News & Events

Welcome back to Rabi Chhantyal-Pun

We are delighted to welcome Dr Rabi Chhantyal-Pun back to Bristol as a NERC-funded senior research associate.  Rabi will be studying the atmospheric chemistry of Criegee intermediates and hydroxalkyl peroxy radicals using laboratory measurements of their reaction kinetics, product characterization by mass spectrometry, and atmospheric modelling, in collaboration with Dudley Shallcross and Andrew Orr-Ewing.

Hugo Marroux completes his PhD

Congratulations to Hugo Marroux who successfully completed his PhD on 2DIR and transient IR spectroscopy of dynamical processes in solution.  Hugo has now moved to the University of California Berkeley to start postdoctoral research with Prof Steve Leone and Prof Dan Neumark.  Family and friends from France joined Hugo and co-workers in Bristol for a post-viva celebration and a long lunch.

New PGOPHER version released

Colin Western has released version 10.0 of his spectral simulation and fitting program PGOPHER.  Further details are available from the PGOPHER website and from a new article published on 19th April in the journal PCCP (DOI 10.1039/C7CP00266A).  A major new feature is an automated spectral assignment and fitting process.

Double success for Shubhrangshu Pandit

Congratulations to Shubhrangshu Pandit for his successful PhD viva on March 13th, and for his recent Journal of Chemical Physics paper being selected as a 2016 Editors’ Choice article.  The paper, entitled “Evidence for concerted ring opening and C-Br bond breaking in UV-excited bromocyclopropane” (DOI: 10.1063/1.4954373) will feature in a collection of articles chosen by the JCP Editors as the most innovative and influential papers published in the journal in 2016.

Virtual Winterschool for Computational Chemistry 2017

Rebecca Ingle was a member of the organising committee and chaired several sessions for the 2017 edition of the Virtual Winterschool for Computational Chemistry. This conference aims to make cutting-edge developments in computational chemistry accessible to all, and the talks are now available online in video format. The next Winterschool will run in Jan – Feb 2018.

Paper selected as a 2016 highlight in PSST

Congratulations to Hao Liu and Ben Truscott, whose article entitled “Position and time-resolved Stark broadening diagnostics of a non-thermal laser-induced plasma” was selected by the Associate Editors of Plasma Sources Science and Technology as a highlight of 2016. Articles selected for this accolade can be viewed at the PSST website.  PSST is a leading international journal in plasma science and is published by the institute of Physics.

Welcome to Dr Ravi Kumar Venkatraman

We are delighted to be joined by new Newton International Fellow Dr Ravi Kumar Venkatraman.  Ravi completed his PhD at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore under the supervision of Prof Siva Umapathy.  In Bristol, he will use femtosecond laser spectroscopy methods to study ultrafast dynamical processes in solution.

Cover art for Faraday Discussions 194

Artwork by Gareth Roberts appears on the front cover of the recently published volume for Faraday Discussions 194 on Ultrafast Imaging of Photochemical Dynamics (Dec 2016).  The volume also features a paper by Katharina Röttger, Hugo Marroux, Gareth Roberts, other members of the Bristol group and collaborators at the University of Kiel on ultrafast photo-induced dynamics in thymine and cytosine nucleobases.

Poster Prize for Philip Coulter at iCOMET 2017

Congratulations to Philip Coulter who won best poster prize at the iCOMET 2017 conference in Innsbruck, Austria (15-20 Jan 2017).  Philip’s poster displayed his work on ultrafast photodissociation of BrCN and N2O4 dissolved in perfluorocarbon solvents, and observation of the subsequent cooling of translationally, rotationally and vibrationally hot photofragment molecules by transient absorption spectroscopy.

Chris and Anki’s wedding

Congratulations to Chris and Anki who were married in a traditional ceremony in Gujarat, India on 31 Dec 2016.  Several current and recent members of the Bristol group joined Chris and Anki in Surendranagar for the festivities and accompanied them on a post-wedding tour of Jaipur, Agra and Delhi.  The picture shows Marta Duchi, Robert Booth, Arsene Chemin, Chris and Anki Hansen, Andrew Orr-Ewing, Mike Ashfold and Matt Bain at the wedding.

Rebecca Ingle wins yet another poster prize

Congratulations to Rebecca Ingle (pictured with Nobel laureate Dudley Herschbach) who won a best poster prize at Stereodynamics 2016. This meeting was hosted in Taipei and celebrated the 30th anniversary of Professors D. R. Herschbach, Y. T. Lee and J. C. Polanyi receiving the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1986.

Victoria Taylor on BBC Radio Bristol

Victoria was interviewed by BBC Radio Bristol for the Laura Rawlings show as part of their ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ segment curated by the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials. Victoria gave an overview of her PhD research project with Dr Tom Oliver which focusses on investigating the molecular mechanisms of photosynthesis. The interview can be found on BBC iPlayer here and starts at 26:20.

Ashley Beckstead Visiting from Montana State University

Ashley Beckstead from Montana State University and the laboratory of Professor Bern Kohler, is visiting our group for two weeks to investigate the non-adiabatic relaxation dynamics of violacein molecules in various solutions.

Welcome to new PhD students Marta, Victoria and Fred

We are delighted to welcome Marta Duchi, Victoria Taylor and Fred Cascarini, three new PhD students who have started in the group this month.  More details about their research interests can be found in the links from our Who Are We page.

New EPSRC grant for Tom Oliver

Congratulations to Tom Oliver whose EPSRC First Grant entitled “Exploring Delocalised Energy Transport in Bacterial Reaction Centres” has been approved for funding. The research project will investigate the energy and charge-transfer pathways between constituent pigments in reaction centres (RCs) of Rhodobacter sphaeroides. RCs play a pivotal role in photosynthesis, accepting energy from peripheral light harvesting antenna and using it to induce charge-separation into electrons (and holes) with high quantum efficiency. The electrons are used to drive essential downstream processes such as carbon fixation and carbohydrate synthesis. This work will be carried out in collaboration with Dr Mike Jones from Biochemistry. More details at:

Journal of Chemical Physics Poster Prize

Congratulations to Rebecca Ingle who won a poster prize at the Future of Chemical Physics conference held at the University of Oxford.  This AIP Publishing Horizons conference was sponsored by the Journal of Chemical Physics with the objective of facilitating conversations between innovative researchers at the forefront of chemical physics and shaping the future of the field.  Rebecca’s winning poster was entitled “Structure or Dynamics: What Drives Photoproduct Branching at Conical Intersections?” and she received her award from Prof Marsha Lester, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Chemical Physics.

BFWG Scholarship for Rebecca Ingle

Congratulations to Rebecca who has been awarded the Margaret K. B. Day Scholarship by the British Federation of Women Graduates.  This award is for a woman in the third year (or part-time equivalent) of doctoral studies and recognizes Rebecca’s academic excellence.

Nature Chemistry paper published

Michael Grubb and Philip Coulter are the lead authors on a new paper in Nature Chemistry which describes the ultrafast photodissociation of BrCN in perfluorocarbon solvents.  The CN radical is highly translationally and rotationally excited when the Br–CN bond breaks, and transient absorption spectroscopy measurements combined with molecular dynamics simulations show how the CN cools through interactions with the solvent molecules.  The paper can be found at the Nature Chemistry website.

New ultrafast microscopy capability

Tom Oliver, Marta Duchi and Henkjan Gersen (Bristol Physics) have obtained an ultrafast microscopy apparatus comprising a femtosecond laser (Coherent Chameleon), optical parametric oscillator (OPO, Coherent), Nikon inverted microscope and other components.  The instrument will be housed in a new ultrafast spectroscopy lab currently being refurbished in the School of Chemistry.

Tom Oliver secures new ultrafast laser system

Congratulations to Tom Oliver who has successfully secured a femtosecond laser made available by the closure of the STFC Laser Loan Pool.  A laboratory is being refurbished to house this new laser system, and Tom will use it for 2D electronic spectroscopy and 2D electronic-vibrational spectroscopy of a variety of ultrafast processes in biomolecules and materials.  The capabilities will complement existing facilities in the group for ultrafast transient IR and UV/visible spectroscopy.