I specialise in the study of modern war and conflict, the history of medicine, and the spaces in which those worlds overlap.
I am a Research Fellow at Oxford’s new Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, a senior associate at Pembroke College and a research associate at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine. I am also a member of Council of the British School at Athens, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a research associate at the Imperial War Museum. Away from academia, I have worked extensively in post-conflict countries as an official observer of international elections for the European Union and OSCE, and in Afghanistan with the British Army.
My current research looks at international responses to outbreaks of epidemic disease in Italy in 1943-44, Germany in 1945, Palestine in 1948 and Korea in 1951, with a particular focus on vector control and the movement and management of human populations. With support from Oxford’s Fell Fund, I am also researching international practices of cultural heritage protection in Greece and the eastern Mediterranean during and immediately after the Second World War. My books include studies of the wartime work of Britain’s Special Operations Executive in the Balkans and Italy, and I am currently preparing for publication a further monograph examining SOE’s efforts to address the psychological pressures to which its personnel were exposed across the globe.
Target: Italy: The Secret War Against Mussolini 1940-1943 (Faber & Faber 2014)
Target: Italy is an in-depth study of the covert war waged on Benito Mussolini's Fascist Italy by Britain's Special Operations Executive. An official commission in the UK Government’s official history series, it is the first full account of SOE's clandestine efforts to strike at Italy and sever its alliance with Nazi Germany. It illuminates episodes as varied as plots to assassinate Mussolini, plans to arm the Mafia, and the delicate negotiations that led to Italy's surrender in 1943, and draws particular attention to the difficulties and dangers of fomenting resistance to well-entrenched authoritarian regimes.