About the College >> Stephan Harding

Stephan Harding

Coordinator and Senior Lecturer - Holistic Science / Estate Ecologist.

Email: stephan@schumachercollege.org.uk(link sends e-mail)
Tel: +44 (0)1803 847225

Stephan oversees the MSc in Holistic Science, teaching on the core models and as part of several of the short courses at the College. Stephan was born in Venezuela in 1953, and  came to England at the age of six with his father and housekeeper, with whom he spoke Spanish (his mother tongue).  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. 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. 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.  At Schumacher College Stephan has taught alongside many of the world’s leading ecological thinkers and activists, including Arne Naess, Fritjof Capra, Vandana Shiva, David Abram, James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis.

Stephan is author of Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia. Green Books, and editor of Grow Small, Think Beautiful. Floris Books.  He is also the writer and presenter of the documentary film Animate Earth,  produced by Angel TV.


Harding S.P.  2015 Towards an Animistic Science of the Earth.  In: Handbook of    Contemporary Animism. G. Harvey (ed.)   Routledge.

Harding S.P. 2011 (ed.) Grow Small, Think Beautiful: Ideas for a Sustainable World from Schumacher College.  Floris Books.

Harding S.P and Margulis, L.  2010 Water Gaia: Three and a half million years of wetness on planet Earth in: Gaia in Turmoil. MIT Press.

Harding S.P. 2009  Animate Earth (2nd ed.). Green Books, Dartington, UK. (also published in Brazil, Catalonia, Italy ,Germany, USA, South Korea and Thailand ).

Harding S.P. and Lovelock J.E. 1996 Exploiter-mediated coexistence and frequency dependent selection in a numerical model of biodiversity. J.Theor. Biol. 182: 109-116.


Animate Earth. Documentary film produced by Sally Angel


Dr Stephan Harding - Gaia Theory & Deep Ecology