photo of Antonella De Santo

Prof Antonella De Santo

Post:Professor Of Physics (Physics and Astronomy)
Other posts:Professor of Physics (Experimental Particle Physics Research Group, Data Intensive Science Centre at the University of Sussex)
Location:PEVENSEY 2 4A12

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 678115
International:+44 1273 678115

Research expertise:
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Professor Antonella De Santo obtained her PhD in Physics from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1997. After a long career that took her to places such as CERN, Fermilab, the University of Oxford, and Royal Holloway, University of London, she joined the University of Sussex in 2009, where she founded and leads the Sussex team working on the ATLAS experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. In 2013, Antonella became the first ever female Professor of Physics at the University of Sussex. In 2017, in recognition of her research achievements, she received a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. Using ATLAS data, Antonella is making world-leading contributions to the search for new physics beyond the Standard Model, currently focusing on the search for Supersymmetry. Prior to her work on ATLAS, for about a decade she had been making leading contributions to the study of neutrino oscillations, around the time when this intriguing phenomenon was first observed unequivocally.



  • 2013 -          : Professor of Physics, University of Sussex, UK
     (Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder, 2017-2022)
  • 2009 - 2013  : Reader in Experimental Particle Physics, University of Sussex, UK
  • 2003 - 2009  : Lecturer in Physics, Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL), UK
  • 2000 - 2003  : Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Oxford, UK
  • 1998 - 1999  : Research Fellow, Experimental Physics Division, CERN, Switzerland
  • 1997             : Research Fellow, U. of Pisa, Italy & LAPP, France; visiting scientist, CERN, Switzerland


  • 2004: Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (CAPITAL), RHUL, UK. Distinction.
    • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • 1997  : PhD, University of Pisa, Italy.
  • 1993  : MPhys ("Laurea in Fisica"), University of Pisa, Italy. Summa cum Laude.


  • Sussex ATLAS Team Leader (2009-)


  • Head of Sussex Experimental Particle Physics (2012-2017)
  • Director of Doctoral Studies, School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Sussex (2015-2017)

Community and Business

Peer Reviewing

I am a firm believer in the value of rigorous peer-reviewing of science and I am glad to offer my expert services to the community when required.

I serve/have served on the following external committees/panels:

  • 2019-current: Member of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK's Panel of Advisers
  • 2018-current: Member of the UKRI Future Leaders Peer Review College
  • 2016-current: Non-core member of STFC Science Board (PPAN)
  • 2017-2019: Elected member of the ATLAS Collaboration Speakers Committee
  • 2015-2017: Elected member of the ATLAS Collaboration Publication Committee
  • 2016-2017: Canada First Research Excellent Framework (Environment and Agriculture Panel)
  • 2011-2015: Member of the STFC Particle Physics Grants Panel
  • 2007-2010: Member of the STFC Project Peer-Review Panel (core member 2008-2009)
  • 2009-2011: Chair of the SEPnet Radiation Detection and Instrumentation research theme.
  • 2009: Member of the SEPnet NExT Steering Committee

I have also acted as expert reviewer for, amongst others, the Science and Technologies Facilities Council, the Royal Society, the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), the Canada Council for the Arts, the Israel Science Foundation.

Public Engagement and Community

I very much enjoy sharing my passion for science by initiating or taking part in physics outreach activities, both regionally and nationally.

I initiated the Sussex version of the International Particle Physics Masterclasses, now an established annual event for our University. Alone or with members of my group, I am or have been active in a number of high-profile science festivals, fairs and exhibitions (the British Science Festival, 2017; the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, 2013 & 2014; the Brighton Science Festival, 2013-; the Big Bang Fair, Birmingham, 2014 & 2015; the British Science Festival, 2017). Occasionally, I talk to media about my research on the Large Hadron Collider.

I have collaborated with internationally renowned artist duo Semiconductor and with humanities scholars to explore the links between fundamental physics and other expressions of human knowledge. In 2017, with Semiconductor and Sussex Humanities Lab colleague Beatrice Fazi, I organised a feature panel event, titled "Visions of the Large Hadron Collider", which took place at the Fabrica art gallery in Brighton, in the context of 2017 British Science Festival. With Mark Sutton, who is a senior research fellow in my group, I also collaborated with Semiconductor on the realisation of the critically acclaimed artwork HALO (, which Semiconductor realised for the 4th art commission by luxury watchmakers Audemars Piguet, for the 2018 Art Basel exposition. 

I like to engage with local schools by giving talks to pupils and teachers when I get an opportunity, and by bringing research projects into the classroom.

In collaboration with local school teachers, in 2016/17 I launched the HiSPARC international project ( in East Sussex. I also try to use my talents to take a more active role at the service of the local community.

I am currently a governor at Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary school, Hove, where I am a link governor for Science.