My dissertation, tentatively entitled “Freshwater Frontier: Island making, dredging, and infrastructure in the Detroit River 1865-1930” explores the origins, motivations, and effects of dredging to offer a new history of the Detroit River. In so doing, it attempts to offer a new analytical lens by thinking about dredging as a historical, material, and ecological process. Furthermore, given the binational nature of the shipping channel, this dissertation argues that dredging is as much a territorializing process as it is a technological and political process. This is not a story about the rise and fall of dredging for dredging continues as a maintenance activity, worth multimillion contracts, every year; rather, it is a story of nature being altered and manipulated for greater economic returns. Between 1865 and 1930, the Detroit River went from a transportation chokepoint to an efficient and managed waterway. In examining dredging as a political, technological, and territorializing process, this dissertation is a new environmental history of the Detroit River that pays special attention to infrastructure and its impact on humans and non-humans. Dissertation research has been supported by fellowships from the American Society for Environmental History, the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University. Pre-dissertation research was supposed by grants and fellowships from Michigan State University.

Master of Urban Design, Lawrence Technological University, Southfield MI.

Master of Philosophy (Political Science), Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.

Master of Arts (Political Science), Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.

Bachelor of Mass Media, Wilson College, University of Mumbai, India.

Departmental Activities:

President, Graduate History Association, Department of History, MSU, 2017-18

Organizational Committee, Migration With(out) Boundaries Conference, 2016-17

Grants, Awards, and Honors

Mark C. Stevens Traveling Fellowship, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, 2019-2020

ESPP Urban Environment Summer Research Fellowship, Environmental Science and Policy Program at Michigan State University, Summer 2017

Fox International Fellow, Yale University, 2012-13

International Scholar, The Society for the History of Technology, 2012-13

(For a full list of honors and awards, please refer to my full vita below)


Under Review

“Floatsam: Garbage Dumping, pollution, and legal tensions in the Detroit River”

In Press

“Sedimentality: Sediment Landscapes, Socio-politics, and the environment in the Lower Detroit River,” Water History


“Dredge a River, make a nation great: Shipping, commerce and territoriality in the Detroit River,1870-1905,” Michigan Historical Review “Pure Michigan”: Environmental Histories of the Great Lakes State Special edition. Spring 2019

Blog Posts (invited)

Co-author, “Alumni Involvement in Graduate Education,” Perspectives Daily, August 7, 2020.

Problems of Place: When A Place Chooses You,” Environmental History Now: A Platform on Representation, Engagement, and Community, September 20, 2019