UCL Women is for academic UCL staff (postdoc and above) in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Any eligible staff are welcome to as many or as few events as they like.

Please see the What’s new page to keep up-to-date with our events. You can also follow us on twitter at @UCLWomen for all the latest information. Do also feel free to contact us at info@uclwomen.org; we look forward to meeting new colleagues and making UCL a better place for all of us.

Next event news

Dr Emmanuelle Charpentier: 2017 UCL Women’s Flagship Lecture


7 March 2017 from 17:30

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Dr Emmanuelle Charpentier, a pioneer of CRISPR-Cas9 technology, will give the 2017 UCL Women’s Flagship Lecture. CRISPR went from obscure bacterial defence system to household name in a few short years thanks to its immense power to ‘edit’ the genome. In this seminar, we’ll hear the inside story of this fascinating journey as well as learn more about the woman behind it.

There’ll be a drinks reception in the Cloisters (Wilkins Building, main quad of UCL) from 5.30pm, followed by the lecture in Cruciform Lecture Theatre 1 at 7pm. The lecture will be enhanced afterwards by a Q&A session, moderated by Alok Jha, science correspondent for ITV News.

This event is free and open to all, but spaces are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment! You can register for a maximum of two tickets.

Biography – Emmanuelle Charpentier

Dr Charpentier, a French biologist, is currently director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin. Her work was instrumental in understanding the molecular basis of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 “immune system” and exploiting it as a tool for genome editing. In collaboration with Jennifer Doudna and her team, Charpentier’s group worked out how to make precisely targeted mutations via synthetic “guide RNA” molecules. The method is now widely used to edit the DNA sequences of plants, animals, and mammalian cells, which will have wide-reaching effects on biology, healthcare and technology in the future. Charpentier has won the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Gruber Foundation International Prize in Genetics and the Leibniz Prize, Germany’s most important research prize. In 2015, Time Magazine named Charpentier one of the 100 most influential people in the world (together with Jennifer Doudna).

Seirian Sumner at our next BYO lunch networking session 14 February 2017

New year, new term, new chance to meet fascinating colleagues from different disciplines across UCL! If you haven’t been to one of our events before, why not make it your 2017 Resolution to change this?

Join us on 14 February 2017 for an informal talk in our popular ‘Who am I – what am I doing?” series, from Seirian Sumner, who has recently joined us as a Reader in Behavioural Ecology in the Division of Biosciences. Apart from Seirian’s fascinating research into the societal behaviour of insects, we will hear more about Soapbox Science, a unique international public engagement project that she co-founded with Nathalie Pettorelli. See Seirian’s biography at the bottom for more information. The title of her talk is “Soapbox Science – Taking Science to the Streets”.

We’ll meet from 12.30 to 2 PM in the usual place: room 305 of the hospitable Department of Psychology: 26 Bedford Way, WC1H 0AP. Go to the seminar room on the 3rd floor. You can buy drinks and sandwiches at the Café next door to the seminar room, or from one of the many eateries in Torrington Place, or bring your own! In honour of St Valentines, be warned that some of us may attempt themed baking! Step-free access is available immediately to the right of the main entrance.

And don’t forget to save the dates of the next two get-togethers (details closer to the time):

Thurs April 13 1-2.30
Wed June 14 1-2.30


Seirian’s work seeks to explore the interface between behavioural ecology, biodiversity and conservation. She uses a combination of field ecology and genomics techniques to address questions about how and why animals live in societies. Her journey began with a Zoology BSc (Hons) degree at University College London. She stayed on at UCL for her PhD where she studied reproductive conflicts in Malaysian eusocial hover wasps, with Prof Jeremy Field (now at University of Sussex). She then went on to a postdoc position in University of Copenhagen with Prof Koos Boomsma, to explore social parasitism of leaf cutting ants, in Panama. Thereafter, she held a succession of independent fellowships funded by Smithsonian Institute (STRI, Panama), L’Oreal for Women in Science Fellowship Award from L’OrealUNSECO/Royal Society, RCUK, and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London. She moved to the University of Bristol as a Senior Lecturer in November 2012. She took up her current position in October 2016 as a Reader in Behavioural Ecology at University College London.

As well as being passionate about behaviour, biodiversity and insects, Seirian is an active advocate for equality in science. In 2011 she co-founded Soapbox Science, a no-frills public outreach platform for promoting women scientists and the science they do, as a regular annual science outreach festival. She led the Athena SWAN Bronze committee for the School of Biological Science in Bristol, and now sits on the Athena SWAN committee as a GEE representative for the Division of Biosciences at UCL.