The Project Team

Principal Investigator and Postdoctoral Research Assistants

Professor Sharon Ruston is the Davy Notebooks Project’s Principal Investigator. She is Professor of Romanticism in the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing, Lancaster University. Her main research interests are in the relations between the literature, science, and medicine of the Romantic period, 1780-1820. Her first book, Shelley and Vitality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), explored the medical and scientific contexts which inform Shelley’s concept of vitality in his major poetry. In 2010, she published Romanticism: An Introduction (Continuum). In 2013, she published Creating Romanticism: Case Studies in the Literature, Science, and Medicine of the 1790s (Palgrave Macmillan). With Tim Fulford, she co-edited The Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy, published in four volumes by Oxford University Press in 2020. (Zooniverse username: sruston).

Dr Andrew Lacey is the Davy Notebooks Project’s Senior PDRA. He is Senior Research Associate in the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing, Lancaster University. He has research interests in Romantic-period writing (especially the poetry of Shelley and Wordsworth, and the relationships of their writings to philosophy, especially of death), in late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century letter writing (particularly that of Davy), and in the theory and practice of scholarly editing. He was formerly research assistant (also Senior Research Associate) on The Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy, and is currently finishing a book on Shelley’s visions of death. From March 2019 onwards, Andrew designed, built, and was responsible for the day-to-day management of the Davy Notebooks Project pilot project on Zooniverse. He is currently responsible for the day-to-day management of the full project on Zooniverse. (Zooniverse username: aplacey; social media signature from late April 2021: ^AL).

Dr Eleanor Bird is a Research Associate on the Davy Notebooks Project, based in the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing, Lancaster University. She was awarded her PhD on ‘Canada and Slavery in Transatlantic Print Culture’ at the University of Sheffield in 2018. Eleanor has published articles on Mary Prince and Susanna Moodie in Notes & Queries, and has work on slavery in Quebec’s newspapers forthcoming (2021) in the Journal of Transatlantic Studies. She is currently researching Humphry Davy’s racial politics and connections to the transatlantic slave trade, slavery, and colonialism. Eleanor joined the Project in April 2021. (Zooniverse username: Eleanor_Lucy_Bird).


Dr Samantha Blickhan is a Co-Investigator on the Davy Notebooks Project. She is the Humanities Lead for Zooniverse and Co-Director of the Zooniverse team at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium. Her duties include guiding the strategic vision for Zooniverse humanities efforts and managing development of new tools and resources, which have been supported by funding from the Institute of Museum & Library Services, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, and the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. She is Co-I of the Collective Wisdom project, which will produce an authoritative book on the ‘state of the art’ in cultural heritage crowdsourcing in 2021. (Zooniverse username: blicksam).

Professor Frank James is a Co-Investigator on the Davy Notebooks Project. He is Professor of History of Science at University College London. He edited The Correspondence of Michael Faraday (six volumes, 1991-2012). He is currently researching, with a view to writing a book on, Humphry Davy’s practical work, having always had a strong interest in the relations of science with other areas of society and culture, including the military, art (where he co-authored a book on the scientific and technological content of paintings in the National Gallery), religion, and technology.

Dr Joanna Taylor is a Co-Investigator on the Davy Notebooks Project. She is Presidential Academic Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Manchester. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century literary geographies and spatial poetics, and explores the uses of digital technologies as an intersection between literary analysis and environmental studies. She has published widely in journals including Studies in RomanticismJournal of Arts and Humanities Computing, and International Journal of Geographical Information Science. Her book, co-authored with Ian Gregory and titled Deep Mapping the Literary Lake District, is forthcoming with Bucknell University Press. (Zooniverse username: JoTayl0r0).

Advisory Board, Research Assistance, and Technical Assistance

The Davy Notebooks Project Advisory Board, in addition to the Project team, comprises Dr Wahida Amin, Dr Adelene Buckland (King’s College London), Professor Dame Athene Donald (University of Cambridge), Professor Jan Golinski (University of New Hampshire), Professor Richard Holmes, Professor Alice Jenkins (University of Glasgow), Professor Mark Miodownik (University College London), Charlotte New (Royal Institution of Great Britain), Professor Jim Secord (University of Cambridge), Professor Shelley Trower (University of Roehampton), and Dr Gregory Tate (University of St Andrews).

Alexander Theo Giesen, an MSc student in History and Philosophy of Science in the Science and Technology Studies Department at UCL, worked on the project between June and August 2021 on a UCL STS Summer Studentship.

Michal Radecki, a Computer Sciences graduate of the School of Computing and Communications, Lancaster University, provides specialist technical assistance in the processing of project data. (Zooniverse username: radickim).