About Alexandra Olaya-Castro....

Alexandra was born and grew up in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. She did her undergraduate in Physics Education at Universidad Distrital Francisco Jose de Caldas and then spent several years working for ICFES, developing physics tests for large-scale assessment of education in Colombia. She combined her work in education assessment with her master studies at Universidad de Los Andes where she did her MSc thesis with Prof. Luis Quiroga. During this time, she worked with Prof. Carlos Tejedor at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) and Prof. Pawel Hawrylak at the Institute for Microstructural Sciences in Ottawa, Canada. She then moved to the University of Oxford (Somerville College) in October 2002 to do her D Phil (Ph D) with Prof. Neil Johnson, funded by a Clarendon Fund Scholarship, an Overseas Research Student award, and a Somerville Senior Scholarship. She finished her doctoral studies in 2005 and right after this obtained a Junior Research Fellowship at Trinity College, Oxford University. In November 2008 she was awarded an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship that allowed her to start her independent research career at University College London. She obtained a permanent Lecturer position in September 2011 and was promoted to reader in October 2015. Throughout her career Alexandra has made scientific contributions to the understanding of signatures and implications of quantum coherence in a variety of quantum systems that include exciton condensates in quantum wells, multi-qubit systems embedded in optical cavities and, more recently, photo-activated biomolecular systems.