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Speaker Details
  • Bio

    Drew Lanham is an American author, poet and wildlife biologist. Raised in Edgefield, South Carolina, Lanham studied zoology and ecology at Clemson University, where he earned a PhD in 1997 and where he currently holds an endowed chair as an Alumni Distinguished Professor. He is a board member of several conservation organizations, including the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, Audubon South Carolina, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, BirdNote, and the American Birding Association, and an advisory board member for the North American Association of Environmental Education. In 2019 he was awarded the National Audubon Society's Dan W. Lufkin Prize for Environmental Leadership, recognizing "individuals who have dedicated their entire lives to the environment".
    In 2013, Lanham wrote a piece for Orion Magazine titled "9 Rules for the Black Birdwatcher", drawing attention to the lack of black birders and diversity in general among naturalists. The short piece inspired producer Ari Daniel and videographer Amanda Kowalski to create a short film with the same title for BirdNote which quickly went viral on social media. In 2016 he wrote "Birding While Black." In 2017 he published an award-winning memoir titled "The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature". Lanham features in episode 7 of the 2019 TV series Birds of North America, produced by Topic and hosted by Jason Ward. In 2020, the podcast This is Love spoke with Drew Lanham for their episode, "Prairie Warbler."