Stephan Harding was born in Venezuela in 1953. He came to England at the age of six with his father and housekeeper, with whom he spoke Spanish (his mother tongue) at home. Since childhood Stephan has had a deep fascination with the natural world, and his scientific cast of mind lead him to do a degree in Zoology at the University of Durham and then a doctorate on the behavioural ecology of the muntjac deer at Oxford University. Before Durham, Stephan spent a gap year helping to carry out ecological research in the remote Sengwa Research Station in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), where he worked on warthog ecology, and as a Durham undergraduate he led a two-man expedition to the Manu National Park in Peru. After completing his first degree he returned to Venezuela where he was a field assistant for the Smithsonian Institute, studying mammalian diversity in the rainforest and in the lowland plains. It was here that he learnt to play the 4- stringed Venezuelan guitar known as the ‘cuatro’. After Oxford Stephan was appointed Visiting Professor in Wildlife Management at the National University in Costa Rica, where he lived for two years before becoming a founder member of Schumacher College in 1990. The College’s first teacher was James Lovelock, with whom Stephan has maintained a long-lasting friendship and scientific collaboration that lead to their joint appointment as founding chair holders of the Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo. Stephan lives on the College campus with his wife Julia Ponsonby and their son Oscar, is author of Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia Green Books 2009, and editor of Grow Small, Think Beautiful: Ideas for a Sustainable World from Schumacher College, Floris Books 2011.
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