I research the history of China, with a focus on tensions between environmental conservation and economic development through the lens of state-society relations. My research looks at the interplay between traditional and modern techniques and management of hydraulic projects in China's treaty ports, the Grand Canal, the Yangzi River, and in the Guanzhong region of Shaanxi during the early 20th century. Part of my training is in global history, in particular German and US history, and the historiographical debates of those fields inform my work in Chinese and global history. I am starting a research project about insurance and risk in China's global trade from the 18th century to the present.
Committed to multi-lingual and multi-archival research, I have worked in archives and libraries in China, Taiwan, USA, Germany, Britain, and France.
My research has been supported by major national and international funding awards. In 2014, I was awarded the British Academy / Leverhulme Small Research Grant. My past awards include the Fulbright-IIE, DAAD, Fulbright-Hays DDRA, and the Taiwan Fellowship by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
I have been invited to discuss my research with audiences in China, Taiwan, Germany, Norway, the United States, and Britain. I have been a Visiting Scholar at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, the Department of History at Peking University, and the Institute of Modern History at Academia Sinica.