Melanie Kiechle




Hello and welcome.

I am a historian of the nineteenth-century United States. My interests include culture, environments, cities, health, science, and smells. Lots of smells.

My book, Smell Detectives: An Olfactory History of Nineteenth-Century Urban America, uncovers how city residents used their noses to understand, adjust to, and fight against the environmental changes created by rapid urban growth and industrialization. 

I am an associate professor of history at Virginia Tech, where I teach courses on United States history, environmental history, and the history of science and medicine. See my faculty webpage here.  

I completed my PhD in history at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in 2012. My research has received fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library.