I’m an early modern environmental historian researching wood scarcity in 16th and 17th century England and how these fears shaped colonial expansion into the Atlantic World.

I teach broad courses on environmental history that mix broad geographic and chronological frameworks with case studies. I’ve taught courses on early modern conservation and sustainability, rivers and human history from the Ancient world to Los Angeles, and doing history in the Anthropocene in addition to introductory courses to early modern Atlantic and American environmental history.


PhD University of Southern California, 2015

BA University of Delaware, 2009


“Atlantic Iron: Wood Scarcity and the Political Ecology of Early English Expansion,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series (July 2016), 73 (3): pgs. 389-426.

  • Nominated for the Agricultural History Society’s 2016 Wayne D. Rasmussen Award for the best article on agricultural history not published in Agricultural History.

“‘Pirates’ and the Problems of Plantation in Seventeenth-Century Ireland,” in Governing the Sea in the Early Modern Era: Essays in Honor of Robert C. Ritchie, edited by Peter C. Mancall and Carole Shammas, (San Marino, CA: Huntington Library Press, 2015), pgs. 79-108.

“Taming the Wilderness in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Ireland and Virginia,” Environmental History (October 2011) 16 (4): pgs. 610-632.

Blog Posts


    Current Book Project: “No Wood, No Kingdom: The Political Ecology of the English Atlantic World” (Under Contract with the University of Pennsylvania Press)

    Future Project: Rivers of Empire: River Regulation and Flood Control in the English Atlantic World


    American Society for Environmental History

    North American Conference for British Studies

    American Historical Association

    Keith Pluymers

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