Diverging from her original plan of becoming a scientist and going to Mars, writer and adventurer Kate Harris explores desolate trails in pursuit of nature. Driven by wanderlust, Kate has traveled to the most intriguing places of the world and even trespassed twice across Tibet. She biked the Silk Road together with her best friend, Mel Yule, and has written a book, Lands of Lost Borders, about the adventure.
Kate holds degrees in biology from MIT and the University of North Carolina, as well as in history of science from Oxford University. She escaped the laboratory in pursuit of her love for nature. When she is not reporting on the UN environmental negotiations for the International Institute for Sustainable Development or going on new explorations, Harris lives off the grid with her wife and dog in Atlin, Canada.
After sharing her adventures in multiple short essays such as The Contours of Cold and The Future of the Walrus, she published Land of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road. Land of Lost Borders is travel literature reflecting both the beautiful landscape of Silk Road, as well as her experience of the trip. The novel has won several titles, including the Globe and Mail Bestseller, the Indie Next Pick and the Outside Magazine Book Club Pick. Kate is also the 2018 award winner of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival and the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize.
Hometown: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Education: M.Phil in History of Science, M.Sc in Earth and Planetary Science
Occupation: Exploring, conserving, and writing about the wildest places in the world
Expeditions: Traveled to all seven continents for the sake of science, adventure, research and writing. Biked the Silk Road through Xinjiang and Tibet.
Favorite Place to Be: Beyond treeline, whether a high altitude or high latitude (or preferably both)
Best Discovery: Science can be a peacekeeping tool in contested wildernesses, from Kashmir to Antarctica to outer space
Favorite Items in the Field: Good books, my notebook, my camera and my red bandana
Personal Heroes: Fridtjof Nansen, Alexandra David-Neel, Henrey David Thoreau
Hobbies: Anything alpine; riding and racing bikes; photography
Book: Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road
Advice: Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still. – Thoreau