the Amazon and Andes as a plant explorer, living among fifteen indigenous groups in eight Latin American nations while making some 6,000 botanical collections. Recently Davis’ work has taken him to Peru, Borneo, Tibet, the high Arctic, the Orinoco Delta of Venezuela and northern Kenya.

Author of many books including The Wayfinders, One RiverLight at the Edge of the WorldThe Serpent and the Rainbow, and Shadows in the Sun, Davis has published scientific and popular articles on subjects ranging from Haitian voodoo and Amazonian myth and religion to the global biodiversity crisis, the traditional use of psychotropic drugs, and the ethnobotany of South American Indians. A native of British Columbia, Davis, a licensed river guide, has worked as park ranger, forestry engineer, and conducted ethnographic fieldwork among several indigenous societies of northern Canada.

Davis has twice given talks at the TED conference and recently delivered the prestigious 2009 CBC Massey  Lectures. He now teaches in the Anthropology Department at the University of British Columbia.

"Generations from now we'll look back and say, 'How could we have done this kind of thing to people?'"