I am a historian whose research focuses on the history of science in Antarctica. I received my PhD in 2018 from the University of California, Irvine for research on the Ross and Falkland Islands Dependencies during the International Geophysical Year (1957-58), a project that I am currently revising into a book. Besides this book project, I have conducted research on gender history in Antarctic field sites, the histories of Antarctic volcanology and botany, Antarctic whaling, and the history of South Georgia. I have presented my research on the Antarctic at many conferences around the world, including the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research.

I first became interested in Antarctica because I was interested more broadly in how science is conducted in extreme environments-places where humans would not live otherwise. I also liked the idea of studying a place, like many other extreme environments, where national boundaries-what belonged to who-were unclear. This interest was fostered during my PhD research, including a stint as a visiting researcher at Gateway Antarctica at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. I am currently a lecturer in the history of science and European history at the University of Idaho, but I am also extremely interested in outreach on polar issues.

In 2017, I was a Climate Action Fellow at the University of California, Irvine. Also in 2017, I was a Research Fellow for the Bowers Museum of Orange County, providing programming and K-12 educational assistance for their temporary exhibit on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. The same year I consulted for the Polar Museum in Cambridge’s temporary exhibit on the International Geophysical Year, where my research on geological fieldwork during the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition was featured in one section.


McCahey, Daniella. (2020). “Fighting boredom with banjos and Russian grammar – tips from polar explorers for surviving months of isolation.” The Conversation, 30 March 2020.

McCahey, Daniella, and Simon Cole. (2015). “Human(e) Science? Demarcation, Law, and ‘Scientific Whaling’ in Whaling in the Antarctic.” The Journal of Philosophy, Science & Law: Daubert Special Issue 15 (May 29, 2015).

Contact information:

Email: dmccahey@uci.edu

Twitter: @farsouthhistory

Website: https://www.uidaho.edu/class/history/faculty-staff/daniella-mccahey