Prof Anne Taormina

Prof. Anne Taormina is a mathematical physicist who uses group theory, algebraic geometry and number theory in her research, which is driven by fundamental questions in theoretical particle physics. She exploits the power of symmetry to reduce complicated physical phenomena to their essentials and uses the algebraic structures underpinning symmetries to model scenarios contributing to the worldwide effort of unification of the four known fundamental forces of Nature.

Her most recent interest is in understanding the implications of newly observed Moonshine phenomena in the context of string theory and conformal field theory. She has also used her mathematical tools to model virus functions and a scenario for the origin of life, in collaboration with biologists.

Anne obtained her PhD in Belgium in 1984 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris), the Centre Européen de Recherche Nucléaire (CERN, Geneva) and the Enrico Fermi Institute (Chicago University) before joining the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Durham Universty in 1991 with an advanced SERC Fellowship, in a move to solve a dual career problem. She is now a Professor and has served 56 months as Head of Department at Durham.