Having completed my MPhys degree in Chemical Physics at Heriot-Watt University, I moved to Warwick University to begin working on my PhD at the new Warwick Centre for Ultrafast Spectroscopy (WCUS). My research focusses on the photostability of molecular systems with applications to sunscreens. I study these systems through transient electronic absorption spectroscopy to understand how they dissipate excess energy within a solvent environment, in a hope to engineer the next generation of photoprotective species for use in commercial applications.
Away from the laboratory I enjoy weekends away hillwalking and rock climbing in the National Parks.
Jack M. Woolley, Michael Staniforth, Michael D Horbury, Gareth W. Richings, Martin Wills, and Vasilios G.Stavros J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2018.
Photoprotection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure is a key problem in modern society. Mycosporine-like amino acids found in fungi, cyanobacteria, macroalgae, phytoplankton, and animals are already presenting a promising form of natural photoprotection in sunscreen formulations. Using time-resolved transient electronic absorption spectroscopy and guided by complementary ab initio calculations, we help to unravel how the core structures of these molecules perform under UV irradiation. Through such detailed insight into the relaxation mechanisms of these ubiquitous molecules, we hope to inspire new thinking in developing next-generation photoprotective molecules.
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