Research: My research on infectious diseases comes out of my focus as a historian of medieval Europe. Plague (caused by Yersinia pestis) and leprosy (caused by Mycobacterium leprae or M. lepromatosis) were the two most significant diseases historically. They were also the diseases in which the earliest successes were achieved by modern palaeogenetics, in alliance with bioarchaeology. Hence, I have been exploring how the new findings on the evolutionary histories of these bacteria can help reshape our understanding of human pandemics. I also work comparatively on the histories of several other globally disseminated infectious diseases, connecting their trajectories with major shifts in human migration patterns and social structures.
“Medicine in France and England in the Long Twelfth Century: Inheritors and Creators of European Medicine,” in: France et Angleterre: manuscrits médiévaux entre 700 et 1200, ed. Charlotte Denoël and Francesco Siri (Turnhout: Brepols, 2020), pp. 363-388
“What Places Ebola in the Realm of the ‘Global’? A View from History,” in The Shapes of Epidemics and Global Disease, ed. Andrea Patterson and Ian Read (Newcastle-on-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020), pp. 328-362
with Lori Jones, “The Evolution and Spread of Major Human Diseases in the Indian Ocean World,” in Disease Dispersion and Impact in the Indian Ocean World, ed. Gwyn Campbell and Eva-Marie Knoll, Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), pp. 25-57
Pandemic Disease in the Medieval World: Rethinking the Black Death, inaugural issue of The Medieval Globe 1, no. 1-2 (Fall 2014)
Works in progress:
The Black Death: A Global History
Black Death Digital Archive (with Nükhet Varlık, Joris Roosen, and Ece Turnator)