Jonathan Galka

Jonathan Galka

Galka photo

Research Interests: History of biology and natural history; history of malacology; deep ocean biology, marine exploration, and marine resources; seabed infrastructures; speculative futures and scientific imagination; material culture of marine exploration; deep and evolutionary time; symbiosis; biological invasion; extreme biology.

Jonathan Galka is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard, and in 2022-2023 he is a visiting scholar at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. In 2020-2022 he was a visiting doctoral candidate in the Department of Ecological Anthropology at the Czech Academy of Sciences. He studies the history of biology, geology, and speculative futures with a particular focus on how the relationships between mineralogical and other resources and life in the deep ocean have been imagined, constructed, commodified, and governed between 1870 and the present.


with Laurence Bashford. “Terraforming Beautiful China: Island-Building and Chang’E Lunar Exploration in the Making of the Chinese State.” China Beyond China. Special Issue of International Quarterly of Asia Studies (forthcoming 2022).

“Liguus Landscapes: Professional Malacology, Amateur Ligging, and the Social Life of Snail Science.” Journal of the History of Biology, 55 (4; in press).

“Mollusk Loves: Becoming with Native and Introduced Land Snails in the Hawaiian Islands." Island Studies Journal (2022). DOI:10.24043/isj.383

Boulicault, M., Perret, M., Galka, J., Borsa, A., Gompers, A., Reiches, M., Richardson, S. (2021). “The Future of Sperm: A biovariability framework for understanding global sperm count trends.” Human Fertility. DOI: 10.1080/14647273.2021.1917778.



Empire & Ooze: HMS Challenger, Pelagic Sediments, and the Production of Resource Frontiers from the Deep Ocean,” Law & Society Association Annual Meeting (Lisbon, Portugal, July 2022

Dreissenid Dreaming: On Human Entanglements with Zebra Mussels,” Meaning in Evolution and Ecology working group conference, Yale University (New Haven, CT, May 2021)

“Toward a History and Anthropology of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone,” Department of Ecological Anthropology Seminar, Czech Academy of Sciences (Prague, Czechia, April 2021)

“Mussels, Modernity and the Mobilization of Invertebrate Sensation,” annual meeting of the Joint-Atlantic Seminar for the History of Biology (Philadelphia, PA, March 2021)

“Terraforming Beautiful China: Island-Building and Chang’E Lunar Exploration in the Making of the Chinese State,” annual meeting of the Social Studies of Science Society (Prague, Czechia, August 2020)

Previous Degrees:

BA., History of Science & Medicine; Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Yale University 

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