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Written by:
Paul Holland
13 Oct 2021

This academic year we welcomed twelve new Fellows to Trinity Hall.

During two Admission of Fellows and Scholars ceremonies last night (12 October) the new Fellows were also joined by more than 100 Scholars (students who have distinguished themselves in their studies).

Honorary Fellows from 2020, who have not been able to visit the College until now due to Coronavirus restrictions, were also among those invited to the ceremonies.

Trinity Hall Vice-Master Dr Daniel Tyler said: “We welcome twelve new Fellows in total this year, outstanding individuals who will enrich the Fellowship.

“The academic Fellows are working on a range of ground-breaking research projects in their various fields, and the seven Staff Fellows among them will enhance the teaching provision we offer to our students.”

Staff Fellows and Research Fellows

Dr William Balunas is the Walter Scott Staff Fellow in Physics; Director of Studies in Physics and Astrophysics. His research is in experimental particle physics that focuses on trying to understand how the universe works at the most fundamental level by studying the behaviour of tiny subatomic particles. He is a member of the ATLAS Experiment, which is part of the Large Hadron Collider, the 27 km particle accelerator at CERN in Geneva. He uses the recently discovered Higgs boson particle as a new tool to search for new and unknown particles and other phenomena.

Dr Neil Dewar is Staff Fellow in Philosophy at Trinity Hall; University Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy, Cambridge. Before coming to Cambridge, he was an Assistant Professor in philosophy of physics at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy. His main research interests are in philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, and metaphysics.

Dr Nelson Lam (main image, left) joins the College as the Research Fellow in Chemistry. His doctoral research focused on the chemical synthesis of complex bioactive natural products as novel anticancer agents. Dr Lam’s vision for chemical synthesis is “one that can empower future researchers to conceive and create any molecule for their scientific end goal, free from the practical constraints imposed by chemistry”.

Dr Alana Mailes (main image, right) is the Thole Research Fellow in Music at Trinity Hall. Her research explores the role of early modern musical transculturation within broader histories of statecraft, espionage, commerce, confessionalism, and empire, with a focus on the music of Italy, Britain, and Ireland. She holds a PhD in Historical Musicology from Harvard University, an MPhil in Music Studies from Clare College, Cambridge, and a BA in Music and Italian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She is also an enthusiastic performer of early music.

Dr Tristen Naylor is Staff Fellow in Politics at the College and University Assistant Professor of International Politics and History at Cambridge. Previously the Lecturer in Diplomatic Studies at Oxford and a Fellow in International Relations at the London School of Economics (LSE), Dr Naylor’s work focuses on global governance, focusing on the G7 and G20. Prior to his academic career, Dr Naylor was a foreign policy advisory to the Government of Canada.

Dr Sourav Sarkar joins the College as a Staff Fellow in Mathematics; and is a University Assistant Professor of Probability in the Faculty of Mathematics at Cambridge. Having taken his undergraduate studies in India he received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He works in probability that attempts to quantify randomness. In particular, he is currently interested in universality in random growth processes, i.e., finding a pattern in the apparently random growth exhibited by many different models. These models make appearances everywhere from bacterial growth, to fire fronts, coffee stains and some computer games.

Dr Grigalius Taujanskas, Staff Fellow and Director of Studies in Mathematics, read undergraduate mathematics at Trinity Hall before doing his doctorate at Keble College, Oxford. After that he worked as a College Lecturer at Hertford College, Oxford and a mathematician at the Smith Institute. His research is in the area of mathematical general relativity and analysis of partial differential equations.


Dr Robert Smyth joins Trinity Hall as a Fellow-Commoner in Medicine. He said: “I am a junior doctor in training in East Anglia who has been lucky enough to teach physiology to first year medicine students in the College over the past few years of my fledgling career.

“As part of my fellowship position I will be expanding the education opportunities for current and potential medical students.”

Visiting Fellows

Dr Meytal Higgins, becomes a Visiting Fellow and is Planning Advisor at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering.

Professor Roger Strömberg becomes a Visiting Fellow and is Professor of Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry, and Head of the Bioorganic Chemistry Unit at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden.

Honorary Fellows 2021

Anna Clunes (OBE) is a British Diplomat, currently serving as HM Ambassador to Poland. She has previously worked in the UK Missions to the EU and to the UN, as well as a previous posting to Warsaw. She has worked in roles across Government, including in the Department for Exiting the EU, the Cabinet Office and No 10. She has received a CMG and an OBE for services to British foreign policy. She graduated from Cambridge University in 1994, with a degree in Mathematics (Trinity Hall, 1991).

Professor Francis Spufford is Professor of Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London. After taking an English degree at Trinity Hall in 1985, he became a publisher’s reader and then full-time writer, first of non-fiction and then, since 2016, of novels. His non-fiction books include the memoir The Child That Books Built and a recreation of the Soviet planned economy, Red Plenty. His first novel, Golden Hill, was set in 18th century New York and won four literary prizes. His most recent, Light Perpetual, was long listed for the 2021 Booker Prize. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Historical Society.

Honorary Fellows 2020

Dr Cornelia Parker, Professor Sir John Pethica, Janet Legrand and Sarah Bates were made Honorary Fellows last year.