Holly received her BA from the University of Minnesota, Morris. After working for three years in Congressional Relations at the Library of Congress, she completed her History MA at William & Mary in 2017. Her MA portfolio explored how botanists in early America relied upon their spouses, children, enslaved people, and servants for crucial scientific labors.
Holly is currently a PhD candidate in the History Department at William & Mary, working on a dissertation about kitchen gardens and scientific knowledge in early America, 1650-1830. Her work parses the intellectual and manual garden labors of non-elite people. Her dissertation views even the smallest garden plots as scientific laboratories; units of intense and extensive intellectual work, experiment, and exchange. Discoveries and practices originating with these common gardens and gardeners also transcended households and communities and served as the basis for published and otherwise formalized scientific discourse of the day.