D.R. (Didi) van Trijp MSc

  • PhD Student
  • History of science
  • Early modern history

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 7225
E-Mail: d.r.van.trijp@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Centre for the Arts in Society, Franse L&C
Office Address: Witte Singel-complex
P.N. van Eyckhof 3
2311 BV Leiden
Room number 1.03a


The study of fish and other aquatic creatures (ichthyology) occupied a place of esteem within early modern study of nature and many ‘fish books’ were written from the fifteenth century onwards. This project, which is part of the larger NWO-funded project ‘A New History of Fishes: A Long-term Approach to Fishes in Science and Culture, 1550-1880’, focuses on the development of ichthyology as a scientific discipline between the late seventeenth and early nineteenth century. The French naturalist Georges Cuvier distinguished in 1828 several phases in the shaping of ichthyology as a field of expert knowledge. The beginnings of this professionalization lay, he stated, in the methodological approach of Francis Willughby and John Ray. This phase was followed by Carl Linnaeus’ classification system. Another phase is marked by the precise and colorful illustration policies of Marcus Elieser Bloch. Lastly, the works of Buffon and Lacépède display distinct descriptive rhetoric. This PhD project reflects on these phases and includes assessment of Cuvier himself, who regarded his own ichthyological work as the logical conclusion of the developments he described. Furthermore, this project recognizes the societal context in which these naturalists produced their works, thus paying attention to matters of patronage, institutionalization and networks of knowledge.

Curriculum vitae

Didi van Trijp studied History at Utrecht University from 2010-2013, and was a visiting student at the University of California, Berkeley as part of that program. She obtained her MSc in History in Philosophy of Science (cum laude) from Utrecht University in 2015. During this program she attended the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin assisting in a digital project. She also worked as a manuscript assistant at Isis, the Journal for the History of Science Society during a part of her studies.

Last Modified: 10-12-2015