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Faculty of Mathematics

  • 2015-date: Lucasian Professor of Mathematics
  • 2007-2022: Royal Society Research Professor
  • 1995-2015: Professor of Natural Philosophy, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh
  • 1992-1995: University Lecturer, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  • 1989-1992: University Assistant Lecturer, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  • 1988-1989: Royal Society University Research Fellow, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  • 1985-1995: Junior Research Fellow (1985-1989), Teaching Fellow (1990-1995), Trinity College Cambridge


Mike is a member of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. He heads the Soft Matter research group. His current research interests include: flow of colloids, polymers, emulsions, gels and other soft materials; shear-thickening and rheology in dense suspensions; dynamics of soft glasses; flow of liquid crystals; general theories of active matter; cellular locomotion; phase ordering in active and passive systems; statistical mechanics of active particles; and numerous other topics. He currently holds an ERC Advanced Grant called ADNeSP: Active and Driven Systems, Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics.

Prizes and Awards

  • 2021: International Member, US National Academy of Sciences
  • 2019: International Member, US National Academy of Engineering
  • 2016: Bingham Medal, US Society of Rheology
  • 2013: Weissenberg Award, European Society of Rheology
  • 2009: Dirac Medal and Prize, Institute of Physics
  • 2009: Gold Medal, British Society of Rheology
  • 2007: Fellow of the Royal Society (London)
  • 2005: Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • 1996: Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • 1994: Prix Franco-Britannique (Paris Academy of Sciences)
  • 1991: Maxwell Prize and Medal, Institute of Physics


Irreversibility and Biased Ensembles in Active Matter: Insights from Stochastic Thermodynamics
E Fodor, RL Jack, ME Cates
– Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics
Hierarchical microphase separation in non-conserved active mixtures
YI Li, ME Cates
– The European physical journal. E, Soft matter
Efficient Bayesian inference of fully stochastic epidemiological models with applications to COVID-19
YI Li, G Turk, PB Rohrbach, P Pietzonka, J Kappler, R Singh, J Dolezal, T Ekeh, L Kikuchi, JD Peterson, A Bolitho, H Kobayashi, ME Cates, R Adhikari, RL Jack
– R Soc Open Sci
Capillary Interfacial Tension in Active Phase Separation
G Fausti, E Tjhung, ME Cates, C Nardini
– Physical Review Letters
Thermodynamics of Active Field Theories: Energetic Cost of Coupling to Reservoirs
T Markovich, É Fodor, E Tjhung, ME Cates
– Physical Review X
Constitutive models for well-entangled living polymers beyond the fast-breaking limit
JD Peterson, ME Cates
– Journal of Rheology
Active engines: Thermodynamics moves forward
E Fodor, ME Cates
– Europhysics Letters
Bayesian inference across multiple models suggests a strong increase in lethality of COVID-19 in late 2020 in the UK
P Pietzonka, E Brorson, W Bankes, ME Cates, RL Jack, R Adhikari
Statistical mechanics of active Ornstein-Uhlenbeck particles
D Martin, J O'Byrne, ME Cates, É Fodor, C Nardini, J Tailleur, F van Wijland
– Physical Review E
Collective motion in large deviations of active particles
Y-E Keta, É Fodor, F van Wijland, ME Cates, RL Jack
– Physical review. E
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Research Group

Soft Matter




01223 337912