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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Teaching Associate

Research interests

History of medicine and the life sciences in the twentieth century, especially genetics, molecular biology, microbiology; history of biotechnology; nonhuman animals in science and medicine; animal research and its regulation; agricultural sciences, reproductive technologies, and animal breeding; bacteriophage therapy; history of the life sciences in the USSR, especially in Ukraine and Georgia; histories of science in public and the media post-1945; history of science publishing; oral history.


I started my career examining the invention and early adoption of genetically modified (transgenic) mice in the 1980s, with close attention paid to circulation of materials, researchers and techniques, and the communication of this research to diverse audiences. I am currently finishing a monograph based on this work. I have since researched the history of the Roslin Institute and the cloning of Dolly the Sheep, and the history of animal research regulation in the late-twentieth-century Britain (as part of the Animal Research Nexus). I have also investigated the history of bacteriophage therapy – the use of viruses to treat bacterial infections – across the Iron Curtain, and especially in Soviet-era Georgia.

My current research seeks to understand the history of embryo transfer, the ability to transplant embryos between mammals of the same or different species, as a reproductive technology in its own right, specifically in cattle farming. I am especially interested in why embryo transfer became commercially viable in the 1970s and was embraced by users (veterinarians, breeders, herd societies); how it changed the global mobility of embryos across diverse biosecurity regimes; and the role of freezing technologies in circulating embryos and preserving rare breeds.


Selected publications


'The Cold Futures of Mouse Genetics: Modes of Strain Cryopreservation Since the 1970s', with Sara Peres. Science, Technology & Human Values, online first (15 November 2022).

'Governance, expertise, and the "culture of care": The changing constitutions of laboratory animal research in Britain, 1876–2000', with Robert G. W. Kirk. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 93 (2022): 107–12.

'Professor Giorgi Eliava and the Eliava Institute of Bacteriophage', with Nina Chanishvili and Timothy K. Blauvelt. Phage: Therapy, Applications and Research 3, no. 2, (2022): 71–80.

'Animal research nexus: A new approach to the connections between science, health and animal welfare', with Gail Davies, Richard Gorman, Beth Greenhough, Pru Hobson-West, Robert G. W. Kirk et al. Medical Humanities 46 (2020): 499–511.

'Creature features: The lively narratives of bacteriophages in Soviet biology and medicine'. Notes and Records, 74, no. 4 (2020): 579–597.

'Tinkering with genes and embryos: The multiple invention of transgenic mice c. 1980'. History & Technology 35, no. 4 (2019): 425–452.

'Between mice and sheep: Biotechnology, agricultural science, and animal models in late-twentieth-century Edinburgh', with Miguel García-Sancho. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Science 75 (2019): 24–33.

'An alternative cure: The adoption and survival of bacteriophage therapy in the USSR, 1922–1955'. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 73, no. 4 (2018): 385–410.

'Cuts and the cutting edge: Science funding and the making of animal biotechnology in 1980s Edinburgh'. British Journal for the History of Science 50, no. 4 (2017): 701–728.

Edited works and reports

Dolly at Roslin: A collective memory event, co-edited with Miguel García-Sancho, 60 pp. University of Edinburgh, 2017.

The invisible history of the visible sheep: How a look at the past may broaden our view of the legacy of Dolly, with Miguel García-Sancho and James Lowe, 20 pp. Report for the BBSRC, 2017.