Born in Berlin, I was educated at the universities of Göttingen and Cambridge, where I obtained my MPhil and PhD degrees.
I have also held research fellowships at the University of Oxford, the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel (twice), and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a life member of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and a Deputy Director of the ESRC-funded White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership's "Cities, Environment, and Liveability" pathway, which funds and facilitates PG research in urban and environmental studies.
I have published one monograph, three collections of essays, and numerous articles and book chapters on the political culture of early modern and modern Europe, with a focus on monarchy and courts, political ritual and pamphlets from 17th to 20th-century Germany, in particular Prussia. Here, I have also contributed to exhibition projects.
I have also published widely on the relationship of natural history and politics in the 18th century, and am currently completing a book on German science and the British Empire.
Over the years, I have contributed to the media, and highlights here appearances on the BBC's "In Our Time" on Frederick the Great, and, as presenter, on ARTE TV channel's documentary, France - Allemagne, Une Histoire Commune.