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Wade Davis
Faculty Associate, Liu Institute for Global Issues; BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk; Professor, Anthropology
Office: Liu Institute for Global Issues, Room 216A
Office Phone: (604) 822-3437
Fax: (604) 822-6966
Wade Davis is Professor of Anthropology, Faculty Associate at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. Between 1999 and 2013 he served as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and is currently a member of the NGS Explorers Council. Author of 17 books, including The Serpent and the Rainbow, One River, The Wayfinders, The Sacred Headwaters and Into the Silence, he holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. His many film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series written and produced for the National Geographic.

Davis is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees, as well as the 2009 Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for his contributions to anthropology and conservation, the 2011 Explorers Medal, the highest award of the Explorers Club, the 2012 David Fairchild Medal for botanical exploration, and the 2013 Ness Medal for geography education from the Royal Geographical Society. His latest book, Into the Silence, received the 2012 Samuel Johnson prize, the top award for literary nonfiction in the English language, and has sold 170,000 copies worldwide. 

Dr. Davis has considerable experience speaking to public audiences - his five TED Talks, including Dreams from Endangered Cultures,” have been seen by millions. He has given lectures in over 200 universities in the U.S. and abroad and has been described by David Suzuki as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” As a public intellectual, Davis is well respected for his insights and experiences pertaining to the critical decisions facing B.C., Canada and the globe.

In 2016, Davis was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada for his work to promote conservation of the natural world. The Order of Canada is one of Canada’s highest honours. It recognizes outstanding achievement, involvement in the community, and service to the nation.  Read more in the Vancouver Sun.

Browse his stunning photography and book titles on his website:

Find him on Twitter at:

Hear more about his journey as a storyteller in "The Wonder of Discover" below:


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