11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 15, 1999
Wade Davis is an ethnobotanist and photographer whose research has spanned cultures and environments around the globe. Working for the Harvard Botanical Museum, Davis lived with tribal groups in eight Latin American nations while making some 6,000 botanical collections. His work in Haiti, investigating folk preparations implicated in the creation of zombies, inspired him to write two books, Passage of Darkness and The Serpent and the Rainbow . The latter was an international bestseller which later became a major motion picture. Davis has also produced books and television documentaries on his travels and research in Borneo, Papua New Guinea and Native American tribes in Canada and the United States.
Davis' other books include Nomads of the Dawn , Shadows in the Sun , and Penan: Voice for the Borneo Rain Forest , which is being adapted by Warner Bros. for feature film release. He has published more than 50 scientific articles and has written for such publications as Newsweek , Premiere , Outside , Omni and Harper's . Davis' documentaries for television include the Discovery Channel's 13-part series, "Earthguide."
In addition to continuing his ethnobotanical research, Davis lectures widely. He has addressed the American Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Geographic Society and the Royal Ontario and British Columbia Museums, along with many other national scientific organizations and more than 50 universities.
Davis holds degrees in anthropology and biology, and received a doctorate in ethnobotany from Harvard University.