Birgitta Whaley is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is Director of the Berkeley Quantum Information and Computation Center. Professor Whaley's research centres on understanding and manipulating quantum dynamics of atoms, molecules and nanomaterials in complex environments to explore fundamental issues in quantum behaviour. She has made major contributions to the analysis and control of decoherence and universality in quantum information processing, as well as to analysis of physical implementations of quantum computation. Professor Whaley is also known for her theory of molecular solvation in nanoscale superfluid helium systems. Current research includes theoretical aspects of quantum information science, quantum simulation of exotic topological phases and exploration of quantum effects in biological systems.