Jordan Thomas Mursinna

University of California, Berkeley
CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies, Office for the History of Science and Technology
Degrees Ph.D. :: University of California, Berkeley (2023)
M.A. :: University of California, Berkeley (2020)
B.A. History :: University of California, Berkeley (2015)

Research Areas

Biology and natural history

Science and politics

Classification, systematics, and taxonomy

Jordan Thomas Mursinna is a PhD Candidate in the History Department. He works in the history of science, with particular emphasis on the history of systematics and classification in the modern natural sciences. He grew up in San Diego, California, where he worked as a research assistant at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography under Dr. Simone Baumann-Pickering, and, following that, received his B.A. in history from UC Berkeley in 2015.

Mursinna's work focuses on the politics of natural history in the Age of Revolutions. His dissertation, "Anarchy in the Order of Nature: Conservatism, Reform, and Controversy in British Natural History, 1800-1850," examines the factionalization of naturalists along social, intellectual, and political lines in the decades after the French revolution. In it, he traces the careers of both adherents and detractors to William Sharp Macleay's strange "circular and quinary" system of classification to reveal the interplay of philosophical and political commitments in the study of life.


"'A Mean Quarrelsome Spirit:' Controversy in British Systematics, 1822-1836," Journal of the History of Biology, v. 56(1), December 2023.

"The Berkeley Pipeline Program: Demystifying the History PhD for Students from Historically Excluded Backgrounds," Perspectives on History, v. 61(5), May 2023.

"The Epistemic Stakes of Shellfish Classification: Disciplinary Disputes in English Natural History, 1803-1843," Journal of the Oxford University History Society, XV, 2021.

Book Reviews

Bruce Clark and Sébastien Dutreuil, eds. Writing Gaia: The Scientific Correspondence of James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022. H-Environment, H-Net Reviews. August, 2023.

Daniel S. Brooks, James DiFrisco, and William C. Wimsatt, eds. Levels of Organization in the Biological Sciences. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2021. H-Sci-Med-Tech, H-Net Reviews. June, 2022.


Berkeley-Uppsala Research Fellowship, Uppsala University, 2022

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, University of California, Berkeley, 2021

last updated: January 26th, 2024