Short biography

Isabella Maria Engberg © Manuel Glatter
Isabella Maria Engberg © Manuel Glatter

Isabella Maria Engberg


March, April, May 2023

Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur des Landes Brandenburg

Born in 1994 into a bilingual family in Denmark, Isabella Maria Engberg is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Her project investigates the environmental imagination in scientific travel writing from the nineteenth century, whose roots can be found in the unique amalgamation of Romantic sensibilities, scientific empiricism, and travels to colonised lands. She analyses the writings of Alexander von Humboldt (1814–25), Charles Darwin (1839; 1845), and Ernst Haeckel (1882–3). As all three authors have been linked to the development of the ecological sciences, she specifically examines the relationship between their scientific output and their environmental depictions, paying attention to how proto-ecological description and journey encounters interact and come to life in their narratives.

From 2017–18 Isabella was an exchange student at the University of Bonn, and recently she was a guest researcher at the University of Jena. She finished her first five years of study in Aberdeen with a thesis examining the relationship between politics and aesthetics in Georg Büchner’s literary works. She has received several awards for her studies, ending at the top of her class.