Anthropologist | Explorer
Wade Davis’s presentations—illustrated by his exquisite photographs—are a wild and moving celebration of the wonder of humanity and the diversity of the human spirit, as expressed through the myriad of cultures he has encountered. A former Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, and named by them as one of the “Explorers for the Millennium,” Davis’s work as an anthropologist and botanical explorer has taken him from the forests of the Amazon to the mountains of Tibet, from the high Arctic to the deserts of Africa.
Davis is the author of more than 20 books, including One River, The Wayfinders, and Into the Silence, which won the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize (now the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction). His latest, Magdalena: River of Dreams, was called one of the “best books of the year” by both The Economist and The Globe and Mail. Davis has also written for National Geographic, Newsweek, Outside, Harpers, Fortune, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and many other international publications.
Davis’s many film credits include writing and producing Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series. His most recent film project, El Sendero de la Anaconda, is set in the Northwest Amazon and is available on Netflix. As a photographer Davis has curated several major exhibits including The Lost Amazon at the Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institute, and his own work has been widely exhibited and appeared in dozens of magazines and books. A book of his photos, Wade Davis: Photographs, was published in 2018 by National Geographic.
Davis has spoken at more than 200 universities and captivated corporate clients such as Microsoft, Shell, Fidelity, Bayer, Bristol-Myers, Hallmark, Bank of Nova Scotia, MacKenzie Financials, and many others. His many TED talks have been seen by millions of viewers. In 2009, he delivered the CBC Massey Lectures, Canada’s most prestigious public intellectual forum.
After serving as an Explorer-in-Residence for 15 years at the National Geographic Society, Davis remains a member of the NG Explorers Council, and is currently Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. He holds numerous awards, is a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2018 was made an Honorary Citizen of Colombia.