Professor Atherton holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Classics and Philosophy. Her research and teaching interests include Hellenistic philosophy, ancient grammarians, history of the theory of language, and the Herculaneum papyri. She publishes mainly in the fields of ancient philosophy, rhetoric and grammar. Her book, The Stoics on Ambiguity, is recognized as the definitive text on the subject.
She obtained her B.A. and her Ph.D. at Cambridge University, and has taught there and at Nottingham and Oxford.