Gaia Scerif

BSc St And, PhD Lond


I oversee tutorial teaching in Experimental Psychology for St. Catherine's students reading for Experimental Psychology, Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics, and Biomedical Sciences. I tutor students in my areas of specialty (developmental psychology, developmental cognitive neuroscience, attention) across all years and courses. In addition, I lecture Prelim students (1st Year undergraduates), Part 1 students (2nd Year undergraduates), Part 2 students (finalists) and MSc students in developmental psychology and the developmental cognitive neuroscience of attention and control. I supervise final year undergraduate students for their research projects and dissertations.

About me

I am originally from Milan, Italy, but after an International Baccalaureate at the United World College of Southern Africa (Swaziland), I decided not to settle for a while. I completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, spending a year as a visiting student at Queen’s University in Canada. I then read for a PhD in developmental cognitive neuroscience at the Institute of Child Health, University College London.

After a brief visiting fellowship (now developed into an ongoing collaboration) at the Sackler Institute of Developmental Psychobiology, Cornell University and Weill Medical School (New York), I held a permanent appointment as a lecturer at the School of Psychology, University of Nottingham. I have been based at St Catherine's since October 2006.


My research focuses on the processes underlying the development of attentional control and those underlying attentional difficulties, from their neural correlates to their outcomes on emerging cognitive abilities. Addressing these questions involves combining the study of typical attentional control with research on neurodevelopmental disorders of attention that affect molecular pathways and neural circuits involved in attentional control development:

(1) disorders with a well-defined genetic aetiology (e.g., fragile X syndrome, Williams syndrome, Down syndrome, sex chromosomal trisomies); and

(2) complex behavioural syndromes of mixed aetiology (e.g., AD/HD). You can read more about my research group here.

Graduate supervision

I supervise DPhil students in attention, brain and cognitive development, and you can read more about our research themes here.  At the College level, I also mentor graduate students in Psychology and Biomedical sciences taught and research courses.

Fellow and Tutor in Psychology
Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Justine Pila

BA, LLB, PhD Melb, MA, DipLATHE Oxf
Justine Pila came to Oxford in 2004 to take up her statutory posts of University Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law and Tutorial Fellow of St Catherine's College. She holds undergraduate degrees in Law and Arts and a Phd in Law from the University of Melbourne, and has previously worked as an intellectual property solicitor and Associate to the Chief Justice of the Australian Federal Court. She teaches intellectual property law and theory at graduate and undergraduate level for the Faculty and EU law for St Catherine's. Her current projects include an Oxford Handbook on Intellectual Property and a monograph on IP subject matter, both for publication by OUP in 2016. A full list of her publications is available on her faculty webpage. Here are the dust jackets of her existing books:
                        The Oxford Handbook of Intellectual Property Law - Rochelle Dreyfuss Justine Pila
Fellow and Tutor in Law
College Counsel

Tom Pizzari

BSc Aberd, MA Oxf, PhD Sheff


I teach Animal Behaviour, Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.


About me

I studied Zoology at the University of Aberdeen, did a PhD at the University of Sheffield, and held postdoctoral positions at Sheffield and in Sweden. I was appointed Lecturer at Leeds in 2003, and moved to Oxford in 2005 as University Lecturer in Zoology and Biology tutor at Catz.



I am an evolutionary biologist interested in sexual behaviour and its evolutionary and ecological implications. Our lab focuses on resolving different aspects of sexual selection, sexual conflict and promiscuity using a strongly experimental approach. I was awarded the ASAB Outstanding Young Investigator Award in 2005, and the Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2008. My publications include: Pizzari & Birkhead (2000) Nature; Birkhead & Pizzari (2002) Nature Rev. Gen.; Pizzari et al. (2003) Nature; Keeling et al. (2004) Nature; Løvlie et al. (2005) Curr. Biol.; Pizzari & Foster (2008) PLoS Biol; Dean et al. (2010) Curr. Biol.; Dean et al. (2012) PLoS Gen.; Collet et al. (2012) PNAS.


Graduate Supervision

I have supervised six PhD students, and I am currently supervising four additional PhD students on subjects related to sexual selection and the functional analysis of reproductive behaviour.

Fellow and Tutor in Zoology
Professor of Evolutionary Biology

Naomi Freud

MA, MSc Oxf


I am a Biological Anthropologist and I teach Human Ecology to Human Sciences undergraduates. Human Sciences is an inter-disciplinary degree course that provides students with the tools to explore and study people in a variety of different ways. Human Ecology allows students to understand the mechanisms in which human individuals and populations have been both physically and culturally shaped by their environment. And, importantly, Human Ecology provides a lynchpin with the other disciplines within Human Sciences to provide a deeper understanding of what it is to be human.

About me

I came up to St Catherine’s to read Human Sciences in 1985.  I continued to study Biological Anthropology at Oxford and have taught students studying Human Sciences since the early 1990s.  I have at the same time, with my husband, brought up our family of one daughter and two sons.


My interests include predictive adaptive strategies for those living in nutritionally challenged environments; agricultural risk minimisation strategies in contemporary and historical communities; the genetic adaptations that have manifest themselves through chance and selection to benefit individuals under particular circumstances and the serious implications of human group choice on animal populations.

Fellow by Special Election
Director of Studies for Visiting Students
Director of Studies for Human Sciences
College Lecturer in Human Sciences

Patrick Grant

BEng Nott, MA, DPhil Oxf, FREng


I give courses in Casting, Powder Processing and Engineering Alloys in the Department of Materials.

About me

I received a BEng in Metallurgy and Materials Science from Nottingham University in 1987 and a DPhil in Materials from Oxford University in 1991. After holding a Royal Society University Research Fellowship and then Lectureship in the Department of Materials, Oxford University, I became Vesuvius Professor of Materials in 2004, when I joined St Catz. I am a Chartered Engineer (CEng), a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIMMM) and I was elected to the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2010 (FREng).

I was one of the founding academics of the Begbroke Science Park at Oxford University, now a major regional and international hub for innovation and close industry-university collaboration. I am currently the Deputy Head of the Maths, Physical and Life Science Division.

I was a member of 2008 Research Assessment Exercise panel for Metallurgy and Materials and am an advisor to EPSRC on the Manufacturing the Future theme and a member of the EPSRC Strategic Advisor Network. I am a consultant to a FTSE 100 UK aerospace company and a major French materials company, and I am a non-executive director of a UK-based academic publishing company.


My research takes place at the interface between advanced materials and manufacturing. Particular applications include electrodes for energy storage and advanced metallics for power generation. Many of my research projects are concerned with solidification behaviour in complex alloys, and/or the use of liquid metal, ceramic or polymer droplet and powder sprays to create unusual materials. My group works closely with industry and has many specialised synthesis and fabrication facilities, most of which are based at Oxford University's Begbroke Science Park.

Graduate Supervision

My research group typically contains eight doctoral students under my supervision, and in total, 26 doctoral and 15 masters students have graduated from the group.

Vesuvius Professor of Materials

Peter Edwards

BSc, PhD Salf, MA Oxf, FRS

About me

I have been Professor and Head of Inorganic Chemistry since late 2003 when I relocated from my position as Professor of Chemistry and Materials at Birmingham University, 1993-2003. Before that I was at Cambridge University as Fellow and Director of Studies in Chemistry at Jesus College, 1979-1991.

I am currently Coordinator of the UK Sustainable Hydrogen Energy Consortium. I was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1996 and in 2003 was awarded the Hughes Medal of the Society.


My main interests centre on the electronic properties of solids and liquids, high temperature superconductivity and the storage of hydrogen in solids and the Metal-to-Insulator phase transition.

Professor of Inorganic Chemistry

David Gillespie

MA, DPhil Oxf


I give college tutorials on thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and sometimes also on mathematics. I am a Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Science where my teaching is more narrowly focused in Mechanical Engineering.

About me

I attended Jesus College Oxford as an undergraduate and, following a short period in the chemical industry, as a graduate obtaining my doctorate in 1996.  I have been the Rolls-Royce Fellow in Engineering Science since 2003.


Based at the Rolls-Royce University Technology Partnership in Heat Transfer and Aerodynamics, my research interests include: improving the efficiency of internal cooling systems for gas turbine blading; air-seals for high speed, high temperature rotating machinery; computational fluid dynamics for heat transfer applications.

Graduate Supervision

Rolls-Royce Fellow and Tutor in Engineering Science
Associate Professor in Engineering Science

Tim Cook

MA, DPhil Oxf

About me

I was a student at Catz from 1966 to 1972 and was elected a Fellow by Special Election in Trinity Term 1999.

Following a career as an engineer and manager, I invested in, and led, two successful companies; Oxford Semiconductor and Oxford Asymmetry, a spinout from the University.

In 1997 I was invited to develop Isis Innovation, Oxford University’s technology transfer company, retiring in 2007. From 2005-8, I was Visiting Professor in Science Entrepreneurship at the Said Business School.

After non-executive directorships of Isis Innovation and Oxford Gene Technology, I was appointed in 2014 as Co-Director for User Engagement of Networked Quantum Information Technologies (NQIT), a large research programme based in the Physics Department. I finally retired in 2017.

I now compose and perform music and conduct the Dorchester Abbey Choir.

Fellow by Special Election

Susan Cooper

BA Collby Maine, MA Oxf PhD California

Robert Leese

MA Oxf, PhD Durh


I teach the more applied components of Mathematics Prelims, covering Papers III, IV and V in the First Public Examination. For students working towards the Second Public Examination, I give tutorials in Complex Analysis, Probability, Statistics, Quantum Theory, Calculus of Variations and Special Relativity.

About me

Before coming to St Catherine's in 1993, I was a Research Fellow at St John's College, Cambridge, working in mathematical physics.  My main research interests were investigating how topological structures can provide good models for elementary particles in high-energy physics.  On moving to Oxford, I joined the newly created Smith Institute for Industrial Mathematics and System Engineering.  My work took a sharp turn towards more practical applications of mathematics, building on the strong heritage of the College in industrial mathematics. I found new lines of research in the challenges of radio spectrum management, which required drawing on techniques in graph theory and combinatorial optimisation.


I became Director of the Smith Institute in 1999 and since then have overseen its ongoing expansion. My own work in telecommunications continues and these days I am particularly active in the design and implementation of combinatorial auctions for radio spectrum. Along with colleagues at the Smith Institute, I was part of Ofcom's team that delivered the successful UK auction for 4G spectrum in 2013.

Graduate teaching

I have very limited availability at present for supervising graduate students, but am happy to offer advice to students considering pursuing research in my areas of interest.

Fellow by Special Election in Mathematics
Director of the Smith Institute


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