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From Collection to Cultivation


A group photo of some of our team at Brogdale Collections, September 2021

Principal Investigator: Helen Anne Curry


Helen Anne Curry is the Melvin Kranzberg Professor in History of Technology in the School of History and Sociology at Georgia Tech and an honorary senior research fellow in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. She is the PI of From Collection to Cultivation, funded by the Wellcome Trust, and author of Evolution Made to Order (Chicago, 2016) and Endangered Maize (California, 2022).


Post-Doctoral Research Fellow: Tad Brown


Tad Brown's research engages with the social history of agricultural diversity, including; how experimental studies determine the identity of crop varieties, how people recognize livestock breeds in village settings, and how legal domains interact with crop choices. Tad is writing a book on the peanut industry of the United States.


Doctoral Student: Erinn Campbell


Erinn Campbell studied biology and history at Seattle Pacific University before joining the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge as a master’s student. Her doctoral research explores phytosanitary practices in California from 1954 to 1985, focusing on efforts to prevent and manage invasions of tephritid fruit flies.


Doctoral Student: Leo Chu


Leo is currently a doctoral student in HPS. Leo holds a BSc in Biological Science from the University of Hong Kong and a MA in science and technology studies (STS) from the University of British Columbia. His work examines the history of urban agriculture in the Global South (1970-2010) by tracing the gardening program of the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC).


Doctoral Student: Zsuzsanna Ihar


Zsuzsanna Dominika Ihar is a PhD student in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. Her research on militarisation of agricultural science from the Gulf War onwards is supported by funding from the Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust.


Doctoral Student: João P. R. Joaquim


João P. R. Joaquim is currently a PhD student in the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge through the Open-Oxford-Cambridge Doctoral Training Partnership programme. His research focuses on the history of plant virus research in mid-twentieth-century Britain.


Doctoral Student: Hitesh Pant


Hitesh Pant completed the MPhil Conservation Leadership programme at the University of Cambridge, leading a project for Fauna and Flora International to uncover the emerging trends of illegal wildlife trade in Central Asia and the Balkans. Hitesh’s doctoral research will uncover the ways in which small farming communities in the UK conserve, share, and transmit their heritage of seed saving, and how they will affect, and be affected, by the uncertainties of future food systems. 


Doctoral Student: Daniela Sclavo


Daniela Sclavo studied Biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and then a Master's Degree in History and Philosophy of Science at University College London. Her interests include the history of agriculture, culinary traditions, and crop conservation science. Her doctoral project on Chile Conservation is funded by the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT).