I am interested in British imperial, maritime, transnational, global and transoceanic history. I am particularly interested in the material infrastructures of global networks, and how these facilitated the mobility of goods, people, militaries and empires.
My research thus far has looked at how the expansion of a steam-powered Royal Navy in the second half of the nineteenth century had wider ramifications across the British empire. Steam propulsion made vessels less subject to the vagaries of tides, winds and currents, but it also made them utterly dependent on a particular resource – coal – and its distribution around the world. My research assesses how this created geopolitical tensions, required large infrastructures, as well as labour forces, and also engendered cultural connections around the globe.