Reading Women in Research 

International Women’s Month is an opportunity for use to recognise and celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. For Women’s History Month, we are highlighting some of the research of inspirational women across the University of Reading, from research about Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) to environmental processes to the creation and implementation of international human rights law. 

Maitreyee Wairagkar – Reading Graduate

Maitreyee Wairagkar, a Univeristy of Reading graduate.
Above: Maitreyee Wairagkar, a University of Reading Graduate (University of Reading, n.d.)

Maitreyee Wairagkar is a postdoctoral researcher in Neuroengineering and Brain Computer Interface (BCI). Maitreyee’s research focuses on the Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) she built that enable people with severe motor and speech impairments to communicate directly via their brain signals. Maitreyee was the runner-up in the Scientific Achievement category in the Nature ‘Inspiring Women in Science’ Awards 2022 and winner of the 2023 India UK Achievers Honours in the category of Science and Innovation. Maitreyee started her BCI research journey at the University of Reading where she was awarded the University of Reading International Research Studentship which enabled her to pursue a PhD in her now award-winning research. 

Find out more about Maitreyee’s research

Julie Lovegrove – Professor and Head of the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition

Julie Lovegrove, Professor and Head of the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition.
Above: Julie Lovegrove, Professor and Head of the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition (University of Reading, n.d.)

Professor Julie Lovegrove is the Deputy Director of the Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR) and President of the Nutrition Society. Professor Lovegrove is also a member of several government advisory committees, including the Scientific Advisory Committee for Nutrition (SACN) and the Association for Nutrition (AfN). In 2022, she won the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) Prize for her exceptional work on the impact of nutrition on public health. 

Find out more Professor Lovegrove’s research.  

Watch this video to learn about Professor Julie Lovegrove’s research at the University of Reading is aiming to revolutionise British diets by incorporating more UK-grown beans into our everyday meals.

Rosa Freedman – Professor of Law Conflict and Global Development

Rosa Freedman, Professor of Law Conflict and Global Development,
Above: Rosa Freedman, Professor of Law Conflict and Global Development (University of Reading, n.d.)

Professor Rosa Freedman is a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Civil Society Advisory Board on preventing sexual exploitation and abuse, is a Specialist Adviser to the International Development Select Committee, and a member of the FCO Steering Committee on women, peace and security. Professor Freedman researches on the United Nations, and has a number of interests within that area: human rights bodies, creation and implementation of international human rights law, human rights of vulnerable groups (with specific focus on women’s rights, SOGI rights, and freedom of religion/belief), accountability for human rights abuses committed by UN actors, preventing sexual exploitation and abuse in conflict and crisis zones, and the intersection between international law and international relations. 

Find out more about Professor Freedman’s research

Jennifer Scott – Mathematician and Computational Scientist 

Professor Jennifer Scott’s research focuses on the solution of large sparse systems of linear equations and large-scale linear and non-linear optimization problems. Professor Scott was selected as a 2021 Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the leading international society for mathematics and its applications. 

Find out more about Professor Scott’s research

Hannah Cloke OBE – Professor of Hydrology 

Hannah Cloke OBE, Professor of Hydrology.
Above: Hannah Cloke OBE, Professor of Hydrology (University of Reading, n.d.)

Professor Hannah Cloke’s research focuses on modelling environmental processes and forecasting natural hazards. Professor Cloke advises the UK government on flood response and preparing for national and international flooding incidents. She developed techniques that were used in Uganda, where the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement were able to deliver aid to 5,000 people before roads and other lines of communication were cut by floodwater. She received an OBE after being named on the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to flood forecasting and the development of hazard early warning systems. 

Find out more about Professor Cloke’s research

Nellie Eales – Senior Lecturer in Zoology

Nellie Eales, Senior Lecturer in Zoology.
Above: Nellie Eales, Senior Lecturer in Zoology (University of Reading, n.d.)

Dr Nellie B. Eales (1889-1989) studied at Reading for her BSc which she gained in 1910. She went on to a become Curator in the Department of Zoology in 1912, helping to keep the department going while her male colleagues were called up to fight in WWI. In 1919, Eales was appointed as a Lecturer in the Zoology department and later became a Senior Lecturer. A fellow of the Zoological Society of London, Eales researched and published on cheese mites initially, then on marine biology and African elephants. Due to the strength and significance of her research, she was awarded a Doctorate of Science in 1926. 

Find out more about Dr Eales’ research

Jacqui Turner – Associate Professor of Modern British Political History 

Above: Jacqui Turner, Associate Professor of Modern British Political History (University of Reading, n.d.)

Dr Jacqui Turner is interested in C19th and early C20th parliamentary politics and political cultures including gender, early feminism and a mix of working-class politics and religion. Dr Turner’s current research concerns early female pioneers in politics, focusing largely on female MPs between 1919 and 1931 primarily as ‘sex-candidates’. Her research examines the contribution of early female MPs but also reassess the importance of the 1918 Representation of the People Act on British democracy, in relation to women and the emergence of female politicians – Dr Turner is particularly interested in Nancy Astor, who was the first female MP to sit in the House of Commons and whose papers are held at the University of Reading. 

Find out more about Dr Turner’s research

Jenny Chamarette – Co-Investigator of The Dwoskin Project 

Dr Jenny Chamarette is a co-investigator on a large AHRC grant, ‘The Legacies of Stephen Dwoskin’s Personal Cinema’. This is a collaborative project with academics at the Universities of Reading, Glasgow and Sheffield, the British Film Institute and the LUX. This project incorporates film history, embodiment and disability studies, fine art practice and the digital humanities. Dwoskin was a multidisciplinary artist who was both one of the founders of the London Filmmaker’s Co-Operative (now the LUX), and an early adopter of digital film. Dr Chammarette is currently writing articles and book chapters on Dwoskin’s disability activism and technological aptitude, the fluidity of gender and sexuality through the lens of his photography and late films, and intermediality in her digital filmmaking. 

Find out more about Dr Chammarette’s research

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog and learning about the University of Reading women and how their research is changing the world!

Feeling inspired? Learn about the PhD opportunities available to you at the University of Reading.

Want to learn about even more University of Reading women who are making a difference in their communities? Check out this video to discover the stories of some of the inspirational women amongst our alumni:

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