Ciara Mackellar

They/Them | She/Her

I am queer and I am a condensed matter physicist.//


I’m a pansexual, non-binary womxn and I work on understanding the quantum properties of materials, (such as magnetism) via their electronic structure! My research involves probing electrons in solids using X-rays and first-principles calculations.

I focus mostly on the study of materials which cannot be understood with single-electron or simple mean field approaches, including chemically disordered alloys and insulators in which the motion of each electron is correlated with all the others. Practically I perform X-ray Compton scattering experiments on single-crystal samples at the SPring-8 synchrotron and make various supporting calculations, using high performance computing facilities at my university.

My field is quite heavily straight, cis-male dominated and I’d love to show other young queer womxn and non-binary humans that we do exist and can achieve anything we want to!

When not in the office or on the beamline, I’m also a semi-professional fire performer. I occasionally perform at festivals, parties and club events all over Europe. I also love hiking and mountain climbing – there’s nothing quite like beauty of the natural world from 3km up!