Project Team

The scholars contributing to the ERC AdG Transpacific

ERC Transpacific


Principal Investigator

Angela Schottenhammer

Angela Schottenhammer

Angela Schottenhammer, historian and sinologist, is a professor of Chinese Middle Period & Early Modern World History. Her research during the last decade focused mainly on maritime cross-cultural and commercial interactions, Silk Road Studies, and the history of science and knowledge transfer, especially in the fields of medicine and historical geography.

Postdoc Researcher

Wim Winter

Wim De Winter

Informal and contraband trade; European traders and networks

Wim De Winter is a world and maritime historian specialized on the maritime worlds of the Indian & Pacific Oceans. His research focuses on a global, micro-historical approach of cross-cultural interactions in early modern Asia, and on colonial exoticism and the perception of environment. He currently mainly looks at informal agency, piracy, smuggling, and navigational practices in the Transpacific maritime world (16th-18th centuries).

Jose Luis Casabán

Jose Luis Casabán Banaclocha

Postdoc Researcher

Jose Casabán, a maritime archaeologist and historian, is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (USA). He conducts archaeological and archival research on the history, design, and construction of 16th and 17th Iberian ships, especially Spanish galleons, and Iberian seafaring.

Elke Papelitzky

Elke Papelitzky (09/2020-08/2023)

Sea routes, historical geography

Elke Papelitzky received her PhD from the University of Salzburg (2017) and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven. She is particularly interested in the Early Modern East Asian view of the (maritime) world, the history of mapmaking, the history of science and knowledge, and the relations between East and Southeast Asia.


Guillermo Ruiz-Stovel

Maritime credit, merchant involvement and commodity structures, mainly 18th cent.

Guillermo Ruiz-Stovel investigates Chinese and Intra-Asian trade with Spanish Manila (especially 18th c.), including shipping, merchant networks, and maritime credit data.


Mariana Sánchez

Alchemy and Medicine, and the history of science and knowledge.

Mariana Sánchez received her Ph.D. from University Paris Cité in 2022 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven.Her research is concerned with the Early Modern Hispanic World and with how natural history was set as an early modern discipline, she is more broadly interested in the history of alchemy and medicine, and the history of science and knowledge.

Mathieu Torck Photo

Mathieu Torck

Medicine, food provision, scurvy

Mathieu Torck is a sinologist who works at the intersection between maritime, medical and botanical history as well as the history of science and knowledge transfer of early modern China and the world in a comparative and cross-cultural perspective. He studies risk and hazard factors in the human environment interaction and in particular pursues a qualitative investigation of shipboard diets as well as traditional modes of water supply during voyages in the Indo-Pacific area in the context of the Manila Galleon Trade.


Marina Torres

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow

Marina Torres focuses her research on the participation of European religious members of all Catholic orders in local trafficking networks of girls across the South China Sea.

Kimura Jun

Kimura Jun

Maritime archaeology

Kimura Jun, maritime archaeologist and faculty member of the Department of Maritime Civilizations at Tokai University, focuses on the archaeology of early modern Asian ships and Spanish galleons sunken in the Asian and Pacific waters, including the examination of shipbuilding architecture, cargo objects, and related cross-cultural knowledge transfer.

Geoinformaticians (UGent)


Samuel Van Ackere

Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Product Design, Research group Intelligent Systems Engineering, Ghent University; Faculty of Sciences, Department of Geography, Research group CartoGIS, Ghent University

Samuel was part of our team between September 2020 and August 2022. He worked on creating a relational, spatio-temporal project database, including geovisualizations and maps.


Kenzo Milleville

Ghent University for IDLab & CartoGis

Kenzo Milleville is a PhD Researcher at Ghent University for IDLab & CartoGis since the end of 2018 with an interest in AI, computer vision, unsupervised learning, and geospatial data procesing. He will be focusing on the analysis and visualization of the Transpacific spatiotemporal database.


Robbe Viville

MSc in Geography-Geomatics at Ghent University, Research unit: Cartography & GIS (Department of Geography)

PhD Students

Jasmin Wai Tan Law

Jasmin Wai Tan Law 羅惠丹

PhD student, KU Leuven, History Department

Jasmin Law Wai Tan, Mphil in Chinese language and literature from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), is currently writing her PhD dissertation on “The Formation and Characteristics of the Notion of “Guangdong Culture” during the Ming-Qing Transition”. Guangzhou, a vital battlefield of the Southern Ming forces against the Qing, was also an important port city that in China’s overseas trading network, where intellectuals and Ming loyalists assembled, individuals like Qu Dajun 屈大均 (1630-1696), author of a local history entitled Guangdong xinyu 廣東新語. She investigate how these Ming loyalists took advantages of Cantonese geographic location and cultural resources to construct a local history.


Juan Carlos González Balderas

PhD student, KU Leuven, History Department

Juan Carlos González Balderas graduated in 2020 with a Master’s degree in Iberian and Ibero-American Studies. During his master program, he developed a scientific curiosity in the contacts between the Spanish colonies in America and their counterparts in Asia and the cultural, human, scientific, and technological exchanges resulting from transpacific trade. From December 2021 on, he joined the ERC Transpacific project, focusing on the circulation of Asian goods throughout the American Pacific, including their impacts on colonial Lima and its hinterland (Pisco, Arica, and Potosi) around the 18th century. Ultimately, the project aims to map the circulation of Asian commodities and their impacts throughout Peruvian colonial society, based on information collected from wills, auctions, and dowry records in various historical archives in Spain, Peru, Mexico, Chile, and Bolivia.


Cynthia Yeung

PhD student, KU Leuven, History Department

In 2022, Cynthia Yeung Sin Ting obtained her master’s degree in Asian Studies at Leiden University with a master’s thesis on the Chinese experience in West Borneo, 1850-1854. She is also conducting research as volunteer at Research Center for Material Culture (RCMC) in the Netherlands, where she has been responsible for research on the invention and complex development of ideas of “China” and “Chineseness” worldwide. From 2023 on, she will join the research group of TRANSPACIFIC as a PhD fellow at KU Leuven, under the supervision of Prof. Angela Schottenhammer. She will examine documentation on the use and circulation of plants, herbs, medicines, and disease imported from the “New World” into coastal China and their impacts on the local societies during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Externally Affiliated Members


Mariano Bonialian

Networks of Peruvian traders

Mariano A. Bonialian is a historian of Spanish America and focuses on the analysis of Peruvian merchants and their networks with Asia, especially the Philippines, China, and Japan.

Ignacio Chuecas Saldías

Ignacio Chuecas Saldías

Postdoc Researcher

Ignacio Chuecas, full Professor and CIDOC Researcher at the Faculty of Humanities and Communications, Finis Terrae University (Santiago de Chile). He investigates the social history of the Hispanic American imperial borders and peripheries during the early modern period (16th-18th centuries), with an emphasis on colonial and religious phenomena. He is supervisor of the Fondecyt project “Portuguese between the Kingdoms of Pirú and the Great Kingdom of China (16th-17th centuries).