Rene Winkler

Thesis title: The Origins of Museums in Scotland - Robert Sibbald's "Auctarium Musaei Balfouriani" [Preliminary title]


BA (Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry) - The Open University - Final Project: "Chemical Conjugation Strategies in Antibody-Drug-Conjugates (ADC)"

MA (Hons) History - The University of Edinburgh

MSc History - The University of Edinburgh -- Dissertation title "Critical Collecting - Expressing Expertise in Early Modern Conchology"

Undergraduate teaching


The Historian's Toolkit  2019-2022

Early Modern History - A Connected World 2020-2022

Themes in Scottish History since 1560  2022 - present

Research summary

I am interested in the history of early modern science, collecting and museums. My PhD project is looking at the way in which the collecting of natural history specimens in Scotland c.1700 led to the generation, distribution and questioning of knowledge about nature. 

Current project grants

HCA School Doctoral Scholarship - 2019-2022


April 2020 - HCA First Year PhD Conference - Co-Organiser

May 2022 - Edinburgh-Oxford Intellectual History Conference - Co-Organiser


Papers delivered

April 2020 - HCA First Year PhD Conference "Robert Sibbald and the Auctarium Musaei Balfouriani (1697)

August 2020 -   European Society for the History of Science Conference [Online] "Robert Sibbald's Auctarium Musæi Balfouriani and the role of museums and collecting in the making of natural scientific knowledge during the early Scottish Enlightenment"

November 2020 - Material and Visual Culture Seminar Series [Online] "Collecting Scottish Nature: Robert Sibbald and the goose barnacle myth"

May 2022 - Edinburgh - Oxford Intellectual History Conference "Defending Natural History -  Museums and Robert Sibbald's Vincidiae Scotiae Illustratae (1710)" 

September 2022 - “Due Observations and Contemplation and Reflection” Stoic ethics, natural philosophy and geology in the work of Robert Sibbald - Workshop: Before Geology:  Reclaiming the Cultural Heritage of Europe's Underground Landscape Funded by Una Europa

June 2023 - Fossil Fuel – Robert Wodrow, James Paterson and a short-lived network of exchange in pre-Union Scotland - Workshop: Brokering the Enlightenment: Scotland and the World International IASH, University of Edinburgh, June 2023