History of biomedical sciences, history of life sciences, historical ecology of disease, role of science in mediating human-animal interactions over time
I am a historian of the modern biomedical and life sciences, with specialization in the historical ecology of disease, comparative and veterinary medicine, and environment and health. I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (University of Illinois) and completed my Ph.D. in History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania (1997). Prior to coming to Minnesota, I was a faculty member in the Department of History at the University of Colorado (Boulder); I also spent three terms as a Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University (UK). My early articles and first book, Valuing Animals, focused on topics including the cultural history of animal and zoonotic diseases; the development of comparative medicine; animal protection groups and the laboratory sciences; and how science mediated the changing relationships between humans and animals (both wild and domesticated). My current research interests focus on the historical ecology of zoonotic diseases. I am working on book-length projects on the history of anthrax and the history of bovine tuberculosis. Methodologically, I ask how human interpretations of disease have changed over time, how disease-causing agents have changed their ecology over time, and how the two have affected each other. I teach courses in the history of gender and science; the history of ecology and environmental history; history of biology and the life sciences; and the historical ecology of disease.
Death in a Small Package: A Short History of Anthrax (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.) Order from Johns Hopkins University Press.
Valuing Animals: Veterinarians and Their Patients in Modern America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).
"Body and Place." Environmental History 10 (2005): 47-49.
"Mapping a Zoonotic Disease: Anglo-American Efforts to Control Bovine Tuberculosis Before World War I." Osiris 19 (2004): 133-148.
"Scientific Debates and Popular Beliefs: A Historical Study of Bovine Tuberculosis." Argos: Bulletin van het Veterinair Historisch Genootschap 27 (2002): 313-318.
"Becoming a Pest: Prairie Dog Ecology and the Human Economy in the Euroamerican West." Environmental History 4 (1999): 531-552.
"Framing Animal Disease: Housecats with Feline Urological Syndrome, Their Owners, and Their Doctors." Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 52 (1997): 202-235.