A professor of history at UCLA, Carla Pestana holds the Joyce Appleby Endowed Chair of America in the World there; since 2018, she has also served as department chair. She attended graduate school at UCLA, where she studied with Appleby as well as Gary Nash. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, Pestana taught at the Ohio State University, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her research focuses on revolution, religion, and empire in early America and the English Atlantic world, and she frequently returns to the Quakers, the subject of her first publication. Her teaching covers these topics as well as pirates and witches, among other subjects. Her most recent books include Plymouth Plantation in the Atlantic World (2020), The English Conquest of Jamaica: Oliver Cromwell's Bid for Empire (2017), Protestant Empire: Religion and the Making of the British Atlantic World (2009), and The English Atlantic in an Age of Revolution, 1640–1661 (2004). She has blogged for the Huffington Post.
Piracy has been (and remains) a major maritime phenomenon and one that we find perennially interesting. "Why Pirates in the Caribbean?" asks why the Caribbean region boasted conditions particularly conducive to pirates during the early modern era. It explains the rise, nature and decline of piracy in the West Indies.