Davis is a Canadian anthropologist, ethnobotanist, author and photographer whose work focuses mainly on the study of indigenous cultures, particularly in the Americas. A Doctor in Ethnobotany from Harvard University, Davis spent more than three years in the Amazon jungle and the Andes as a plant explorer. He later moved to Haiti to study the popular ceremonies involved in the creation of zombies and it was here where he wrote two of his best-known novels: The Serpent and the Rainbow (1985) and Passageof Darkness (1988). Davis has published articles in publications such as Outside,National Geographic, Fortune and Condé Nast Traveler. His latest book, Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest, was released in 2011.