David trained as a historian and specialist in Russian and East European Studies at the universities of Newcastle and Birmingham in the UK and Leningrad State University in the USSR. He has taught history at the universities of Texas at Austin, USA, and Newcastle, Strathclyde in Glasgow, Durham, and York in the UK. In addition, he has held visiting research positions at several institutions in the Russian Federation and the United States, including the Southern Federal University in Rostov-on-Don and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
David’s main areas of research are Russian, Ukrainian, Eurasian, North American, and transnational environmental history. His particular interest is the Eurasian steppe that extends across Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan. He is completing a book on transfers of crops, agricultural sciences and techniques from the steppes to the Great Plains of the United States between the 1870s and 1930s. He is also co-editing a collection of essays on environmental history based on field trips by an international group of scholars to various locations in Russia, including Solovki and Lake Baikal. Both these projects were funded by the Leverhulme Trust. His last book was an environmental history of the steppe region, which was awarded the Alec Nove Prize for 2013. Earlier, he worked on the history of the peasantry and serfdom in the Russian Empire. David has published extensively in English and is grateful for the opportunity to publish regularly in Russian and Ukrainian.