Centre for World Environmental History

Adrian Thomas

Email: adrianpthomas@btinternet.com

Postgraduate Qualifications

2003 MA Asian History, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

2016 PhD (History) King’s College, London


Adrian Thomas has wide experience of education and development overseas, having worked as a teacher in Tanzania, and then for the British Council in Sierra Leone, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sudan and India. He has also been secretary to two learned societies in London. A growing interest in the history of the exchange of scientific ideas led to research on the practice of botany in nineteenth-century India, and a PhD thesis Calcutta Botanic Garden: Knowledge Formation and the Expectations of Botany in a Colonial Context, 1833-1914.

Research Interests

Current work is focussing on producing a more comprehensive history of the Calcutta Garden. Other research interests include the career of Robert Kyd, the founder of Calcutta Botanic Garden, and the correspondence of Nathaniel Wallich, the superintendent in the early nineteenth-century.


Book Chapters

Thomas, A., ‘Technical Cooperation’ (pps. 76-82), in Cracknell, B E (Ed.), The Evaluation of Aid Projects and Programmes, Overseas Development Administration, (London 1984).

Journal Papers

The Establishment of Calcutta Botanic Garden: Plant Transfer, Science and the East India Company, 1786-1806 Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol 16, Part 2, July 2006.

Kolkata’s Historic Botanic Garden Asian Art Newspaper, p. 6, Oct 2016

Book reviews in The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Sudan Studies and Chowkidar