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Emily Holt

Welcome to my Warwick webpage!
I'm currently in the third and final year of my PhD, studying the fundamental photodynamics of sunscreen components and their interactions using femtosecond (10-15 s) pump-probe spectroscopy and other complementary analytical techniques. My work has particular focus on the behaviour of the UVA filter avobenzone, but also extends to studies of current and potential sunscreen filters.


  • BSc (Hons) Mathematics, University of Warwick (2013 - 2016) Upper Second Class

  • MSc Molecular Analytical Science, University of Warwick (2016 - 2017) Pass with Distinction

PhD Project

Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy for Sunscreen Applications

Supervisors: Prof. Vas Stavros (Chemistry), Dr Laurent Blasco (Lubrizol Advanced Materials) and Dr Juan Cebrián (Lipotec)

More information about my PhD project can be found on my Stavros group webpage.


  1. E.L. Holt and V. G. Stavros, Applications of ultrafast spectroscopy to sunscreen development, from first principles to complex mixtures, Int. Rev. Phys. Chem, 2019, 2, 242-285. doi: 10.1080/0144235X.2019.1663062
  2. M.D. Horbury, E.L. Holt, L.M.M. Mouterde, P. Balaguer, J. Cebrián, L. Blasco, F. Allais and V. G. Stavros, Towards symmetry driven and nature inspired UV filter design, Nat. Commun., 2019, 10, 4748. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12719-z
  3. E.L. Holt, K.M. Krokidi, M.A.P. Turner, P. Mishra, T.S. Zwier, N.d.N. Rodrigues, V.G. Stavros, Insights into the photoprotection mechanism of the UV filter homosalate, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, 22, 15509-15519, doi: 10.1039/d0cp02610g

Conferences Attended

  • Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists: Canberra, Australia, 16th - 18th May 2018

I presented a 30-minute talk on paper on “Laser Spectroscopy for Suncare Applications: Tracking the Photostability of Avobenzone in Real-time” and wrote a corresponding paper. I was the winner of the Lester Conrad Award, which is awarded for the best paper presented at the conference.

  • International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists: Munich, Germany, 18th - 21st September 2018

At this conference, I had a 30-minute podium presentation on my avobenzone studies to date and submitted a corresponding paper.

  • I attend the biannual University Contacts Meeting at the Lubrizol site at Hazelwood, Derbyshire and give a 30-minute presentation at each meeting. Each year, I also present a poster on my work and the benefits that this has for Lubrizol.

MSc Mini-projects

Ultrafast Photoprotection Properties of the Sunscreen Filter Octocrylene in Solution and Thin Films
Supervisor: Prof. Vas Stavros (Chemistry) in conjunction with Lubrizol.
This project developed upon this published article: L. A. Baker, M. D. Horbury, V. G. Stavros, Opt. Express, 2016, 24, 10700 - 10709 and investigated the ultrafast photodynamics of the UVB filter octocrylene under three conditions: in isolation upon formation of a thin film, in solution, and in the presence of ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, an additional UVB filter.
Calibration-free Real-time End of First Order Reaction Forecasting
Supervisor: Dr Adam Johansen (Statistics) in conjunction with AstraZeneca.
This project investigated the use of linear models fitted with different least squares regression methods (linear, weighted and orthogonal) to predict the rate constant and thus the end-point of first-order and pseudo first-order pharmaceutical reactions.

Extracurricular Activities

I play the clarinet and the bassoon, and I am involved in the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Orchestra here at University. I also enjoy walks in the countryside and visiting National Trust properties.
Emily HoltEmily_WindOrch_Bassoon

Emily Holt

Emily L. Holt
MAS CDT, Senate House
University of Warwick

Contact: e.l.holt at
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