Jessica Lightfoot


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am happy to supervise doctoral students in a wide range of areas related to Greek literature and cultural history. Please email me at to talk further if you are interested in working with me.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


I was appointed to my post at Birmingham in 2020 and began teaching here in 2022, after holding a Junior Research (Title A) Fellowship at Trinity College, University of Cambridge (2018-2022). Before arriving in Birmingham I was a Lecturer at Magdalen College, University of Oxford (2015-2017) and a College Lecturer and Director of Studies at Newnham College, University of Cambridge (2019-2020).

Research interests

I have published on a broad range of areas related to Greek and Roman literature and cultural history. My first book, Wonder and the Marvellous from Homer to the Hellenistic World (2021, Cambridge University Press), is the first full-length examination of the significance of the concept of wonder in the ancient Greek world. Wonder and the Marvellous is open access and available to download from the Cambridge Core website.

My second book, Strabo, is forthcoming in Bloomsbury’s Understanding Classics series in 2024. It provides a new examination of the Augustan geographer Strabo of Amasia and explores his significance and impact in antiquity and beyond.  

My current research focuses on various facets of the ancient scientific tradition and focuses in particular on the fields of paradoxography, geography, zoology, medicine and astronomy. I am currently leading an international project on ancient astronomy (the Ourania Network for Astronomical Cultures in the Ancient and Premodern World) with Professor Karen ní Mheallaigh (Johns Hopkins University). I am also interested in early Graeco-Roman cultural interactions in antiquity: here's a blog post on a recent article I have published on this subject.


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