2021 Speaker Biographies: The Little Ice Age

Clark Alejandrino teaches at Trinity College. Clark finished a Ph.D. in East Asian Environmental History at Georgetown University. He specializes in the environmental history of China, especially its climate and animal history, covering the fifth to the twentieth century in his research. He is currently preparing a book manuscript on typhoons in the history of the South China coast.

Dagomar Degroot is an associate professor of environmental history at Georgetown University. His first book, The Frigid Golden Age, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018; his next book, Ripples in the Cosmic Ocean, is under contract with Harvard University Press and Viking. He publishes equally in both historical and scientific journals, most recently for Nature, Climate of the Past, Environmental History, and Environment and History. He is co-director of the Climate History Network and HistoricalClimatology.com, co-host of the popular podcast Climate History, and writes for a popular audience in publications that include the Washington Post and Aeon Magazine.

Lucy Gill's research sits at the intersection of anthropological archaeology and historical ecology, employing community-based participatory research practices as the foundation for empirically rigorous data collection and theoretical formulation. She co-directs Darién Profundo, a collaborative project based in eastern Panama, which employs community mapping, paleoecology, and ethnography, in addition to archaeological field and laboratory methods, to document the deep local history of Darién Province. She has also worked in Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and elsewhere in the United States. In the classroom, Lucy works with K-12 teachers and other university educators to improve multicultural heritage literacy in the United States.

Matthew Hannaford is a Lecturer in Historical-Cultural Geography and Environmental History at the University of Lincoln. He completed his PhD, entitled ‘the consequences of past climate change for state formation and security in southern Africa’ at the University of Sheffield in 2015, before moving to Utrecht University to undertake a postdoctoral fellowship exploring the roots of vulnerability to historical climatic hazards in northwest Europe. His main research interests lie in reconstructing pre-instrumental climate variability using documentary sources, investigating past responses to climate variability, and examining long-term trajectories of adaptation.

Sugata Ray is a professor of South and Southeast Asian Art at UC Berkeley. His research interests lie at the intersection of early modern South Asian and global histories, art history, the Indian Ocean basin, climate change and Eco Art History. These research interests are reflected in both his teaching and his writing. Recent courses include: Visualizing the Enlightenment in the Colony, The Matter of Material: Towards Planetary Art Histories, and Liquescence: A Cultural History of Water. His first book is titled Climate Change and the Art of Devotion: Geoaesthetics in the Land of Krishna, 1550–1850. It “examine[s] the interrelationship between matter and life in shaping creative practices in the Hindu pilgrimage site of Braj during the ecocatastrophes of the Little Ice Age (ca. 1550–1850).”

Sam White is a professor at the Ohio State University and author of articles and books on climate and history, including the The Climate of Rebellion in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire and A Cold Welcome: The Little Ice Age and Europe’s Encounter with North America.  He is also editor of the Palgrave Handbook of Climate History and helps run the Climate History Network and Past Global Changes (PAGES) Climate Reconstruction and Impacts from the Archives of Societies (CRIAS) working group.

Gillen D'Arcy Wood is Professor of Environmental Humanities and English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he is Associate Director of Education at the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, and directs the undergraduate Certificate in Environmental Writing. He is the author of five books and numerous articles on nineteenth-century literature, culture, and environmental history, including the award-winning Tambora: The Eruption that Changed the World (Princeton 2014) and, most recently, Land of Wondrous Cold: The Race to Discover Antarctica and the Secrets of its Ice (Princeton 2020). His current research, for which he has received a 2021-22 Carnegie Fellowship, focuses on our deteriorating oceans and the Victorian origins of marine science.