Julia Bourke

Julia is a personal trainer and medieval historian. While completing a PhD on the brains and emotions of medieval monks, Julia realised that sitting alone in the library might not be the best path to health and happiness. Inspired by her love of the outdoors, long-distance running, and weightlifting, Julia reskilled as a personal trainer and now gets to spend her days helping other people use their bodies in new ways.

Julia’s coaching skills don’t end with physical training. Her PhD, in the history of emotions, looked at how particular emotions and feelings can be cultivated through practice. Julia used modern neuroscience and psychology to shed light on how people in the past trained their emotions with meditation. As a personal trainer, Julia draws on her knowledge of emotions and cognitive change to help clients transform their outlook on health, set achievable goals, and build new a new relationship with their bodies. She also offers corporate seminars and training events.


As part of the Talent Factory cohort, Julia performs sketch and stand-up regularly at History and Science Showoffs, telling jokes about everything from medieval contract law to modern fad diets. In July 2018, she will be hosting a comedy show all about the history and science of Death – Grave Expectations, The Star of Kings, July 17th.

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