Reawakening the Ammonites: A History of the Lost World, 1500-1900
I am a historian of knowledge, working on the intellectual and environmental histories of European science across the early modern globe. My dissertation, Reawakening the Ammonites, argues that conchologists (scientists who study shells) raised awareness of extinction three centuries before the discovery of the dinosaurs. Future articles will investigate the consequences of this argument and analyze how European colonizers developed practices for preserving rare and endangered species. My second book project will be a study of how blind knowers and makers invented new techniques of empiricism.
My research has been supported by fellowships from the DAAD, National Science Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Edward Worth Library, Folger Shakespeare Library, Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, and Princeton’s Center for Human Values. I am also the recipient of the 2017 Annals of Science Best Article Prize as well as the 2022 Mary and Randall Hack Award for Water and the Environment.
Prior to Princeton, I received a BA and MA from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany. I have been a visiting researcher at the Warburg Institute of the University of London (2020–2021), the California Institute of Technology (2016–2017) where I assisted in editing the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, and the Philosophy Department at UC Berkeley (2015–2016). Currently I am a resident scholar at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. I have taught at Munich and Princeton, as well as in New Jersey state prisons.
“Scripting Speech: A Manuscript Declamation in Sixteenth-Century Humanism.” History of Universities 35, 2 (2022): 16-83.
Review of Francesco G. Sacco, “Real, Mechanical, Experimental. Robert Hooke’s Natural Philosophy.” Isis 112, 4 (2021): 833-834.
“The First Mite: Insect Genealogy in Hooke’s Micrographia.” Annals of Science 75, 3 (2018): 165-200. Awarded the journal’s Best Article Prize for 2017.
“The Blind Naturalist.” 11 June 2022.
“Extinction in the Ancient World?” 14 May 2021.