Professor Athene Donald DBE FRS
Athene Donald has been at the Cavendish Laboratory since 1983, and became a professor there in 1998. Her activity sits within the sector of Biological and Soft Systems, and focuses on using the ideas of soft matter physics to study a wide range of systems of both synthetic and biological origin. There is a substantial emphasis on various kinds of microscopy in her research.
Her early research focussed on synthetic polymers, but the bulk of her work is now directed at biological problems, using a range of techniques and spanning from studying individual molecules (protein aggregation), through cellular biophysics to recent work on whole tissues and organisms (such as the study of bacteria and leaves in the Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope).
The unifying theme of the different research projects is to understand the interplay of structure and function.
She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1999, and having served on various committees over the years, including Council, she currently chairs their Education Committee. She also serves on the University of Cambridge Council and is their Gender Equality Champion.
She was appointed a DBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours List.
Professor Athene Donald DBE FRS is a member of the Vision for science and mathematics education 5-19 project committee.