Alex Worsfold

Alex Worsfold


I graduated from the University of Kent in 2018 with a First Class BA (Hons) in Military History. I continued my studies at Kent, acquiring a MA (Distinction) in Modern History the following year with a dissertation that examined British colonial attitudes towards Arab resistance in Mandate Palestine.

During the pandemic and three years after completing my MA, I gained experience working with the Palestine Exploration Fund in Greenwich, as well as some private sector work. In 2022, I moved to the University of Leeds, excited to begin my PhD, which is a continuation of some of the research themes I explored during my MA.

Research interests

My research focuses on the interwar years in the Middle East; particularly Palestine, and how colonial development sought to alter the water environments of the region. My PhD project examines how British colonial authorities percieved the hydrological environment and sought to develop and control rivers and streams in Palestine during the Mandate, and the legacy this has in the modern region. However I am also very interested in comparative study across the region and the wider empire – particularly Iraq and Egypt lie well within my research purview.

My wider research interests include:

  • Imperial policymaking between the two World Wars
  • Decolonisation; particularly how violence is used as an anti-colonial tool
  • The Israel-Palestine conflict, and what the British role was and still is
  • Arab nationalism and nationalist movements in the early 20th century
  • Public history and how to get better engagement with history and the humanities 

Current Projects:

  • Retracing the Huleh Marshlands, a Wohl Clean Growth Alliance Fellowship funded project that aims to demonstrate the importance of historical data in modern restoration projects. On hold awaiting the end of the War on Gaza.
  • Respected, Ignored or Both: British Women and the Arab Revolt in Mandate Palestine, A Palestine Exploration Fund funded project. This is currently in Peer Review.

Conferences, Lectures & Seminar Papers:

  • ‘Respected, Ignored or Both?’: British Women and the Arab Revolt in Mandate Palestine (Palestine Exploration Fund, October 2023)
  • The Jordan River Valley: A Meandering History (The Arava Institute, November 2023)
  • Trading One Problem for Another: Swamp Drainage and Public Health in Mandate Palestine (“Reimagining Priorities in Global Public Health”, Jindal OP University, Sonipat, India, February 2024)
  • A Trouble Vocabulary: Decay, Misuse and Salvation in the Kabbara Swamps of Mandate Palestine (University of Leeds, June 2024 [forthcoming]) 

Online Publications & Blog Posts:


  • Postgraduate Member of the Royal Historical Society
  • Member of the Centre for British Research in the Levant
  • Member of the Palestine Exploration Fund
  • Water@Leeds


  • BA (Hons) 1st Class in Military History (2018)
  • MA (Hons) Distinction in Modern History (2019)