Campus: Guelph
Office: 2002 MacKinnon Extension

My current research explores the environmental consequences of Latin America’s incorporation into the global economy during the long nineteenth century. I look at the interplay between economy and environment by studying the origins of epidemic diseases in the Latin America’s main export crops. Most recently, I have been studying the history of the witches’ broom disease of cacao in Ecuador and Brazil. My other interests include the social history of tropical commodities, the history and anthropology of natural disasters, and the history of science in Latin America.

Selected Publications:

  • States of Nature: Science, Agriculture, and Environment in the Spanish Caribbean, 1760-1940 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002)
  • “Las epidemias liberales: agricultura, ambiente, y globalización en Ecuador, 1790-1930” in Estudios sobre historia y ambiente en América Latina. Vol. 2, Norteamérica, Sudamérica, y el Pacífico. Edited by Bernardo Garcí­a Martí­nez and Marí­a del Rosario Prieto (México, El Colegio de México/Instituto Panamericano de Geografí­a e Historia, 2002): 223?246.
  • “‘Giving Plants a Civil Status’: Scientific Representations of Nature and Nation in Costa Rica and Venezuela, 1885-1935,” in The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History 58 (April 2002): 513-536.
  • “Promoting the ‘Practical’: Science and Agricultural Modernization in Puerto Rico and Colombia, 1920-1940,” Agricultural History 75 (Winter 2001): 52-82.
  • “De Lausanne aux forêts vénézueliennes. Mission géologique de François de Loys (1892-1935) et les origines d’une controverse anthropologique,” with Angel L. Viloria, Franco Urbani, and Bernardo Urbani. Bulletin de la Société Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles 86 (September 1999): 157-174.
  • “Creole Science: Botanical Surveys of Costa Rica, 1880-1940,” Endeavour 23 (1999): 118-120.
  • “‘It may be truth, but it is not evidence:’ Paul du Chaillu and the Legitimation of Evidence in the Field Sciences,” Osiris 11 (1996): 177-197. Reprinted in Science, Race, and Ethnicity: Readings from Isis and Osiris, edited by John P. Jackson, Jr. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 341-361.
  • “Cosechas inciertas: la investigación agrí­cola bajo la dictadura de Juan Vicente Gómez (1908-1935),” in Ciencia, Tecnologí­a y Sociedad en América Latina ed. Hebe Vessuri (Caracas: ALAS/Nueva Sociedad, 1994): 129-140.