Biography

I joined the University of Portsmouth as a Lecturer in Naval History in 2018, where I am the Course Leader for Portsmouth's MA in Naval History and the Maritime Recollections short course. I am also a Visiting Fellow at the Royal Navy's Strategic Studies Centre.

My research focuses upon the twentieth century Royal Navy and its role within Britain's wider imperial system, during both peace and war. In particular, my first book Gunboats, Empire and the China Station explores the Royal Navy's China Station and Britain's East Asian Empire during the 1920s. It examines the reasons behind a number of the most violent clashes involving British service personnel during the interwar period and reveals how the Admiralty secretly sought to circumvent the Washington Treaty. I have also recently had a journal article entitled 'Britain's armed forces and amphibious operations in peace and war 1919-1939: A Gallipoli Curse?' published in the Journal of Strategic Studies.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the application of naval power in littoral environments, both in peace and war. In particular, I am interested in the use of the nineteenth and twentieth century Royal Navy in defending and maintaining the British Empire. Looking at how the Royal Navy exploited its global dominance through gunboat diplomacy, amphibious operations, and imperial policing. In doing so, I explore the importance of naval power in Britain's efforts to exert influence over other nations and groups of people on a day-to-day basis and consider its applicability to present-day global geopolitics.

I am on the editorial board of the Coastal Studies and Society and The Northern Marine/Le marin du nord journals and I am also a member of Portsmouth's Port Towns and Urban Cultures research group (http://porttowns.port.ac.uk/).

Teaching Responsibilities

I teach on the MA in Naval History course. I also supervise student dissertations at both BA and MA level, as well as PhD researchers.

Media Availability

I am happy to take calls and emails from media on my research, and am aware of the need to respond to journalists in a timely manner. Please contact me via: matthew.heaslip@port.ac.uk.

Interested journalists can also contact the University's Media and Communications team for support and advice on all media engagement, including out of hours.