I am currently a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church College. I completed my doctoral degree in 2019 at the Centre for History of Science, Medicine and Technology, the University of Oxford. During my doctoral studies, I received several scholarships and fellowships, including the Oxford-Pears Foundation Scholarship, the Leo Baeck scholarship, the graduate research fellowship at the Center for Jewish History in New York City, and a research affiliation at the Taub Center for Israel Studies in NYU. In 2018 I co-founded the Oxford Environmental History Network (OEHN) which aims to connect researchers working on environmental history at the University of Oxford. Since 2021 I am also heading the online international research group Jewish Environmental History (sponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute).
Global and Colonial History
Modern Jewish History
History of Israel-Palestine
My monograph New Under the Sun: Colonial Encounters with the Climate and Environment in Palestine, 1897–1948 will be published in early 2024 by the University of California Press. The book focuses on Oriental and colonial aspects of British and Zionist knowledge production, with respect to the climate and environment in Palestine during the first half of the twentieth century. There is a particular emphasis on the ways in which the local climate was understood and dealt with in the fields of medicine, architecture, and agriculture.
My new research project centres on the global, cultural, more-than-human, and ecological history of the prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica), also known in Israel-Palestine as the ‘Sabra’. The sabra has been long considered a national symbol by both Israelis and Palestinians. However, its story is broader and more complex than previously understood. The cactus is believed to have originated from the Mexican prairies (where it likewise serves as a national symbol) and over time it migrated to new destinations where economic benefits could be made from it. One such destination was Australia where the prickly pear quickly became an invasive species and caused significant ecological damage. As a result, in the early 20th century, the Australian government launched a mass campaign to destroy the cactus. Yet, the Australian destruction of the prickly pear was so massive that today it is facing global existential danger. The proposed project seeks to unravel the shifting cultural, economic, and ecological meanings and significances of the Sabra around the world as well as its historical and transnational journey which inevitably connected and transformed different places, their people, and their environments.
I currently teach:
European and World History: Imperial and Global History 1750-1930
FS: The Authority of Nature: Race, Heredity, and Crime from the 18th to the 20th Century