Dr Elle Larsson

Dr Elle Larsson is a historian specialising in the history of natural history and animals.

Her interest in animal history began as an undergraduate at Royal Holloway when she discovered exotic animal dealer Charles Jamrach and his shop on Ratcliffe Highway. This research would later form the basis of the temporary exhibition ‘London’s Urban Jungle: Jamrach and the Victorian Exotic Animal Trade’ which Elle curated at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in late-2015.

Following an MA in Public History (2013-2014), Elle joined King’s College London in 2015 to do a PhD entitled ‘Collecting, Curating and the Construction of Zoological Knowledge: Walter Rothschild’s Zoological Enterprise, c.1878-1937’. Her thesis explored Rothschild’s contribution to natural history and that of the myriad of other actors who contributed to Rothschild’s zoological enterprise. Elle graduated in April 2020 and joined the University of Westminster Graduate School in August.

Elle also devotes her time to her role on the Council for Society for the History of Natural History as Meetings Secretary and as co-founder of the international Animal History Group.

Current research interests include natural history networks, zoo history and exotic animal ownership. Elle published her first article entitled ‘On deposit’: Dealing with death in the gardens of the Zoological Society of London’ in Archives of Natural History in April 2021 and her second “Here They Are in Flesh and Feather”: Walter Rothschild's “Private Zoo” and the Preparation and Taxonomic Study of Cassowaries" with Centaurus in October 2022. 

  • History Research Group

In brief

Research areas

History of Science, History of Natural History, History of Animals, Zoo History and Natural History Networks
Patron's Review

Society for the History of Natural History