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Lecturer in the Department of Physics  
Member of the Centre for Materials Physics  


Short biography

I am a soft matter physicist with an interest in understanding the mechanistic origins of the unique and unusual mechanical properties of living materials. My research focusses in creating simple reductionist systems to understand complex biomechanical phenomena, particularly related to cytoskeletal filaments and lipid membranes. My research background is broad and varied and I enjoy making connections with researchers from connected disciplines including theoretical researchers, industrial scientists and biologists. Since joining Durham in 2020, my current interests focus on how biological networks respond and adapt to changing chemical and mechanical perturbation. 

  • 2020 - present: Lecturer in Soft Condensed Matter, Durham University
  • 2018-2020: Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Engineered Polyproteins, University of Leeds
  • 2015-2018: Postdoctoral Researcher in Biological Soft Matter, AMOLF, the Netherlands
  • 2013-2015: Postdoctoral Researcher in Mechanics of Lipid Membranes, University of Leeds
  • 2008-2013: PhD in Physics of Biological and Soft Matter, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge and Unilever R&D
  • 2003-2008: Masters Degree in Physics, University of Glasgow

Research interests

  • Nonlinear Rheology
  • Microrheology
  • Atomic Force Microscopy/Spectroscopy
  • Cytoskeletal Mechanics
  • Lipid Membranes
  • Soft condensed matter physics

Research groups


Journal Article

  • Aufderhorst-Roberts, Anders, Hughes, Matt D. G., Hare, Andrew, Head, David A., Kapur, Nikil, Brockwell, David J. & Dougan, Lorna (2020). Reaction Rate Governs the Viscoelasticity and Nanostructure of Folded Protein Hydrogels. Biomacromolecules 21(10): 4253-4260.
  • Burla, Federica, Mulla, Yuval, Vos, Bart E., Aufderhorst-Roberts, Anders & Koenderink, Gijsje H. (2019). From mechanical resilience to active material properties in biopolymer networks. Nature Reviews Physics 1(4): 249-263.
  • Aufderhorst-Roberts, Anders & Koenderink, Gijsje H. (2019). Stiffening and inelastic fluidization in vimentin intermediate filament networks. Soft Matter 15(36): 7127-7136.
  • Lopez, Carlos G., Saldanha, Oliva, Aufderhorst-Roberts, Anders, Martinez-Torres, Cristina, Kuijs, Merel, Koenderink, Gijsje H., Koester, Sarah & Huber, Klaus (2018). Effect of ionic strength on the structure and elongational kinetics of vimentin filaments. Soft Matter 14(42): 8445-8454.
  • Aufderhorst-Roberts, Anders, Baker, Daniel, Foster, Richard J., Cayre, Olivier, Mattsson, Johan & Connell, Simon D. (2018). Nanoscale mechanics of microgel particles. Nanoscale 10(34): 16050-16061.
  • Mulla, Yuval, Aufderhorst-Roberts, Anders & Koenderink, Gijsje H. (2018). Shaping up synthetic cells. Physical Biology 15(4): 041001.
  • Aufderhorst-Roberts, Anders, Chandra, Udayan & Connell, Simon D. (2017). Three-Phase Coexistence in Lipid Membranes. Biophysical Journal 112(2): 313-324.
  • Aufderhorst-Roberts, A. & Koenderink, G. (2017). Stiffening and softening of cytoskeletal networks: rheological insights from minimal systems. European Biophysics Journal With Biophysics Letters 46(1): S197.
  • Aufderhorst-Roberts, Anders, Heath, George R., Goodchild, James A. & Connell, Simon D. (2016). The Ternary Lipid Phase Diagram by AFM. Biophysical Journal 110(3, 1): 582A.
  • Frith, W. J., Donald, A. M., Adams, D. J. & Aufderhorst-Roberts, A. (2015). Gels formed from amino-acid derivatives, their novel rheology as probed by bulk and particle tracking rheological methods. Journal Of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 222(SI): 104-111.
  • Leite, Natalia Bueno, Aufderhorst-Roberts, Anders, Palma, Mario Sergio, Connell, Simon D., Ruggiero Neto, Joao & Beales, Paul A. (2015). PE and PS Lipids Synergistically Enhance Membrane Poration by a Peptide with Anticancer Properties. Biophysical Journal 109(5): 936-947.
  • Aufderhorst-Roberts, Anders, Frith, William J., Kirkland, Mark & Donald, Athene M. (2014). Microrheology and Microstructure of Fmoc-Derivative Hydrogels. Langmuir 30(15): 4483-4492.
  • Aufderhorst-Roberts, Anders, Frith, William J. & Donald, Athene M. (2014). A microrheological study of hydrogel kinetics and micro-heterogeneity. European Physical Journal E 37(5): 44.
  • Aufderhorst-Roberts, Anders, Frith, William J. & Donald, Athene M. (2012). Micro-scale kinetics and heterogeneity of a pH triggered hydrogel. Soft Matter 8(21): 5940-5946.
  • Fery, Kornyshev, Titmuss, Ikkala, Carew, Steiner, Reinhoudt, Woolfson, Matile, Huskens, Ahangar, Faul, Sen, van Esch, Colquhoun, Shaffer, Munz, Chan, Aufderhorst-Roberts, Bittner, Huck, Hu, Whitesides, Neto, Barbero, Hopkinson, Browne, Steinke, Channon & Mao (2009). General discussion. Faraday Discussions 143: 169-186.

Supervision students