Professor Marika Taylor

Professor Marika Taylor

Engineering and Physical Sciences
Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Marika Taylor is Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Marika commenced her career as an undergraduate student studying Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, inspired to follow this pathway having read “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking. After completing her undergraduate studies, Marika undertook a PhD with Hawking; her thesis “Problems in M-Theory” focused on black holes, string theory and holography.

Following a research fellowship at St John’s College, Cambridge, Marika moved to the Netherlands, working first at Utrecht University in the group of Nobel Laureate Gerard ‘t Hooft and then at the University of Amsterdam. In 2012 she moved to the University of Southampton as part of a strategic investment to establish a new research centre (STAG) bringing together gravity, high energy physics and astronomy. She later took on a variety of leadership roles at Southampton including Head of the School of Mathematical Sciences. She became a fellow of the Alan Turing Institute in 2019.

Her research interests range from mathematical and theoretical physics through to geometric AI and its applications; mathematical modelling for defence, security and finance, and the sociology of science. Marika has held many academic leadership roles nationally and internationally, including REF2021 panel member; advisory board of the Academy for Mathematical Sciences; advisory roles to government departments and agencies; chairing of research council committees and divisions in the UK and Europe, and leadership of the CERN GenHET initiative.


  • PhD in Mathematics, Cambridge University, 1999
  • MMath Mathematics, Cambridge University, 1995
  • MA (Hons) Physics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University, 1994


Marika Taylor studied for her undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences (Physics and Theoretical Physics) at Cambridge University. She completed her undergraduate studies by taking part III in Mathematical Sciences, winning the Mayhew. Marika then undertook a PhD with Stephen Hawking.

Marika carried out postdoctoral research in Cambridge, Harvard and Utrecht before becoming a permanent staff member at the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Amsterdam. During her time in the Netherlands she was elected to the academy of the Dutch Royal Society and she won the Dutch Physics Council Minerva Prize.

In 2012 she moved to the University of Southampton to develop a new research group bringing together mathematics and fundamental science. She moved to Birmingham to take up the role of Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences in 2023.

Marika has diverse research interests, ranging from mathematics and theoretical physics to fundamentals and applications of AI, and collaborations between science and social science. Marika has held honorary and visiting professorships at institutions around the world. She has many academic leadership roles nationally and internationally, and she has longstanding interests in applying mathematical approaches to finance, defence and security.

Marika is very active in public engagement with science, and has contributed to radio, TV and film documentaries; work with New Scientist and other popular science outlets; chapters in science books and public lectures at major events such as The Guardian Live, The Royal Institution and TEDx. She also works with artists on developing visualizations of complex scientific concepts – one such collaboration resulted in a music box playing the sounds of the Universe.