Robles PhotoI am a PhD candidate in Harvard University’s American Studies program specializing in early American history, history of science, animal studies, Atlantic history, material culture studies, and environmental history. My dissertation, titled “Curious Species: How Animals Made Natural History, 1700–1820,” examines the role animals and specimens played in early American natural history and considers how nonhumans shaped the very project that sought to study them. Prior to entering graduate school, I worked as a science editor for a global health laboratory at Caltech and as a freelance science and nature writer. Before that, I penned stories on firefly sex, flavor perception, and terraforming Mars while working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 2011, I graduated from Yale University with an American Studies degree and a concentration in nature writing.

Cover Image: Hand-colored engraving from William Jardine’s The Naturalist’s Library. Courtesy of Flickr/Dedree Dees.