Group Members


Dr. Graham Richmond

Graham is a post-doc in the group. He completed his PhD at Heriot-Watt University. He comes from Scotland, likes Irn-bru and is very cuddly.

DPhil Students

Rich Dear

Rich was a DPhil student working on optical trapping and manipulation projects. He was at Balliol College, and previously completed his Part II in the group.

Part II Bakers

Andrew Dalton

Andrew was an Exeter College student who completed his Part II research in non-linear laser optics (2012-2013).




Photo courtesy of random staff member at Oxford Blue Smokehouse, 2015

Ann Bergin

Ann built an Optical Feedback Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy (OF-CEAS) experiment based on a 5.5 μm QCL and fully mode-matched linear optical cavity. This technique makes use of a fully resonant cavity to passively lock the laser to cavity modes via optical feedback and is particularly suited to the sensitive detection of collisionally-broadened gases. She was a DPhil student at Wadham College.

Julian Few

Julian was a DPhil student at Trinity College. He used time resolved FTIR emission experiments to study a variety of chemical processes and worked on the collisional quenching of electronically excited OH molecules, investigating the distribution of the available energy among the products. He did his Part II in the group, working on the same experiment investigating the collisional quenching of electronically excited NO.  

Dr. James Kirkbride

James made the dramatic change from DPhil student to postdoc without even moving desks. He worked on non-linear techniques with QCLs and consumes disgusting amounts of Coca-Cola.


Kim Whittaker

Kim was a DPhil student (2010-2014) at Magdalen College using difference frequency generation to generate light in the mid-IR and combining this with sensitive spectroscopic techniques for gas sensing applications such as breath analysis.


Emma Worrall

Emma was an undergraduate at Jesus College who worked on optical trapping for her Part II project (2012-2013).


Lianne Ramasamy

Lianne was an undergraduate at Trinity College who completed a Part II project on FTIR (2012-2013).



Prof. Gus Hancock

Dr. Rob Peverall

John Couper

Prof. Peter Robbins (DPAG)

Dr. Carlos Canosa-Mas

Dr. Meez Islam



Dr. Michele Gianella

Michele is a Marie Curie Fellow working on breath analysis by laser spectroscopy and its applications to medical diagnostics. He obtained his PhD from ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where he worked on the chemical analysis of surgical smoke and the detection of cocaine in saliva.  When not working in the lab, he can be found with his beloved Gibson guitar.


Group Veterans

Alex Gilchrist

Alex was a DPhil student in the group at Balliol College. He worked in the Oxford Centre for Applied Kinetics.

William Newland

Will was a Part II student from Magdalen College working on trace gas detection techniques for applications in breath analysis (2013-2014). You may spot him on Saturdays at Anfield wearing red.

Tomas Pinto

Tomas is a 3rd year DPhil at St Hilda's College, who moved from Portugal to complete his undergraduate degree at the University of Manchester. He works on spectroscopic techniques with QCLs. When not in the lab, he likes watching football and drinking good wine.

Dr. James Fletcher

James is a post-doc using time resolved FTIR spectroscopy to study the dynamics of the quenching of electronically excited gas phase species. Before joining the Ritchie group, he completed his PhD at UCL. When not in the laboratory, he can be found either on a bus or a bicycle. 

Teri Andradi-Brown

Teri was a Part II student from Magdalen. She worked on developing a spectrometer to be used for medical diagnostics.

Jennifer Redmond

After completing her Part II project in the group on using FTIR to study electronically excited NO, Jennifer has returned to the group as a first year DPhil. Her project involves using in-line laser absorption spectroscopy for medical diagnostics. Away from the lab she can generally be found swimming or baking magical chocolate treats.


Helen Lowth

Helen was a DPhil at St. Edmund Hall and baker extraordinaire. She studied chemical reaction dynamics, but did her Part II on spectroscopy with QCLs. She did her Part II in the group while at Worcester College.


Katherine Manfred

Katherine was a DPhil at Magdalen College working on optical feedback of mid-IR QCLs. She is an American expat who gained some sense after completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland.


Sarah Causier

Sarah was a DPhil at St Anne's College, who previously completed her undergraduate degree at Worcester with a Part II project in our group. She has the best collection of earrings and random facts.


Christopher Hutchinson

Chris was a Christ Church undergraduate who completed his Part II on trace gas detection (2013-2014) and then defected to St Cross. He was then hoodwinked into returning to the group for a DPhil, working on NO detection for medical diagnostics.

Stella d'Ambrumenil

Stella was our Belgian expert from Univ. She built a bow-tie cavity to study crystals using near-infrared lasers - and was therefore the only one doing actual "wet" chemistry.


Katie Hunter

Katie completed her Part II project on using optical feedback with mid-infrared ICLs and QCLs for trace gas detection. She was at Exeter and served as the group's resident martial artist.

Nick Smith

Nick was a Part II from Worcester. He collaborated with physiologists at the university to develop sensitive detection techniques for breath diagnostics involving CO and nitrous oxide. Now in his 2nd year of the Systems Biology DTC he has returned to the group to continue his work on breath analysis. Outside the lab, Nick is the unofficial manager of the Worcester College hockey team.

Ana Lawry Aguila

Ana was a Part II student from St Hugh's working on building a V-shaped optical cavity in the near-infrared to detect atmospheric radicals and making Michele smile.


Photo courtesy of Stella, 2015

Charles Hill

A Part II student from St. Hugh's Charlie is using Raman Spectroscopy and building an iSCAT spectrometer for the study of peroxynitrite crystallisation. When he's not talking about hockey, Charlie can be found playing for OUHC and Worcester College, where he hopes to become an honorary member of the JCR.

Michael Balderson

Mike is applying Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy to breath analysis. Out of the lab he plays hockey (less well than Charlie but also for OUHC and Worcester) and is an aspiring (fair weather) cyclist. 

Marianne O'Connor

Marianne is a Part II student from Hertford College using FTIR spectroscopy to study electronically excited NO and OH radicals. When not following orders from James, Marianne can be found running or doing yoga.

Nicole Ng

Nicole is a part II chemist from Queen's working with Michele on detection of atmospheric radicals using cavity-based spectroscopic techniques. When not in the lab she is usually found sipping coffee at the Society cafe, or attempting to do some modern calligraphy.

Alastair French

Alastair is using cavity ring down spectroscopy to investigate oxygen atoms in a plasma. Despite being the captain of Worcester hockey team, he claims to play hockey even less well than Mike.

Dr. Luca Ciaffoni

Luca read Chemistry at the University of Padua, and moved to Oxford where he completed his DPhil in the Ritchie group. His current research is in the development of sensitive absorption spectrometers based on diode lasers and QCLs for use in medical diagnostics. He is also our wine, pasta, and gelato specialist.



Dr. Xia Wu

Xia WU was born in Shaanxi, P. R. China. She received the B.S. degree in Physics from Dalian University of Technology in 2005, and the PhD degree in Physical Chemistry from Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), in 2011. She was a research assistant in State Key Laboratory of Molecular Reaction Dynamics, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (CAS). Her current work is on cavity-based techniques in our group.