It was during my undergraduate degree in history at the University of Warwick where I first encountered the potential of the medical humanities for reflecting on the relationship between health, wellbeing and culture. After a brief spell as a secondary school teacher teaching history, I then enrolled for a MA in History and Anthropology of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Manchester. In 2005, I completed a PhD, also at the University of Manchester.
Since 2005, I have worked at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, as a postdoctoral researcher. Here, I have worked independently and collaboratively on several externally funded projects, work that has culminated in a number of books, journal articles, edited volumes and public engagement activities. During this period my research developed into two main research streams. The first one explored the historical development of trace-based forensic science and medicine and their reshaping of the investigative practices and protocols of murder investigations in twentieth-century Britain. One of the main highlights of this research was my reconstruction of the forensic investigations into but also the wider cultural meanings and politics surrounding the killing spree of John Christie murders at 10 Rillington Place in 1950s Britain; a case complexly entangled with the end of the death penality and the backstreet abortion trade. My second research stream examined the social and cultural history of canine-human relations in nineteenth-century Britain, during which I used the disease rabies, the ascendance of the pedigree dog show and hunting practices and blood sports as lenses with which to interrogate Victorian culture and society. In more recent years, this research stream has extended into the twentieth century to explore the politics of dog-walking and dog dirt in post-war Britain.
In January 2017, I joined a Wellcome Trust funded interdisciplinary project and research team led by Robert Kirk. Entitled "Multispecies Medicine" this project critically explores the different ways in which medicine have formed partnerships with nonhuman animals to enhance wellbeing and health. My main contribution to this project is a historical study of the emergence of the guide-dog human partnership.