College Life Blog

Search all blog posts

Research and academia: International Women's Day 2019

Written by Eleanor Sanger, posted on Friday, March 8, 2019

Female academic staff at Christ Church work on a huge variety of different research areas, from Music and Philosophy to Chemistry and Astrophysics! Find out more about some of the amazing things they've achieved over the past year...


Christ Church’s women of the SCR recently joined forces in a new initiative launched by Dr Leah Morabito! Through organising dinners and lunches she hopes to bring SCR women together to network, share experiences, and set an example of what women can achieve. You can find out more in this news article, and also in our interview with Dr Morabito for International Women’s Day.

Dr Leah Morabito is also among an international team of astronomers who recently released data from a major new radio sky survey which revealed hundreds of thousands of previously undetected galaxies! The results shed new light on research areas including the physics of black holes and how clusters of galaxies evolve…

Dr Kerri Donaldson Hanna was interviewed on BBC Sky at Night magazine’s podcast, Radio Astronomy, where she spoke about her work as a participating scientist working on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to bring back sample from the asteroid Bennu. Dr Donaldson Hanna is involved in trying to understand the surface composition of the asteroid, and the mission has already led to some fascinating discoveries!

Dr Johanna Koehler spoke at the Hilary Term Faith and Politics lecture on the subject ‘What keeps countries poor?’. She discussed her work on rural water sustainability in Africa, explaining emerging models to solve issues in getting safe water services for all.

Dr Brianna Heazlewood was featured in an article in Chemistry World, which focussed on the use of ultracold chemistry to discover more about how reactions happen. Dr Heazlewood and a number of other researchers gave details of their work in the field of ultracold chemistry and the techniques they use to cool down molecules and discover how reactions happen.

Dr Patricia Lockwood was awarded Rising Star designation by the Association for Psychological Science, presented to recognise outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their post-PhD research careers! This year she was also the lead author on a paper published in Nature Communications, which looked at the sense of ownership, and won the 2018 Young Scientist Award presented by the European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (ESCAN), honouring the early achievements of scientists working in this field.

Dr Carissa Véliz had an article on privacy and the future of banking published in Harvard Business Review. In the article, Dr Véliz argues that our personal data is in urgent need of guardianship, and suggests that banks may be the best suited institutions to take on that role. She was also lead author on a paper in Nature Energy, in which she discussed the data privacy issues resulting from the use of smart meters.

Dr Gabrielle Watson was elected to the first Visiting Fellowship in Law at the Cambridge Centre for Criminal Justice, following a nomination from Professor Nicola Padfield QC (Hon), the Centre Director and Master of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Last year her first book was also accepted for publication! Respect and Criminal Justice builds on her doctoral research at Oxford.

Dr Ros Holmes was awarded the 2018 British Association for Chinese Studies (BACS) Early Career Researcher Prize, for an essay exploring the relationship between contemporary art and visual representations of civility in postsocialist China. The essay is an excerpt from the book that Dr Holmes is currently writing – The Art of Incivility: Rudeness and Representation in Postsocialist China.

Dr Tae-Yeoun Keum was awarded the 2018 Leo Strauss Award, presented by the American Political Science Association, for the best dissertation in the field of political philosophy. Dr Keum was chosen as the recipient of the award for her dissertation exploring Plato’s myths and their modern legacy.

Canon Professor Carol Harrison was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy. Professor Harrison is a theologian who specialises in early Christianity – her recent work has focussed on listening, music and sound in early Christianity, and she is a world-renowned expert on the life and work of St Augustine.

Leah Broad gave a Proms Plus Talk at the 2018 Proms. Leah, a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker, introduced Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony prior to its performance in Prom 42 in a talk at Imperial College Union, and an edited version was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 during the interval of the Prom.