Iona McCleery

I have been completely devoted to studying the Middle Ages for over twenty years. As a child I always loved historical buildings, medieval fiction and film, fantasy literature, and stories about the nitty gritty of people’s lives – and now I get to study these things for my job! I publish on the history of healthcare, disease, the experiences of the sick, food and daily life (in the period between the 13th and 16th century). I focus on the medieval kingdom of Portugal as a less well-known part of Europe that had a huge impact on the world due to trade and colonial expansion.

I’ve been working at the University of Leeds since 2007 and before that I was at Durham and Edinburgh. Between 2010 and 2014 I ran a project funded by the Wellcome Trust called ‘You Are What You Ate’ with colleagues from Wakefield Council and the University of Bradford. We were a group of historians, museum officers, archaeologists and food scientists who used historical food and eating habits as a way of reflecting on our modern diets and lifestyles.