New Researchers Conference

Research degree students and independent scholars are warmly encouraged to share their work at our annual New Researchers Conference.

Student and Research Prizes

Are you a student working on maritime history? Apply for our Undergraduate and Postgraduate prizes.

Who We Are




Chair: Dr Helen Doe, University of Exeter 

Dr Helen DoeDr Helen Doe specialises in maritime business history, particularly in the nineteenth century. She has published extensively and among her books are The First Atlantic Liner and Enterprising Women in Shipping. She co-edited and contributed to the award winning The Maritime History of Cornwall. Helen’s latest book is SS Great Britain: Brunel’s Ship, her Voyages, Passengers and Crew. She gained her PhD at the University of Exeter where she is a Fellow of the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies. She is a member of the UK Government’s Council of Experts on National Historic Ships (these include HMS Victory, the Mary Rose, Cutty Sark and Warrior). Other appointments include Trustee of the SS Great Britain and Chairman of the Acquisitions Committee for the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.


Vice Chair: Professor Richard Harding,  University of Westminster

Professor Richard Harding  BA PhD FRHistS SFHEA is Professor Emeritus at the University of Westminster. He was head of the Department of Leadership and Professional Development at the University of Westminster from 2009 to 2016. His research specialisms are  amphibious operations, naval  leadership and the organisational development of navies. He is the author of numerous books including  Seapower and Naval Warfare, 1650-1850 (UCL Press, 1999); The Emergence of Britain’s Global Naval Supremacy (Boydell, 2010); and Modern Naval History: Debates and Prospects (Bloomsbury, 2016). He is editor of The Royal Navy, 1930-2000: Innovation and Defence: (Cass, 2004)  and co-editor (with Dr Helen Doe) of Naval Leadership and Management, 1650-1950 (Boydell 2013) and (with Dr Agustin Guimera) of Naval Leadership in the Atlantic World (University of Westminster Press 2017). 

See also: Professor Harding's page at the University of Westminster 

Vice Chair: (vacant)

2nd Vice Chair position - vacant from Summer AGM 2023.

Treasurer: Pam Armstrong


Hon. Secretary: Mrs Barbara Jones, Lloyd's Register Foundation

Barbara Jones, FSNR, is Curator of Maritime History for the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, specialising in both mercantile marine history and the history of the Lloyd’s Register Group over the past 260 years.

Barbara Jones was born on the Dengie Peninsula in Essex and this location, with its proximity to rivers and the North Sea, fostered an interest and love of the sea from an early age. Her grandfather worked on the building of motor torpedo boats and motor fishing vessels during the Second World War and her uncle worked on the restoration and refurbishment of yachts and Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboats. 

She followed her fascination for history and all things maritime by joining Lloyd’s Register in 1977 and was appointed head of Lloyd’s Register’s Information Centre in 1985. Now known as the Lloyd’s Register Foundation Heritage and Education Centre, this department is custodian of LRF’s extensive historic maritime archive and library.

Barbara has contributed to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History (Oxford, 2007) and to the Encyclopedia of Maritime and Offshore Engineering (Hoboken, NJ, 2017). She was the editor of two major publications by Nigel Watson, Lloyd’s Register 250 years of service (London, 2010) and Maritime science & technology: changing our world (London, 2015).

Barbara has an interest in art and particularly maritime art and was Curator of Gallery@LR throughout its operation. She was made a Freeman of the City of London in 2019 and a Fellow of the Society of Nautical Research in 2021.  


(Fellows are longstanding Trustees who are elected by their fellow Trustees in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the BCMH)

Professor Wendy Childs, University of Leeds

Dr Alston Kennerley, University of Exeter

Professor Andrew Lambert, King’s College, London

Andrew Lambert is Laughton Professor of Naval History in the Department of War Studies at King's College, London, Director of the Laughton Naval History Unit and a Fellow of the College. His work focuses on the naval, strategic and cultural history of the British Empire between the Napoleonic Wars and the First World War the evolution of naval historical writing and the history of technology. He has lectured on aspects of his work around the world and made several television documentaries.

His books include: The Crimean War: British Grand Strategy against Russia 1853-1856. Manchester 1990, 2nd edn Aldershot 2011; 'The Foundations of Naval History': Sir John Laughton, the Royal Navy and the Historical Profession. London 1997, Nelson: Britannia’s God of War. London 2004, Franklin: Tragic Hero of Polar Navigation. London 2009 and The Challenge: Britain versus America in the Naval War of 1812, London 2012, winner of Anderson Medal of the Society for Nautical Research. Crusoe’s Island: A rich and curious history of pirates, castaways and madness of 2016 examined English insularity through the South Pacific. Seapower States: Maritime Culture, Continental Empires and the conflict that has shaped the modern world, Yale University Press 2018 focussed on the cultural construction of maritime identity: it won the 2018 Gilder Lehrman Book Prize in Military History and has been translated into several languages. His latest book is The British Way of War: Julian Corbett and the Battle for a National Strategy, Yale 2021. War Studies Podcast.

Professor Sarah Palmer, University of Greenwich

Sarah Palmer BA (Dunelm), MA (Indiana University), PhD (LSE, London) is Emeritus Professor of Maritime History at the University of Greenwich. The founding director of the Greenwich Maritime Institute, she joined the university from Queen Mary University of London, where she lectured on British Economic History, latterly also serving as Head of the Department of History.

Sarah’s academic interests include 19th and 20th century national and international maritime economic history, maritime labour, maritime policy and port development. She has published widely on these subjects, and her current research is focussed on the relationship between London and its port in the long nineteenth century.

Sarah is a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Maritime History and Mariner’s Mirror. A former Trustee of National Museums Liverpool, she is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Society of Arts and the Society for Nautical Research.

Professor David J Starkey, University of Hull

David J. Starkey is Emeritus Professor of Maritime History, and Advisory Fellow of Blaydes Maritime Centre, at the University of Hull, UK. He is editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Maritime History, and principal investigator on 'The Last Ice Age' and 'Safety at Sea' research projects, funded respectively by the Research Council of Norway and Lloyd's Register Foundation. David has written and co-edited works on various maritime themes, with British Privateering Enterprise in the 18th Century (Exeter UP, 1990), Shipping Movements in the UK, 1871-1913 (Exeter UP, 1999), England’s Sea Fisheries (Chatham, 2000), Oceans Past (Earthscan, 2007), A History of the North Atlantic Fisheries (Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum, 2009, 2012) and Hull: Culture, History, Place (Liverpool UP, 2017) among his published works.




(Trustees are elected as individuals and not as representatives of other bodies)

Dr Richard Blakemore, University of Reading

Dr Richard Blakemore is Lecturer in the History of the Atlantic World at the University of Reading. His teaching and research focus on the social history of seafarers and maritime communities during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. He has written, with Dr Elaine Murphy, The British Civil Wars at Sea, 1638-1653, and has co-edited Law, Labour, and Empire: Comparative Perspectives on Seafarers, c. 1500-1800 (with Prof. Maria Fusaro, Dr Bernard Allaire, and Dr Tijl Vanneste) and The Maritime World of Early Modern Britain (with Dr James Davey). His articles include studies of navigation, Atlantic piracy, British trade with West Africa, and the economic activities of seafarers. He is a consultant for British and European museums and research projects, international newspapers, and the creative industries, and has appeared on historical programmes on the radio and TV.

See also Dr Blakemore’s profile page at the University of Reading.

Dr James Davey, University of Exeter

Dr James Davey is Lecturer in Naval and Maritime History at the University of Exeter. His specialism is the history of Britain and its maritime world, focusing particularly on the Royal Navy in the seventeenth, eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. His research looks beyond the traditional remit of maritime history to analyse the political, economic, social and cultural forces which created the navy, and which were in turn were shaped by its activities. His recent publications include: The Maritime World of Early Modern Britain (Amsterdam University Press, 2000) edited with Richard Blakemore, A New Naval History (Manchester University Press, 2019) edited with Quintin Colville, and In Nelson’s Wake: The Navy and the Napoleonic Wars (Yale University Press, 2015). His new research project explores the Royal Navy in the ‘Age of Revolution’. Prior to working at Exeter he was a curator at the National Maritime Museum, where he worked on two major galleries: ‘Tudor and Stuart Seafarers’ (2018) and ‘Nelson, Navy, Nation’ (2013).

Dr Roy Fenton

Dr Roy Fenton is an independent researcher, author and publisher whose major research interest is in cargo-carrying steamers and motor ships, their construction and operation. In 2005 he was awarded a PhD for his thesis on the transition from sail to steam in the British coastal bulk trades. This established the importance of the east coast coal trade in opening up this sector to steam ships, and began developments which resulted in the steam tramp and the modern bulk carrier.

His books on the ships themselves include Tramp ships: an Illustrated History (Barnsley, 2013); Coasters: an Illustrated History (Barnsley, 2011) and Steam Coasters and Short Sea Traders (with Charles Waine) (Albrighton, 1994). Works on shipping companies and their fleets include: Cambrian Coasters (Kendal, 1989); Mersey Rovers: the Coastal Tramp Ship Owners of Liverpool and the Mersey (Gravesend, 1997) and Clan Line: Illustrated Fleet History (Preston, 2007). Roy has had a number of papers published in The Mariner’s Mirror and the International Journal of Maritime History.

Roy is a director and trustee of the World Ship Society Ltd., for whom he edits publications and a regular journal.

Professor Maria Fusaro, University of Exeter

Professor Maria Fusaro is Professor in Early Modern Social and Economy History at the University of Exeter where she directs the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies.

She has been awarded two European Research Council major grants: LUPE – Sailing into Modernity: Comparative Perspectives on the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century European Economic Transition (2012-2014); and AveTransRisk – Average – Transaction Costs and Risk Management during the First Globalization (Sixteenth-Eighteenth Centuries) (2017-2022). Both these projects are concerned with the trans-national analysis of the legal and economic underpinning of early modern globalization.

Amongst her publications: Political Economies of Empire in the Early Modern Mediterranean: The Decline of Venice and the Rise of England 1450-1700 (Cambridge, 2015); co-editor with B. Allaire, R. Blakemore, T. Vanneste, Labour, Law and Empire: Comparative Perspectives on Seafarers, c. 1500-1800 (London-New York, 2015); and with Á. Polonia, Maritime History as Global History (St. John’s, 2011). Her new monograph: The Making of a Global Labour Market, 1573-1729: Maritime Law and the Political Economy of the Early Modern Mediterranean, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.


Dr Aaron Jaffer, National Maritime Museum

Dr Alan James, King’s College London

Alan James is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of War Studies. He had an unlikely start for a maritime historian growing up on the Canadian prairies. Eventually, he received his PhD from the University of Manchester and joined King's in 2002. He is interested in all aspects of the emergence of modern warfare and the international system of states and empires from late medieval Europe onward, but works on early modern naval warfare and the French navy in particular. His most recent books are as co-editor with J. D. Davies and Gijs Rommelse, Ideologies of Western Naval Power, c.1500-1815 (Routledge, 2020) and as co-author with Carlos Alfaro Zaforteza and Malcolm Murfett, European Navies and the Conduct of War (Routledge, 2019). See Alan's University profile.

Dr David Jenkins, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Dr. David Jenkins retired as Principal Curator of Transport at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales in 2017, after a 35-year career. He remains an Honorary Research Fellow of the Museum.

Descended from a long line of Ceredigion seafarers, he has written widely on aspects of Welsh maritime, transport and industrial history, and lectures and broadcasts frequently on these subjects. His main research interests are in aspects of Welsh merchant shipping history, c.1800 to the present day, and his publications include:

Jenkins Brothers of Cardiff - a Ceredigion Family's Shipping Ventures (1985).

Owen & Watkin Williams of Cardiff - the Golden Cross Line (1991).

Shipping at Cardiff - photographs from the Hansen Collection, 1920-1975 (1993).

Shipowners of Cardiff - a class by themselves: a history of the Cardiff & Bristol Channel Incorporated Shipowners' Association (1997).

From Ship's Cook to Baronet - Sir William Reardon Smith's life in shipping, 1856-1935 (2011).

'I hope to have a good passage' - the business letters of Captain Daniel Jenkins, 1902-11 (2016).

Graig - one hundred years in shipping (2019).

He is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Dept. of History & Classics at Swansea University and is co-editor of the journal Cymru a'r Mor/Maritime Wales. He also maintains close links with current merchant shipping in Wales, having served as secretary of the Cardiff & Bristol Channel Incorporated Shipowners' Association since 1989.

Dr Margarette Lincoln, National Maritime Museum

Dr Margarette Lincoln’s latest book: Trading in War, about 18th-century maritime London, was published by Yale in 2018. She is Curator Emeritus at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, where she was Deputy Director until 2015, and was a Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London. Other books include British Pirates and Society, 1680–1730 (2014), Naval Wives and Mistresses 1745–1815 (2007; rpt 2010), Representing the Navy: British Sea Power 1750–1815 (2002), and the catalogue for the Museum’s special exhibition, Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution, edited in 2015. Yale publishes her next book, London and the Seventeenth Century: The Making of the World’s Greatest City, in 2021.

Dr Elaine Murphy, University of Plymouth

Dr Elaine Murphy is Associate Professor of Maritime History at the University of Plymouth. She has been a lecturer in Plymouth since 2013 and teaches a number of maritime history modules including Piracy and Privateering and Maritime Exploration and Encounters. Before joining Plymouth, she was a Research Associate on the Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell at the University of Cambridge and a Research Fellow on the 1641 Depositions Project at Trinity College Dublin. The focus of her research and publications is on 17th century maritime and naval history. She has written Ireland and the War at Sea, 1641-1653 (RHS Studies in History, 2012) and with Dr Richard Blakemore The British Civil Wars at Sea (Boydell, 2018). She has also edited a volume of High Court of Admiralty papers for the Irish Manuscript Commission published in 2012. Her current project examines the role and experiences of women with the Stuart Navy and in 2021 she received a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to undertake research on this topic.

Dr Cathryn Pearce, University of Portsmouth

Dr Cathryn Pearce, FRHistS, is a Senior Lecturer in Naval and Maritime History at the University of Portsmouth, UK, and a member of their Port Towns and Urban Cultures Research Group. She earned her doctorate at the Greenwich Maritime Institute, University of Greenwich. Her thesis was published as Cornish Wrecking, 1700-1860: Reality and Popular Myth (Boydell, 2010). She also holds an MA from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, where she specialized on the Hudson’s Bay Company Marine Department on the Pacific Northwest Coast. She was formally an Associate Professor of History at the University of Alaska, Kenai Peninsula Campus for 15 years before relocating to the UK.

Cathryn continues to write on wrecking, although she has now widened her focus to shipwrecks, lifesaving and coastal communities. Her recent work includes: ‘Extreme weather and the growth of charity: insights from the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society, 1839-1860’, in G. Endfield and L. Veale (eds.), Cultural Histories, Memories and Extreme Weather: A Historical Geography Perspective (2018) and ‘Charity and philanthropy in a coastal world: Scottish fishing communities and the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society, 1839-48’, in D. Worthington, (ed). The New Coastal History: Cultural and Environmental Perspectives from Scotland and Beyond (2017). She also serves on Council for the Society for Nautical Research, and on the editorial boards of The Mariner’s Mirror and the Coastal Studies and Societies journals. See also Dr Pearce's page at the University of Portsmouth

Dr Benjamin Redding, University of East Anglia

Dr Benjamin Redding is Senior Research Associate in Maritime History in the School of History at the University of East Anglia. His book, The English and French Navies, 1500-1650: Expansion, Organization and State-Building, was published in January 2022 by Boydell & Brewer. He has contributed to many other works in his specialist fields covering the rise of state navies in early modern military history, and maritime culture in Tudor and Stuart Britain, Valois, and Bourbon France. Amongst other publications, his work has been printed in The International Journal of Maritime History, The Mariner’s Mirror, and The Routledge Companion to Marine and Maritime Worlds, 1400-1800.

Since 2019 he has been working on supporting the finders of the Gloucester shipwreck, as well as researching the warship’s complex history. His current work is funded by a major research grant from the Leverhulme Trust (2021-24). The initial project will result in a monograph (co-authored by Professor Claire Jowitt) providing the first cradle-to-grave history of the Gloucester. He is also co-curator of the landmark exhibition ‘The Last Voyage of the Gloucester: Norfolk’s Royal Shipwreck’ to be held at Norwich Castle Museum from February to September 2023. As part of the announcement of the finding of the Gloucester shipwreck, Benjamin featured on global, national, and local news, including The New York Times, BBC World Service, and BBC Look East.


Dr Robb Robinson, University of Hull

Robb Robinson is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Blaydes Maritime Centre, the University of Hull. A founder member of the North Atlantic Fisheries History Association, he worked with international colleagues on the production of a two volume History of the North Atlantic Fisheries. Robb was also an academic adviser on the BBC’s World War One at Home Project and has written numerous books and articles including: Trawling: the Rise and Fall of the British Trawl Fishery (Exeter University Press, 1995), The Yorkshire Coast Fishing Industry 1780-1914 (Hull University Press, 1987), Far Horizons: from Hull to the Ends of the Earth (NAFHA, 2010), Viola: from Great War to Grytviken (Lodestar Books, 2014). His most recent book Fishermen, the Fishing Industry and the Great War at Sea: A Forgotten History? (Liverpool University Press, 2019) examines the crucial role played by fishermen and fishing vessels in the First World War. He has also contributed a chapter to the forthcoming book on the home front in the First World War to be published by Oxford University Press. His current research interests include the maritime history of the Yorkshire Coast and the role of coastal communities in the Great War at sea, as well as the impact of various British individuals from seafaring communities in the creation our modern global maritime society.

Robb has also contributed to a wide range of TV and radio programmes and worked closely with a number of community-based projects with a maritime history dimension in his native Yorkshire; these include chairing the Holderness Coast Fisheries Local Action Group working party which created the interactive Bridlington Harbour Maritime Heritage Trail and acting as adviser and presenter for the Trawling Through Time Community Project organised by the Beverley Treasure House which has brought the story of the Beverley shipbuilding firm of Cook, Welton and Gemmell to a wide audience. He has also been investigating the coast of Yorkshire for a forthcoming book, and has uncovered the story of the wrecking of the Hull trawler Diamond

During 2022  Robb gave a lecture and wrote an article for the Western Front Association on the role of fishermen and fishing vessels in the Great War. He was also involved in this podcast. You can also hear a podcast with Robb about his maritime research of the Yorkshire Coast here: Ep 5 - Maritime Historian and Author Dr Robb Robinson | ROYSCast on Acast 

You can also hear Robb on Radio Humberside talking about Joseph Boxall, 4th Officer on the Titanic, available viathe BBC website:

Mrs Louise Sanger, Lloyd's Register Foundation

Louise works for the Lloyd’s Register Foundation Heritage & Education Centre as Head of Research, Interpretation & Engagement. She initially joined Lloyd’s Register in July 2005 with a focus on ship history research, public enquiries, presentations and tours.

Completing a Masters in Maritime History at the University of Hull in 2005 with her thesis on ‘The regulation of medical care in the British Merchant Marine, 1850-1914’. In 2003, she received the BCMH prize for Undergraduate Achievement in Maritime History for her 1st class History BA on ‘The effectiveness of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1867 in the prevention of scurvy’, also at Hull. Prior to this Louise finished an Art Foundation at Stroud College of Art & Design and was commissioned to illustrate Chris Witt’s Disasters on the Severn (Tempus, 2002).

Assistant editor of two major Lloyd’s Register publications by Nigel Watson, Lloyd’s Register 250 years of service (London, 2010), and Maritime science & Technology: changing our world (London, 2015). Most recent publication work as Lead Editor for A Safer World by Nigel Watson (Lloyd's Register Foundation, 2022)

Louise’s research interests include seafarer wellbeing and safety, the history of maritime technology and innovation, ocean governance and maritime systems, as well as building a programme of activity called 'Learning From the Past' (LFP) to support current and future global safety challenges. Find out more.

Mr Peter Sowden, Boydell and Brewer

Peter Sowden works in academic publishing as a freelance commissioning editor. His work includes publishing maritime history books for Boydell and Brewer. His authors include leading scholars in maritime history and also new researchers, all publishing interesting and important new research in the field.

Dr Chris Ware, University of Greenwich

Dr Nick White, Liverpool John Moore’s University

Nick White is Professor of Imperial and Commonwealth History in the History Department at Liverpool John Moores University.  He is Co-director of the Centre for Port and Maritime History (a collaborative venture between LJMU, University of Liverpool and Merseyside Maritime Museum).  Nick’s research interests, related to maritime history, are focused upon British international shipping lines in the twentieth century and especially their responses to decolonisation and globalisation after 1945. His particular geographical expertise lies in East and Southeast Asia but Nick’s research is also concerned with the Port of Liverpool and its relative decline. These interests, international, imperial and local led to the Heritage Lottery Funded, Homeward Bound: A Liverpool West-Africa Heritage project for which Nick was principal investigator.

Notable publication on maritime history include:

Niels P. Petersson, Stig Tenold, Nicholas J. White (Eds), Shipping and Globalization in the Post-War Era: Contexts, Companies, Connections, Palgrave, 2019, including a chapter by White, ‘Thinking Outside “The Box”: Decolonization and Containerization’, pp. 67-99.

Anthony Webster and Nicholas J. White (Eds), Singapore – Two Hundred Years of the Lion City, Routledge, 2019, including a chapter by White, ‘The Economics of Singapore’s Exit from Malaysia’, pp. 96-116.

Nicholas J. White and Catherine Evans, ‘Holding back the tide: Liverpool Shipping, Gentlemanly Capitalism and Intra-Asian Trade in the Twentieth Century’ in Ulbe Bosma and Anthony Webster (Eds), Commodities, Ports and Asian Maritime Trade Since 1750, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 218-240.

‘”Ferry off the Mersey”: The Business and the Impact of Decolonization in Liverpool’History, Vol. 96, No. 2 (April 2011), pp. 188-204.

Sherllynne Haggerty, Anthony Webster and Nicholas J. White (Eds), The empire in one city? Liverpool’s inconvenient imperial past, MUP, 2008, including a chapter by White, ‘Liverpool shipping and the end of empire: the Ocean group in East and Southeast Asia, c. 1945-73, pp. 165-187.

Dr Martin Wilcox, University of Hull

Martin Wilcox is Lecturer in History at the University of Hull.   A graduate of Durham and Hull, he was postdoctoral fellow at the University of Greenwich from 2006, until he re-joined the University of Hull in 2014.  He is Director of the North of England Consortium for Arts and Humanities, a Councillor of the Navy Records Society, and Treasurer of the International Maritime History Association.  He was Reviews Editor of the International Journal of Maritime History from 2014 to 2021.

Wilcox’s research interests encompass modern civilian and naval history.  He has published on aspects of maritime labour, on naval procurement and contracting, and on the history of fishing and fisheries. 

Dr David Wilson, University of Strathclyde

David Wilson is an early career researcher and Lecturer in Early Modern Maritime and Scottish History at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. His research is focused on maritime activity, law, and ocean governance from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, predominantly viewed through the lens of piracy and fisheries. He is a PI on the Lessons from Lake Malawi project, which focuses on environmental science, colonialism, and fisheries governance in Lake Malawi in the mid-twentieth century, and Co-I on One Ocean Hub, where he focuses on colonialism and law in the context of artisanal fisheries governance in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Ghana. He is also Co-Director of the Problem of Piracy Network, which organises conferences, seminars, and publications surrounding the study of piracy. Following his success in the BCMH Boydell & Brewer Doctoral Prize, his first monograph Suppressing Piracy in the Early Eighteenth Century: Pirates, Merchants and British Imperial Authority in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans was published by The Boydell Press in 2021.