I am an urban sociologist and Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

My research explores the relationship between ideas about nature and urbanization from historical, theoretical, and ethnographic perspectives. I am interested in how ideas about nature are formed, the social conflicts they produce, and how they are deployed to influence the built environment.

I am currently completing a book manuscript that traces a century of urban greening in Germany’s Ruhr region, and am also at work on two additional projects: one on infrastructure and sociology, and the other on the rise and politics of urban sustainability planning.

I received my PhD in Sociology from New York University and hold a BA from Vassar College. Before returning to graduate school, I worked for five years with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, primarily on issues of participatory design, immigration, and public space use. 


I’m very excited about my new article out in Theory and Society on “The greening imaginary,” which previews some arguments of my forthcoming book.

Essay on the urban history of “moral nature” out at Public Books!

My article, "From the City Lens toward Urbanisation as a Way of Seeing: Country/Cities Binaries on an Urbanising Planet," has won the 2018 Jane Addams Award for Best Article in Community and Urban Sociology from the Community and Urban Sociology section of the ASA. 

Recent Publications

2019. “The Greening Imaginary: Urbanized Nature in Germany’s Ruhr Region.” Theory and Society.

2019. “Added value? Denaturalizing the “good” of urban greening.” Geography Compass.

2019. (with Boris Vormann). “Long Waves of Urban Reform: Putting the Smart City in its Place.” City. DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2018.1549850.