The University of British Columbia has hired renowned ethnologist and author Wade Davis as a professor.

The Vancouver-born Davis, a best-selling author who has served as National Geographic Society's Explorer-in-Residence since 1999, is expected to arrive at UBC in July 2014.

While he has lectured at leading universities around the world, this is the first time he has ever been appointed a professor.

"I am thrilled to return to British Columbia to join a university so committed to advancing the understanding and celebration of the world’s cultures, ecosystems and biological heritage," Davis said in a statement on Wednesday.

"I feel honoured to have this chance to collaborate with so many inspired UBC colleagues and the broader community to advance these crucial issues on a global stage."

Davis will split his time between the classroom and the field, teaching courses at the Department of Anthropology and working as a research associate with the Museum of Anthropology.

His research and classes will focus on public education, advocacy and policy impact.

"Very few public intellectuals have the experience and command the respect that Wade Davis does to weigh in on the critical decisions facing our province and nation," said Gage Averill, Dean of UBC’s Faculty of Arts, in a statement.

"Wade Davis will bring his uniquely valuable and interdisciplinary contributions to educating the next generation of students of cultural and environmental sustainability. We are thrilled that he has chosen UBC as his home base for this next phase of his career."

Davis' recent fieldwork has taken him around the world, to East Africa, Borneo, Botswana, Nepal, Bhutan, Peru, Polynesia, Tibet, Mali, Benin, Togo, New Guinea, Australia, Colombia, Vanuatu, Mongolia, the high Arctic of Nunavut and Greenland.

He holds degrees in anthropology, biology and ethnobotany from Harvard University and has received numerous honorary degrees.