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. An 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.
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.
Davis is the author of 19 bestselling books including One River, The Wayfinders, and Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest, which won the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize, the top literary award for non-fiction in the English language. Davis has written for National Geographic, Newsweek, Outside, Harpers, Fortune, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, and many other international publications.
Davis’s many film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series produced and written for the National Geographic, Grand Canyon Adventure (IMAX 3D), and Earthguide, a 13 part series on the environment produced and written for Discovery. As a photographer Davis has curated several major exhibits including The Lost Amazon, Museum of Natural History Smithsonian, and No Strangers: Ancient Wisdom in a Modern World, Annenberg Space for Photography. His own work has been widely published and exhibited.
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 Massey Lectures, Canada’s most prestigious public intellectual forum.
Davis is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gold Medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society; the Explorer’s Medal (the highest award of the Explorer’s Club); The Lowell Thomas Medal; the David Fairchild Medal for Plant Exploration (the most prestigious award for botanical exploration); the 2015 Centennial Medal of Harvard University, and in 2016 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.