(Residential Fellow, 2018-19)
Seeds of Mis-fortune: Food, Crop Diversity, and the Simplification of American Nature
Rebecca Egli is a historian of agriculture and the environment in the United States. At the Linda Hall Library, she will conduct research for her current project, “Seeds of Misfortune,” a history of America’s plant explorers that examines the impact of plant introduction and breeding on the development of modern agriculture.
Rebecca grew up in Kansas City and received her PhD in history from the University of California, Davis in 2018. Her dissertation, The World of Our Dreams: Agricultural Explorers and the Promise of American Science, investigates federal scientists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, exploring developments in plant biology, attitudes towards breeding and race, and the ecological consequences of importing non-native plants and insects into the United States. Her work has been supported by a number of organizations, including the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). She received an MA from King’s College London in 2010 and a BA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2008.