You are here

You are here

Susan D. Jones



Ph D, University of Pennsylvania, 1997

Director, Program in the History of Science and Technology

Graduate Faculty Memberships

EEB, History, History of Medicine, History of Science and Technology, Studies of Science and Technology, Conservation Biology

Research Interests

The changing scientific understanding of disease over time in conjunction with the environmental and historical context in which scientists worked; the integration of field and laboratory work in the biomedical sciences and professions; and scientists' influences on human-animal interactions. Current research focus: sylvatic plague in global context and the development of modern disease ecology since the 1850s.

I am a historian of science, medicine, and technology; I’m also trained in biology and veterinary medicine. My research focuses on environment and disease, especially diseases common to wild and domestic animals as well as humans. My work integrates social, cultural and ecological evidence and concepts. My recent book Death in a Small Package: A Short History of Anthrax (Johns Hopkins 2010) analyzed how anthrax, a global agricultural disease, was transformed into a biological weapon. I’ve also published articles about how prairie dogs became “pest” species; the sociocultural context of cat diseases; the history of women in science; and a book about how Americans’ valuation of different animal groups and veterinary medicine developed together in the United States. Currently, I am studying sylvatic plague in global context, and the development of modern disease ecology, since the 1850s.  

I am a participant in the University's Consortium on Law and Values in Health, the Environment, and the Life Sciences; and a member of the National Center for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism.

Prospective Graduate Students

I have openings for graduate students interested in the global history of disease; transnational history of biology and the biomedical sciences; history of human-animal interactions and veterinary medicine; and history of ecology, environment and disease, 1800-2000. Please send an email indicating your general interests and your background. Applications are processed through the Program in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology (application deadline: 1 December):

Selected Publications


Susan D. Jones, Death in a Small Package: A Short History of Anthrax (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010)

Susan D. Jones, Valuing Animals: Veterinarians and Their Patients in Modern America (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003)


Susan D. Jones, “A History of Veterinarians and Biological Weapons During the World Wars,” Revista de Colegio des Médicos Veterinarios del Estado Lara (Venezuela) 3 (June 2013). Accessible online atón/volumen-5/world-wars/.

Susan D. Jones, “Ecology of Anthrax and the Burden of Disease Control, 1880-1920,” in Tamay Basagaç Gül et al, Proceedings of the 39th World Congress for the History of Veterinary Medicine (Ankara: University of Ankara Press, 2012), pp. 129-141.

Susan D. Jones and Philip M. Teigen, “Anthrax in Transit:  Practical Experience and Intellectual Exchange,” Isis 99 (September 2008): 455-85.

Susan D. Jones, “Body and Place:  Future Directions for the Field of Environmental History,” Environmental History 10 (January 2005):  47-49.


“Mapping a Zoonotic Disease: Anglo-American Efforts to Control Bovine Tuberculosis Before World War I,” Osiris, 19 (2004): 133-148.

“Scientific Debates and Popular Beliefs: A Historical Study of Bovine Tuberculosis,” Argos: Bulletin van Het Veterinair Historisch Genootschap, Number 27 (winter 2002): 313-318.

“Becoming a Pest: Prairie Dog Ecology and the Human Economy in the Euroamerican West,” Environmental History, 4 (October 1999): 531-552.

“Framing Animal Disease: Housecats with Feline Urological Syndrome, Their Owners, and Their Doctors,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 52 (April 1997): 202-235.

Ecology: 612-624-9636; Shepherd Labs: 612-625-3838

100 Ecology
1987 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108