- Human health, animal health and their intersections in 19th and 20th century Britain.
- The history of livestock farming
- The science, practice and policy of animal health and welfare
- British veterinary history
The linking theme of my research is the history of animal health, and its intersections with histories of human health and agricultural production. My aim is not simply to develop new historical understandings of these issues, but to use the findings to shed light on the present. Currently, I am leading a 5-year programme of research sponsored by the Wellcome Trust entitledOne Medicine? investigating human and animal disease. In revealing the frequent and diverse ways in which medical doctors engaged with problems of animal disease, this research is demonstrating that animals were far more important to the history of human health and medicine than previously realised. My earlier research addressed how and why livestock disease patterns and perceptions changed over time, along with concepts of health, welfare and productivity. Focussing on Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries, I have explored the evolution of animal health science and policy, and the roles, values and expertise of practising and state vets. I am particularly interested in the evolution of modern livestock systems, and their implications for livestock health and human-animal relationships.
My current research students are:
Julie Hipperson ('Veterinary Training and veterinary work: a female perspective, 1919-2000'. An AHRC-funded studentship pursued in collaboration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Knowledge)
Esther Harper ('Nurturing the Thoroughbred: The making of the modern race horse in Britain, c1860-1939.' An AHRC-funded studentship pursued in collaboration with the National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket)
Agnes Arnold-Forster ('Breast cancer in 19th century Britain.' AHRC-funded)
Please contact me if you are interested in pursuing a PhD on the modern history of:
- Health and medicine (of humans or animals)
- Food and farming
- Scientific experts
For more details, please see my full research profile.