Mary Fowler

Professor Mary Fowler, currently Dean of Science and Professor of Geophysics at Royal Holloway, University of London will become the sixth Master of Darwin College on 1st October, succeeding Professor William Brown.

Her past knowledge of the College and its bright, busy, diverse and mature student body will be invaluable.

Professor William Brown

An Old Darwinian, Professor Fowler matriculated at the College in 1972 to study for a PhD in Geophysics having graduated at Girton College with a First in Mathematics.

A distinguished earth scientist she has published widely in journals and is author of a widely respected text book, The Solid Earth: an introduction to global geophysics, for which she was awarded the Prestwych Medal by the Geological Society in 1996.

Her research has contributed in a number of important areas, including the first use of synthetic seismogram techniques to model oceanic crustal structure from marine seismic experiments, studies on the mechanisms of formation of sedimentary basins, the study of magma chamber processes on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and her work on the biogeography of deep-sea hydrothermal vent fauna.

A review of the 2005 second edition of The Solid Earth said “The book provides an exciting review of a decade of advances and improved comprehension of the interior working of the Earth. It is truly a wonderful text and a source of reference for many facts in the field of Geoscience.” (Environmental Geology).

Professor Fowler comes from a distinguished academic family. Her Great-Grandfather, Ernest Rutherford, described the internal structure of atoms for the first time just over a century ago and received the 1908 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He moved from Manchester University to become the Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge in 1919

Her Grandfather, R H Fowler (Trinity 1908), an internationally pre-eminent figure in mathematical physics in and between the two world wars, was Plummer Professor of Mathematical Physics, received the Royal Society's Royal Medal and collaborated closely with Charles (George) Darwin (the Charles Darwin's grandson), who owned and lived at Newnham Grange, now the centrepiece of the main College.

Her husband and daughter are Old Darwinians too.

Professor Euan Nisbet studied for a Geology PhD from 1970; Dr Ruth Nisbet matriculated in 2000 for a PhD in Biochemistry, and was later a Junior Research Fellow at The College, and now lectures at the University of Adelaide, South Australia.

Professor Brown said: "'Mary Fowler is a splendid choice as my successor. Her past knowledge of the College and its bright, busy, diverse and mature student body will be invaluable. It means she will enjoy the role of Master whole-heartedly and help our students fulfil their wonderful potential'

Darwin is a post-graduate college which provides an international community in which graduate students, postdoctoral workers, senior visitors and college fellows can interact with colleagues having the broadest spectrum of research interests.

There are more than 650 students, most of whom are studying for PhD or MPhil degrees, from more than 70 overseas countries.

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