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M. Cristina Marchetti

M. Cristina Marchetti

Research Professor
Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara


Department of Physics
Broida Hall, Room 1311
University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9530

Research Interests

  • Hydrodynamics and rheology of active fluids and gels.
  • Collective behavior of bacterial suspensions and other self-driven organisms.
  • Cell motility and the mechanical properties of the cell cytoskeleton.
  • Collective transport in disordered systems: vortex lines in superconductors, charge density waves.
  • Dynamics of glassy systems.

News Articles

Professor Emerita Elected to National Academy

Curious Properties

M. Cristina Marchetti Named Distinguished Professor

Physicist Awarded NSF Grant to Study Collective Behavior of Active Matter

Physicists Awarded NSF Grant to Study Cancer-Cell Behavior

Physicist Named Editor of Top Scientific Journal

Cristina Marchetti appointed Editor at PRX

The Physics of Life

Two Syracuse University Professors Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Syracuse Physicists Explore Biomimetic Clocks

Simmons Foundation Funds Physics, Mathematics Researchers


1982 Ph.D. in Physics
University Florida, Gainesville
1978 Laurea in Physics cum laude
University of Pavia, Italy

Awards & Professional Honors

  • Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • William R. Kenan, Jr. Professorship
  • Associate Director of the Syracuse Biomaterials Institute, 2007-present
  • Chancellor's Citation for Academic Achievement, Syracuse University, 2005
  • Rotschild-Mayent Sabbatical Fellowship, Institut Curie, Paris, 2007
  • Principal Investigator and Member of the Board of Directors of the Boulder School for Condensed Matter and Materials Physics,
  • Vice-Chair and Chair of the Group of Statistical and Nonlinear Physics of the American Physical Society (2005-2008).

Selected Publications

Sheared active fluids: thickening, thinning and vanishing viscosity, L.Giomi, T. B. Liverpool and M. Cristina Marchetti, Phys. Rev. E 81, 051908 (2010).

Statistical mechanics and hydrodynamics of Bacterial Suspensions, Aparna Baskaran and M. Cristina Marchetti, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 106, 15567-15572 (2009).

Mechanical response of active gels, T. B. Liverpool, M. C. Marchetti, J.-F. Joanny and J. Prost, EuroPhys. Lett. 85, 18007 (2009).

Enhanced diffusion and ordering of self-propelled rods, Aparna Baskaran and M. Cristina Marchetti, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 268101 (2008).

Depinning in a two-layer model of plastic flow, P. Le Doussal, M. C. Marchetti, K. J. Wiese, Phys. Rev. B 78, 224201 (2008). (28 pages).