Rosalind J. Allen

Rosalind Allen
Rosalind Jane Allen
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge (BA, MSci, PhD)
University of Pennsylvania (MS)
AwardsRoyal Society University Research Fellowship (2009)
Meldola Medal and Prize (2005)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Edinburgh
ThesisElectrostatic interactions in confined geometries (2003)
Doctoral advisorJean-Pierre Hansen

Rosalind Jane Allen is a soft matter physicist and Professor of Biological Physics at the University of Edinburgh.[1] She is a member of the centre for synthetic biology and systems biology where her research investigates the organisation of microbe populations.


Allen studied the Natural Sciences Tripos at the University of Cambridge, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Master of Science (MSci) degrees in 1999.[2][3] She was an undergraduate student at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. She moved to America for further postgraduate study, earning another master's degree (MS) in chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania.[2] She returned to Cambridge for her doctoral studies, earning a PhD in 2003[4] for research supervised by Jean-Pierre Hansen[2] on theoretical chemistry and computational simulations of water permeation of nanopores.[2][5][6]

Career and research

Allen joined AMOLF as a Marie Curie Fellow, working on models of switching events between metastable states, which are rare.[7][8] She was part of the group who developed Forward Flux Sampling,[9] which simulates rare equilibrium and non-equilibrium systems and allows the calculation of rate constants.[7][10]

She joined the University of Edinburgh as a Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Research Fellow in 2006.[2] Allen is interested in organisms such as bacteria grow in complicated environments.[11] She was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 2009, studying the non-equilibrium interactions of microbes with their environments.[12] She joined the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Young Academy of Scotland in 2012 and was promoted to Reader in 2013.[2]

She has studied how microbes are involved with the sulphur cycle, which releases significant amounts of carbon as microbes consume hydrogen from organic matter.[12] She analyses microbial ecology and nutrient cycles using Winogradsky columns, developing models that predict long-term microbial dynamics and chemical composition.[13] She studies how microbial populations develop on different surfaces, identifying what factors influence the structure.[12] Bacterial colonies self-assemble on soft gel surfaces, and Allen has modelled how they compete for space.[14] Allen uses algorithms to study the metabolic pathways of sugars.[15] She delivered the 2017 SCI: where science meets business Sir Eric Rideal Lecture.[16] Her work has been supported by the United States Army Research Laboratory.[17]

Allen delivered her inaugural lecture in 2018, discussing how physicists can contribute to antimicrobial resistance.[18][11] Her research into antimicrobial resistance considers how antibiotic drugs interact with the physiology of a cell.[19] She has also looked at how microbes evolve in drug gradients; finding that drug resistance is accelerated by the presence of a gradient.[20] This occurs because bacteria enter the gradient in waves, with each more resistant than the one that proceeded it.[20] Resistant mutant bacteria at the edges of the population wave exist at low density and do not compete with nearby cells.[20] Allen published a statistical physics guide to bacterial growth in 2018.[21]

Awards and honours

In 2005 Allen was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Meldola Medal and Prize.[22] She was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (URF) in 2009.[23][12]

Personal life

Allen is married with one daughter.[23][12]


  1. ^ Rosalind J. Allen publications from Europe PubMed Central
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Rosalind Allen". Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  3. ^ "2016 Careers Event". SUPA. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  4. ^ Allen, Rosalind (2003). Electrostatic interactions in confined geometries. (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 879389634. EThOS
  5. ^ Piasecki, Jaroslaw; Allen, Rosalind J.; Hansen, Jean-Pierre (2004). "Kinetic models of ion transport through a nanopore". Physical Review E. 70 (2): 021105. arXiv:cond-mat/0403219. Bibcode:2004PhRvE..70b1105P. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.70.021105. PMID 15447477.
  6. ^ Allen, Rosalind J.; Frenkel, Daan; ten Wolde, Pieter Rein (2006). "Simulating rare events in equilibrium or nonequilibrium stochastic systems". The Journal of Chemical Physics. 124 (2): 024102. arXiv:cond-mat/0509499. Bibcode:2006JChPh.124b4102A. doi:10.1063/1.2140273. ISSN 0021-9606. PMID 16422566. closed access
  7. ^ a b "Forward Flux Sampling". Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  8. ^ "Rare events in biochemical networks". Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  9. ^ Allen, Rosalind J.; Warren, Patrick B.; ten Wolde, Pieter Rein (2005). "Sampling Rare Switching Events in Biochemical Networks". Physical Review Letters. 94 (1): 018104. arXiv:q-bio/0406006. Bibcode:2005PhRvL..94a8104A. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.94.018104. ISSN 0031-9007. PMID 15698138. closed access
  10. ^ "Numerical Mathematics/Scientific Computing". Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  11. ^ a b "Prof. Rosalind Allen - Antimicrobial resistance: how can a physicist help?". Media Hopper Create - The University of Edinburgh Media Platform. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  12. ^ a b c d e Anon (2009). "Dr Rosalind Allen: Research Fellow". London: Royal Society. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  13. ^ Free, Andrew; Allen, Rosalind J.; Michael E. Cates; Spears, Bryan M.; Strathdee, Fiona; Pagaling, Eulyn (2014). "Community history affects the predictability of microbial ecosystem development". The ISME Journal. 8 (1): 19–30. doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.150. ISSN 1751-7370. PMC 3869022. PMID 23985743.
  14. ^ Lloyd, Diarmuid P.; Allen, Rosalind J. (2015). "Competition for space during bacterial colonization of a surface". Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 12 (110): 399–404. doi:10.1098/rsif.2015.0608. ISSN 1742-5689. PMID 333814.
  15. ^ "Rosalind Allen's webpage - Metabolism". Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  16. ^ "Rideal Lecture 2017: preview". Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  17. ^ "US Army research office grant". The Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  18. ^ "Inaugural Lecture: Antimicrobial resistance: how can a physicist help? | School of Physics and Astronomy". Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  19. ^ "Rosalind Allen's webpage - Bacterial response to antibiotics". Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  20. ^ a b c Greulich, Philip; Waclaw, Bartłomiej; Allen, Rosalind J. (2012). "Mutational Pathway Determines Whether Drug Gradients Accelerate Evolution of Drug-Resistant Cells". Physical Review Letters. 109 (8): 088101. arXiv:1202.5431. Bibcode:2012PhRvL.109h8101G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.088101. PMID 23002776.
  21. ^ Allen, Rosalind J; Waclaw, Bartlomiej (2018). "Bacterial growth: a statistical physicist's guide". Reports on Progress in Physics. 82 (1): 016601. arXiv:1812.04435. doi:10.1088/1361-6633/aae546. ISSN 0034-4885. PMC 6330087. PMID 30270850.
  22. ^ "RSC Harrison-Meldola Prize Previous Winners". Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  23. ^ a b Anon (2016). "Dr Rosalind Allen: Parent-carer scientist". London: Royal Society. Retrieved 2019-01-20.

This page was last updated at 2019-11-15 20:38 UTC. Update now. View original page.

All our content comes from Wikipedia and under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


If mathematical, chemical, physical and other formulas are not displayed correctly on this page, please useFirefox or Safari