Personal profile

Research overview

My research encompasses ancient Greek political and social history, with a particular focus on innovative approaches to ancient material. At the beginning of my career I worked on the transmission of news in classical Greece and the development of ancient media. I then followed my interest in the history of gender to write on the representation of women on Greek painted pottery; my study The Athenian Woman: an iconographic handbook has had significant influence on subsequent approaches to the topic. Similarly my work on ancient tyranny as a mode of government helped bring a neglected topic to prominence.

Since 2013 my research has focused on human-animal interactions in the classical world: with Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones I co-authored a major reference work on ancient animals which brings together archaeological and literary evidence and considers issues of ancient taxonomy and scientific thought. My current research project, Zoa Politika: animals that live in the polis, draws on this material to study animal-human interactions across the Greek Mediterranean, identifying the distinctive animal experience of individual poleis and demonstrating how each Greek community created a ‘conceptual bestiary’ of its own.

Over the next five years I aim to initiate a larger project building on the recently-formed Ancient Mediterranean Animals Network (, to create an interactive database of animal regionality which will make research data more widely available and encourage conversations between classicists, zooarchaeologists and environmental scientists. 

I welcome research students in any area of my interests above, and particularly those intending to work on ancient animal studies.

Teaching activity

I teach broadly across Greek and Roman history, with a concentration in archaic and classical Greek history and in the study of gender in antiquity. Also of particular interest to me in teaching are ancient animal-human interactions, sensory history and the 'hidden voices' of antiquity.

My current Honours modules are:

  • CL4438 Animals in the Greco-Roman World
  • CL4442 Greek Painted Pottery
  • CL4445 Women in Ancient Societies
  • AN4146 Athens, Sparta and Thebes 478-338 BC


I grew up in South Wales and gained my MA and DPhil from University College, Oxford. At the start of my career I held temporary lectureships at Trinity College, Dublin, St John's College in Oxford and Swansea University; in 1996 I was appointed as Lecturer in Ancient History at Cardiff University. In 2004 I moved from Cardiff to take up my present post in St Andrews.


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