Nat das Neves Rodrigues Lopes
Hello everyone, my name is Nat and I was a PhD student in the Stavros group (down in the laser dungeon) until September 2018. After a few months working as an Academic Developer with the university’s learning and development centre (part-time since October 2017), I became an IAS/IATL Early Career Fellow: currently I divide my time between carrying on with my PhD research on ultrafast laser spectroscopy (with the support of the Institute for Advanced Studies, IAS) and innovative and interdisciplinary teaching with the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning, IATL.
In terms of research, my interests lie in the molecular events taking place immediately after absorption of radiation (within 10-15 – 10-12 seconds). During my PhD I focused on sunscreen molecules as my ‘case studies’, having produced a thesis which focuses on obtaining a comprehensive understanding of sunscreen ultrafast photodynamics in order to inform the targeted design of sunscreen molecules which are tailored for optimum photoprotection.
When it comes to teaching, I am interested in helping students reach their full potential in the broadest sense. Not only do I invest my time and effort into giving them the tools to be the critical thinkers and problem solvers of the future, with all the discipline-specific and interdisciplinary knowledge they can gather, but I am also interested in creating spaces where they can better understand themselves, their objectives, their strengths and weaknesses, so that they face life and the job market as well-rounded individuals and professionals.
In my spare time, I’ve recently become interested in reading about the philosophy and history of science, as well as the problematic of the broken bridge between academia and the general public, and how we fix that bridge with public engagement initiatives. Now that the process of thesis and viva is done I’ve also become more active again, with some swimming, running and ‘gyming’. I enjoy writing, theatre and… sleep. Sleep is nice.
I am always happy to chat about any of these and other topics. You can find me in my Chemistry office/lab E0.11a (Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays), in the IATL office in Senate House (Wednesdays) or in the IAS in Millburn House (Thursdays). If I’m not in any of these places I am likely teaching in the undergraduate labs. If all else fails, feel free to e-mail me and we can arrange a meeting!