Address: William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School, Teviot Place.
I was born in Arnhem, the Netherlands and did my first degree at the University of Groningen (after a year in France at Rennes II), before moving to Scotland to do my PhD at the University of St Andrews. I loved it so much that I simply never went back home. From 2003 until 2006, I was a post-doc at Aberdeen, before my first appointment at the University of Reading. I joined the School of History, Classics and Archaeology in 2014.
My PhD and first book, on Scotland and the Netherlands, was an attempt to redraft the boundaries of the Scottish enlightenment both chronologically (going back into the 17th century) and geographically (to include Scotland’s relationship with Europe).
In Aberdeen, I worked on a project on the Scots in the 17th century Atlantic and I have been working on Atlantic history ever since. I dislike inward-looking Anglo-centric history and I firmly believe that 17th century Scotland and England were European nations.
My current research project takes me back to Scotland, and aims to write a new intellectual and political biography of William Carstares, churchman, politician, exile and one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the Scottish Enlightenment. He was a fascinating figure whose interests stretched across several countries and included church politics and education.