I studied for degrees in Modern Irish (BA) and Old and Middle Irish (MA) at the National University of Ireland Galway, before spending a year studying eighteenth-century Irish literature at the University of Notre Dame as the Government of Ireland Graduate Fellow. I then undertook a research MSc in Scottish Gaelic dialectology at the University of Edinburgh before writing a PhD on the historical dialectology of the Gaelic languages also at Edinburgh. My doctoral research was carried out with the support of the prestigious National University of Ireland Travelling Studentship in Celtic Studies. The resulting PhD was awarded the Zeuss Prize by the Societas Celtologica Europaea in 2016. During the academic year 2017-18, I held an Irish Research Council Fellowship in the School of Celtic Studies at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.
At Aberystwyth, I teach Modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic - both language and literature - with occasional contributions to the medieval language. I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students whose research interests intersect with my own.
From August 2020 until July 2022, I will hold a Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Fellowship which will see me seconded to the Arnamagnæan Institute at the University of Copenhagen.
My research interests fall into two (broad) categories:
- I am interested in questions of linguistic variation and change in the Gaelic languages (Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx), with a special interest in historical dialectology and historical sociolinguistics from the earliest period down to the present day.
- My second research interest is in Gaelic literature and literary history during the 'long' eighteenth century, especially questions of textual transmission between Ireland and Scotland and the relationship between manuscript and print.
From August 2020 until July 2022, I will hold a hold a Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Fellowship which will see me seconded to the Arnamagnæan Institute at the University of Copenhagen to work on the Gaelic manuscripts collected by the Icelandic-Danish scholar Grímr Jónsson Thorkelin (1752-1829), most of which are now preserved in the Royal Library, Copenhagen.
Along with colleagues in University College Dublin, I edit ComharTaighde, a journal for the study of Modern Irish language and literature.
I also hold a number of other external appointments:
- Member of the Peer-Review College of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), 2020 - to present.
- External Examiner for Celtic and Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh, 2018 - to present.
- External Examiner for Scottish Gaelic at the University of the Highlands and Islands, 2018 - to present.
- Member of the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium, 2018 - to present.