A warm welcome to the newest Members of St Catharine’s

Friday 17 September 2021


St Catharine’s College is looking forward to admitting over 260 new students at the start of the new academic year, alongside the admission of three Honorary Fellows, four new Official and Professorial Fellows and two new Junior Research Fellows.

Professor Sir Mark Welland, Master of St Catharine’s, commented:

“The start of Michaelmas Term is an exciting time in College as we extend a very warm welcome to our Freshers and reconnect with friends and colleagues after spending the vacation apart. As the new academic year gets underway, I hope we will continue to provide an environment where students, staff and Fellows can thrive and support one another. I also look forward to our new students and Fellows sharing their rich array of experiences and academic interests with our community.”

Student admissions

Among the new admissions to St Catharine’s will be at least 124 postgraduate students (against our annual target of 105). It is typical for postgraduate courses to start at different times of the year, although most are due to start this month.

St Catharine’s is also looking forward to welcoming a total of 136 first-year undergraduate students. Of our incoming UK undergraduate students, 10.5% self-declared as having been eligible for free school meals, and 79.6% are coming to us from state schools – up from 70.5% in 2020–21 (the University of Cambridge’s target is 69.1% by 2024–25).

Dr Ivan Scales and Dr David Bainbridge, the College’s Admissions Tutors, commented:

“St Catharine’s received its highest number of applicants for this year’s admission cycle. Nearly 80% of the undergraduate students joining us in October are from state schools—another record for St Catharine’s. This reflects the College’s considerable efforts to widen access and participation, ensuring we continue to be a diverse and vibrant community. We would like to congratulate our incoming Freshers for overcoming considerable disruptions to both learning and assessment, and we look forward to welcoming you very soon.”

Matriculation, the ceremonial admission of students as Members of the College, is scheduled for 2 October for postgraduate students and 5 October for undergraduate students.

Admissions to the Fellowship

The College's newest Fellows: (top row) Dr Jason Tarkin, Dr Sophie Koudmani and Tristan Cummings; (middle row) Dr Liana Chua , Dr Joe Ellis and Dr Noriko Amano-Patiño; (bottom row) Malcolm Martineau OBE, John Hooper and Roger Harrabin
The College's newest Fellows: (top row) Dr Jason Tarkin, Dr Sophie Koudmani and Tristan Cummings; (middle row) Dr Liana Chua, Dr Joe Ellis and Dr Noriko Amano-Patiño; (bottom row) Malcolm Martineau OBE, John Hooper and Roger Harrabin

The Master and the Official and Professorial Fellows make up the College's Governing Body. Governing Body may confer Honorary Fellowships on individuals who have achieved at a very high level in their field, and elect Junior Research Fellows to support individuals who have recently completed their PhD or who are close to completion (who need not have studied at St Catharine’s). The admission ceremony for our newest Fellows will be held on 1 October 2021.

Honorary Fellows

  • Roger Harrabin has been a Member of St Catharine’s since he arrived to study English as an undergraduate from 1973 and is currently the BBC’s Energy & Environment Analyst. Since the mid-1980s, he has helped pioneer coverage of issues stretching from climate change to obesity, winning many awards in the process. Roger is an Associate Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and Green Templeton College, Oxford, and holds an honorary DSc from Cranfield University for science communication.
  • Having studied History at St Catharine’s as an undergraduate from 1968, John Hooper has distinguished himself as an author and foreign correspondent, devoting most of his working life to reporting from the countries of the Mediterranean. He is currently the Italy and Vatican Correspondent of The Economist and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, writing mainly on art. He is also a lecturer at the Florence campus of Stanford University. His latest book, The Italians, was a best-seller on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • Malcolm Martineau OBE joined St Catharine’s in 1978 to study Music as an undergraduate, and is now recognised as one of the leading accompanists of his generation. His recordings span the complete Beethoven Folk Songs and Schubert, Schumann and English song recitals with Sir Bryn Terfel; Schumann and Brahms Lieder with Elīna Garanča; the Grammy Award-winning Songs of War with Sir Simon Keenlyside; and the complete Fauré songs with Sarah Walker and Tom Krause. He was a given an honorary doctorate by the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2004, and appointed International Fellow of Accompaniment in 2009.

Official and Professorial Fellows

  • Dr Noriko Amano-Patiño is an Assistant Professor at the University of Cambridge. Her research primarily focuses on understanding the sources and implications of different dimensions of inequality across genders and racial groups. Prior to joining the faculty of Economics at Cambridge, she obtained her PhD at Yale University, where she specialized in the fields of Labour Economics and Applied Econometrics.
  • St Catharine’s recently announced that Dr Liana Chua has been appointed the Tunku Abdul Rahman University Lecturer in Malay World Studies, an entirely new position that is fully funded by the College and based at the Department of Social Anthropology. Her current research explores the global nexus of orangutan conservation and how international conservation interventions operate across national and socio-cultural boundaries.
  • Tristan Cummings has been appointed a College Assistant Professor at St Catharine’s. Previously, he worked as a Stipendiary Lecturer at Merton College, Oxford, where he was also a PhD researcher in law. His current research focuses on the intersection of family law, human rights law and religious freedom with a particular interest in the regulation of religious family law through a systems theoretical and reflexive law model.
  • Dr Joe Ellis is an anthropologist based at the Department of Social Anthropology, where he is the Sigrid Rausing Postdoctoral Fellow in the Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies Unit. He first came to Cambridge in 2013 to complete a PhD in Social Anthropology based on two years of fieldwork in Mongolia, and taught anthropology and social theory extensively prior, during and after his PhD. He has since held academic, director of studies and teaching positions in the collegiate university.

Junior Research Fellows

  • Dr Sophie Koudmani joins St Catharine’s from Churchill College, Cambridge, where she completed a PhD at the Institute of Astronomy. She previously obtained a Master’s degree in Physics from New College, University of Oxford. Her research aims to unravel the physical processes governing galaxy formation, especially the interface between galaxies and their supermassive black holes, by developing new galaxy formation models and performing massively-parallel hydrodynamical simulations of individual galaxies and representative regions of the Universe on high-performance computing clusters.
  • Dr Jason Tarkin is a Wellcome Clinical Research Career Development Fellow and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the University of Cambridge. After graduating summa cum laude with honours in Biology from the University of New Hampshire, he studied Medicine at St George’s, University of London, receiving a distinction in Clinical Sciences. In 2017, Jason was awarded a PhD from the University of Cambridge, which he studied at Gonville & Caius College. His training in Cardiology has been at the Bart’s Heart Centre, Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Hammersmith Hospital, and his clinical subspecialty is cardiovascular imaging.

Farewell to an outgoing Fellow

The College wishes Dr Liron Shmilovits all the best of luck as he moves to Wolfson College, Cambridge, to take up a position as College Teaching Officer. His fixed-term appointment as St Catharine’s Richard Fellingham College Lecturer and Research Fellow in Law has ended. Dr Shmilovits said:

“I have greatly enjoyed my three years at St Catharine’s. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with such wonderful colleagues and to teach such talented students. I would like to give special thanks to my Law colleagues who have believed in me and supported me. I look forward to maintaining a connection with the College – which will always have a special place in my heart.”