My research has focussed on the frustrating but fascinating problem of how to pin down the properties of the fundamental constituents of matter called quarks when we cannot study them directly. In 2003 my collaborators and I achieved a breakthrough in showing that the theory of how quarks behave could be solved numerically. This means that we can now perform a whole host of calculations of the properties of particles containing quarks that are seen in the detectors at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Detailed comparison with experiment is yielding new insights into our theories of fundamental physics.
I was very lucky to obtain a five-year fellowship soon after arriving in Glasgow, giving me the flexibility to combine research with motherhood. A subsequent senior fellowship as the children got older was also very helpful. Good childcare and after-school care were available locally too. The fact that my husband is also an academic has meant that we have been able to take simultaneous sabbaticals and spend two academic years in the USA at different times. Our children enjoyed this enormously and benefited from it.