Luke is currently researching the role of the nineteenth-century Appalachian mountain commons in shaping Appalachian history and culture. By better understanding the dynamic interaction between the unique mountain ecosystem and the human communities in them, he hopes to shed light on how environmental change and social change combined to create the perception that Appalachia was a ''strange land inhabited by strange people.'' His dissertation examines the rise and decline of markets in Appalachian wild plants and how those markets shaped people's interactions with their environment.
Short-term Fellowship, Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, 2016
Exploratory Grant, Hagley Museum, 2016
Willson Center Graduate Research Award, 2015
Gregory Research Fellow, Amanda and Greg Gregory Research Fellowship, 2015