Jeremy Narby was born in 1959 in Montreal, Canada. He studied history at the University of Kent at Canterbury and obtained a doctorate in anthropology from Stanford University. He spent several years living with Asháninka people in the Peruvian Amazon, cataloging indigenous uses of rainforest resources. Since 1990, he has worked for a humanitarian organization based in Switzerland, Nouvelle Planète, fundraising for the initiatives of indigenous Amazonian people to gain land rights, to set up bilingual education programs, and to protect the rainforest from destruction and contamination. He has written several books about the knowledge of Amazonian people, including The Cosmic Serpent, which have been translated into a total of seventeen languages.