We are an EPR spectroscopy group based at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, UK. We specialise in measuring nanometre distances between pairs of paramagnetic centres and relating these back to the structure of biological systems. We are keen to develop the methodology too. Please have a browse, and e-mail if you want to know more.

What have we been up to?

12 Apr

RSC ESR Conference in Virtual Cardiff. Hannah and Michael contributed talks and Maria and Ronan gave posters and flash presentations. Really well organised and great contributions. Next year St Andrews. For real we hope!

02 Apr

Congratulations to former group member Anokhi Shah who's son was born today!

15 Mar

The Bruker upgrade is taking place. Giving us a fully modern high power Q/X-band spectrometer, arbitrary waveform generation and ENDOR. Thanks to the BBSRC 19ALERT fund :)

08 Mar

Paper accepted by Applied Magnetic Resonance (Special Edition to mark the 80th Birthday of Professor Gareth Eaton) on comparing DEER and RIDME for measuring copper - nitroxide distances. Well done to Hannah (first author), Rachel Stewart (former project student) and our collaborators Vas and Chris, at UEA, and Thembi at Leeds.

06 Mar

Science Discovery Day. Social Media only this year. Janet used toys and mousetraps to describe nuclear fission in under two minutes.

26 Feb

Spring Conference weekend for our Junior Honours Years. Excellent contributions all over teams and a social on GatherTown.

01 Feb

Welcome to BSc Project Students Robyn Cura and Jasper Bailey.

08 Jan

Took delivery of the Bruker X/Q band upgrade hardware. Unfortunately no fitting as yet due to lockdown.

01 Jan

I am taking over as lead of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee in the School of Physics and Astronomy.

27 Nov

End of another busy semester! Not an easy one with restrictions in place but successful teaching, learning and research taken place nonetheless.

22 Nov

Paper accepted by Magnetic Resonance on measuring Gd - Gd distances more comprehensively with HiPER. Work led by Hassane, Rob and Graham but with Mike and I as some of the co-authors. Well done!

01 Oct

Janet presented ``EPR is a complementary technique in structural biology'' at the Congress on Structural Biology in virtual Toluca, Mexico.

01 Oct

BBSRC 19ALERT grant starts today. A collaboration over St Andrews and Dundee, led by Janet. We will get our Q/X-band Bruker spectrometer upgraded including an arbitrary waveform generator.

28 Sep

Two weeks into the teaching term, in-room teaching is commencing today.

17 Sep

Janet took part in the White Paper Workshop on DEER/PELDOR in virtual Bonn, Germany.

06 Jul

Yay, research commences in the labs. Yes it's weird and yes there's lots of new necessary rules, but also yes, research can begin again!

29 Jun

The research labs are starting to open back up. Janet went in to move a few things around and check out the situation. Research Ready!

25 Jun

Virtual Centre for Magnetic Resonance (CMR) meeting. Janet gave an introductory talk on EPR and the rest of the group gave flash presentations on their research. Nice to see what the NMR and Computational Mag Res people in St Andrews are doing.

05 Jun

Post-graduate presentation day lockdown style. Still a wonderful occasion with Maria and Mike giving talks and Ronan presenting a (virtual) poster.

04 May

Nathan and Peter both had their BSc project viva's today and both did very well. Best wishes for the future - May the Fourth Be With You.

02 Apr

Paper published with Dr Damon Huber and others in The Journal of Biological Chemistry discussing the role that iron may have in SecA and proteins who seem related but with as yet unknown function.

18 Mar

The group are working exclusively at their homes due to Coronavirus. Stay safe and well.

07 Mar

Science Discovery Day! Yes, that time of year again. Thank you to Ronan, Maria, Hannah and Nathan. Over 3000 people came!

01 Mar

Janet spent the week in London on the Royal Society Westminster Pairing Scheme. She learned about how science informs policy makers and had the opportunity to shadow Wendy Chamberlain MP.

24 Feb

Welcome to Dr Angeliki Giannoulis who is visiting us for the week from Prof Daniella Goldfarb's group at the Weizmann.

19 Feb

Janet hosted Wendy Chamberlain MP in the morning. She was shown the new, temporary biology labs (WRL) which are now fully functional after the BMS fire and given a tour of some of the exciting experimental physics here.

Akiva Visit

17 Feb

Janet visited Prof Ed Anderson and his group in Oxford. Best wishes to Dr Marius Haugland who is about to embark on his independent research career in Norway.

13 Feb

Web publication of a joint research paper with Prof Ed Anderson and many others published in Nucleic Acids Research today. We show that 2'alkynl positions in duplex DNA can be spin labelled with minimum structural perturbation.

14 Nov

After a very busy term for the group Hannah, Michael, Maria and Ronan are about to go to Brno for the EFEPR winter school on EPR. Professor Sabine Van Doorslaer is visiting and giving the colloquium in Physics tomorrow. Last week Dr Anna Peacock visited and gave the Chemistry colloquium. Aimee has made a short film presentation of her summer research project and this can be found here: Research.

13 Sep

Good bye and best wishes for your future to Elena who has been here for her Erasmus+ project.

12 Sep

Today we have a Structural Biology Meeting in St Andrews. Janet is giving a talk on the ability to use EPR in structural biology and the facilities here in St Andrews.

9 Sep

We welcome Hannah Russell to the group for her PhD.

4 Sep

Janet is attending the CCPN conference in Leicester this week and is giving a talk titled EPR as a Complement to NMR.

26 Aug

We welcome Yujie Zhao into the St Andrews Physics EPR grouping as Graham’s new PhD student.

24 Aug

Congratulations to Mike and Fiona on your marriage!

21 Jul

Janet is in Denver at the 60th Rocky Mountain Conference on Magnetic Resonance this week. She will be giving a talk titled New spin labels and spin labeling methods.

15 Jul

Welcome to Elena-Mihaela Mocanu who is visiting our lab from Romania on the Erasmus+ programme.

01 Jul

Welcome to Dr Akiva Feintuch who is visiting this week from the Weizmann Institute as part of our Royal Society International Exchanges Grant. Below is a photo of Akiva, Prof Graham Smith and Dr Rob Hunter during a beautiful evening in St Andrews.

Akiva Visit

28 Jun

Today we say good bye to Aimee for the summer, have a good break and see you in the Fall!

27 Jun

Ronan got a bit star struck meeting Professor Jim Al-Khalili who was also receiving an Honourary Degree from St Andrews.



23 Jun

JEL is visiting Professor Daniella Goldfarb and her group at the Weizmann Institute in Israel this week as the first leg of a Royal Society International Exchanges Grant. Lots of EPR fun and good food, and even a bit of Tel Aviv tourism as well as giving a talk.

Prof Daniella Goldfarb


21 Jun

Bidding farewell to Anokhi who is leaving now for an Internship a BASF in Germany and Yogini who finished her Batchelor’s project today. What better way to wish them well than a picnic on the beach?

Picnic on the Beach

Picnic on the Beach

Picnic on the Beach

07 Jun

Well done to Ronan won the second place prize in the 2nd year post graduate talks.

27 May

Welcome to Aimee Bebbington who is working with us as part of her Laidlaw Scholars Programme.

24 May

Congratulations to Dr Anokhi Shah who passed her PhD viva today with Dr Alistair Fielding (Liverpool John Moores University) and Dr Carlos Penedo examining.

Anokhi viva

Anokhi viva

Anokhi viva

15 Apr

We welcome Anokhi back to the lab for a short post-doc today!

07 Apr

This week Ronan, Maria, Michael and Janet are attending the 52nd RSC ESR conference in Glasgow. Dr Claire Motion was awarded the highly prestigious Bruker Thesis Prize and gave an excellent presentation about her PhD work.



21 Mar

We went to Kirkcaldy West Primary School today and had a lot of fun with the P5 to P7 classes learning about electrons.

09 Mar

Science Discovery Day Shenanigans in St Andrews. Over 1300 people thought the doors so a super busy day. Thanks to all the team on Atomic Colour.


18 Feb

Anokhi’s paper with our collaborators in Durham and Dundee on a new Gadolinium spin label has been published in Inorganic Chemistry today. Well done!

16 Feb

Congratulations to Ronan and his new wife Jo on their wedding today!

11 Feb

Sadly last night the building which we had biology and chemistry laboratories in was on fire. Our labs seem to be very badly water damaged. Thankfully no-one was hurt. At the risk of sounding cheesy: We shall rise like a Pheonix. (yes that is a Eurovision reference)

04 Feb

Welcome to Yogini Vassaramo who will be undertaking her Undergraduate Project with us.

08 Jan

Kick-off meeting of the Scottish High Field NMR facility in Edinburgh. Also a chance to catch up with Dr Marius Haugland before he heads back to work with Prof Ed Anderson in Oxford.

07 Jan

Visit Prof David Parker and Dr Matthieu Starck in Durham.


01 Jan

Happy New Year! Great start: our work with Prof Ian Collinson has been accepted for publication in eLife.

04 Dec

Group Christmas Lunch!

30 Nov

Janet was the external examiner for a PhD in Manchester.

29 Nov

Maria and Janet visited Prof Ed Anderson in Oxford.

05 Oct

Today we say goodbye to Kathrin Rieken and wish her the best for her Masters. Keep in touch!


01 Oct

We start a collaborative grant from the BBSRC, led by Prof Ed Anderson (Oxford).

24 Sep

Janet is attending the APES-IES conference in Brisbane this week and will talk about Using the Rare Earth Elements Yttrium and Gadolinium as Spin Labels.

27 Aug

Welcome to Michael Taylor who starts his PhD on the CM-CDT with us today.

27 Aug

Welcome to Kathrin Rieken who is visiting us from the University of Augsburg with the DAAD-RISE scheme.

06 Aug

Anokhi is spending the week at the Diamond Light Source with our collaborator Dr Anna Peacock.

22 Jul

Anokhi is attending and giving an oral presentation at the Rocky Mountain Conference on EPR at Snowbird in Utah this week.

23 Jun

Congratulations to Anokhi and her partner Vishal who were married today!

01 Jun

Paper on using EPR to measure distances between two non-covalently bound endohedral fullerenes containing Yttrium atoms accepted by JACS. A collaborative effort between St Andrews, Oxford, London and Lincoln Universities that has been 8 years in the making, but what a beautiful result!

28 May

Welcome to Maria Papa who starts her PhD with us today.

28 May

Ronan is visiting the University of Manchester for their excellent residential EPR course.

17 May

Good bye and best wishes for your future to Elise, Rachel and James: It’s been a a pleasure to have you working with us.


1 May

We start a Carnegie Trust Research Incentives Grant today.

8 Apr

Anokhi, Ronan and Janet attended the 51st RSC ESR meeting at Queen Mary’s University London.

22 Mar

Janet, Anokhi, Ronan and Rachel spent the day at Sinclairtown Primary School with P4-7 with the Atomic Colour demonstrations.


10 Mar

Janet, Ronan, James, Elise and Rachel and Connor Grose (from Brendon Lovett’s group) demonstrated Atomic Colour, an introduction to quantisation, at the Physics and Astronomy Science Discovery Day (photos can be found in the Public Engagement section).

03 Mar

Janet braved the snow and attended a very enjoyable Junior Honours Year Conference at The Burn in Angus.


13 Feb

Janet helped out over three days at a hands-on physics roadshow for S1 pupils (organised by Prof Ian Bonnell) at Madras College in St Andrews.

05 Feb

Welcome to our project students Rachel Stewart, James Adams and Elise Jacobs who are joining us for the semester.

29 Jan

Janet took part in a STEM Careers Event at Auchmuty High School in Glenrothes.

25 Jan

Welcome to new PhD student Ronan Fisher.

21 Dec

Paper with Alice Bowen, Jeff Harmer, Chris Timmel and others has been accepted by JACS, title: A Structural Model of a P450-Ferredoxin Complex from Orientation-Selective Double Electron-Electron Resonance Spectroscopy. Janet also acted as an external examiner for PhD Defence at the University of Iceland today.

04 Dec

Well done to Claire (henceforth, Dr Motion) who passed her Viva with Dr Maxie Roessler as external examiner. Meanwhile, Janet participated in the BISON H2020 Workshop at UEA in Norwich.

01 Dec

Chemical Society Review Tutorial Review article out today, co-authored with Dr Marius Haugland and Professor Ed Anderson. Highlighted as a HOT article and therefore free to access until 5th January 2018. Also, Dr Graham’s Smith EPSRC funded research grant, with Janet as a Co-I, starts today. Title: Meeting the Sensitivity Grand Challenges in Pulsed Electron Magnetic Resonance.

10 Sep

Janet is attending Spin2017 in Padua and will be presenting the base-independent click labelling of nucleic acids.

04 Sep

Anokhi is in Manchester this week attending an EPR workshop and a mini-symposium.

14 Aug

We welcome Andrew Stewart for a visit from Manchester this week. He is finishing his PhD now and heading off to Emory in the US for a PostDoc with Prof Kurt Warncke. Best wishes!

22 Jul

Janet is in Quebec City for the ISMAR and Rocky Mountain EPR meeting.

17 Jul

Anokhi attending the IUPAB and EBSA biophysical meeting.

11 Jul

Prof Ian Collinson and Dr Robin Corey from the University of Bristol visited.

7 Jun

Paper with Tilo Kunath and Nicola Drummond (Edinburgh, Centre for Regenerative Medicine) has been accepted by Scientific Reports.

21 Apr

Well done and best wishes for the future to Ed Stirrup and Lauren Macleod who handed in their BSc projects today. Keep in touch!

5 Apr

Congratulations again to Claire Motion who won (again!) a poster prize at the RSC ESR conference.

Claire poster prize 2017

2 Apr

The 50th RSC ESR conference in Oxford this week.

2 Apr

Congratulations to Claire Motion who has had her paper describing the application and use of composite pulses in high field DEER published online by Journal of Magnetic Resonance today.

15 Mar

We made Atomic Explorers of the P5/6/7 classes at Parkhill Primary School in Leven with a new hands on exhibition including kinder eggs, flame tests, spectroscopes, circuits and a game called Escape the Atom! PhD students Anokhi Shah and Connor Grose (from the BWL group) provided invaluable support and the children and teachers were great!

24 Feb

JEL went to The Burn Conference at the weekend with the Junior Honours Year. Lots of great talks and socials and beautiful landscape on the Aberdeenshire/Angus border.

20 Feb

Paper with Tilo Kunath and Nicola Drummond has gone on the BioRxiv. EPR is used to show the relative ability of antioxidants compared to the novel Proxison for radical scavenging. Proxison is then shown to have significant potency at protecting and rescuing damaged neural cells. Available here.

1 Dec

The RSC’s SPR series Electron Paramagnetic Resonance: Volume 25 has been published. This includes a review of the nitroxyl spin label by Marius Haugland, Ed Anderson and JEL.

7 Nov

Congratulations to (Dr) Marius Haugland from Prof Ed Anderson’s group (Oxford) who passed his DPhil viva today.

6 Nov

JEL is a co-organiser, with Prof Takafumi Ueno (Tokyo Institute of Technology), of the 2nd UK-Japan Frontiers of Science Meeting. Exploring cutting edge research across STEM and seeing the common problems and aims. As well as making great friends. The Chemistry/Materials section featured Drs Hiroshi Ishikita (Univ Tokyo), Mio Kondo (IMS, Okazaki) and Libby Gibson (Univ. Newcastle).

25 Oct

Welcome to Ed Stirrup and Lauren Macleod who join the group as project students.

30 Sept

Anokhi and Claire are taking part in the XX-factor at Explorathon at the Byre Theatre tonight!

27 July

The Lovett Lab joined twitter: @SpinLovett. Brendon Lovett’s new look website was launched, which may look familiar.

13 July

Work with Tom Brown and Ed Anderson’s groups in Oxford which demonstrates new ways to click a wide variety of spin labels onto DNA has been published as a JACS Communication.

22 June

Well done to Dr Stacey Bell who graduated today!

28 May

Paper on the synthesis of next generation maleimide spin labels has been accepted by SynLett. Big congratulations to Bouchra for this and thanks also to the co-authors: Anokhi, Stacey, Sally Shirran, Catherine Botting, Alex Slawin and Alison Hulme (all authors are women).

19 May

On the day that Anokhi handed in her first year report - very well done - JEL visited Queen Anne’s High School, Dunfermline to Speed Network with year S2. Enjoyable and exhausting!

4 May

JEL visited Professors Kálai and Sár in Pécs, Hungary. A talk was given, a grand tour of the city was undertaken and JEL got a peek at a few of the 4850 different nitroxides they have made! Thank you to Tamás and Cecilia for hosting so well and to Professor Kálmán Hideg for the invitation.

16 April

Claire and JEL took part in the Symmetries in Light exhibition at the Byre Theatre to celebrate the great David Brewster and enjoy hundreds of kaleidoscopes brought over from Japan. A fascinating exhibit which included a kaleidoscope inside a model of a Tapir!

3 April

RSC EPR conference in Colchester. Very enjoyable week. JEL gave an invited talk about new methods of spin labelling and Anokhi and Claire presented posters. Claire won a poster prize, well done!

1 April

Claire’s paper is out. (not an April Fool)

31 March

Claire’s paper, with Stacey and JEL, which discusses the application of composite pulses on HiPER to increase the viability of measuring nitroxide to heme distances, has been accepted by the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. Much deserved Claire!

11 March

Anokhi presented her research to 100 11 year olds at the Byre Theatre as part of the XXFactor.

8 March

JEL gave a talk to the Chemistry Department at the University of Birmingham and enjoyed meeting and discussing science with Dr Anna Peacock and her student.

5 March

JEL attended Parent Carer Scientist event at the Royal Society in London. Many inspirational people there! #AndAScientist

3 Feb

Alice’s paper is out: DOI 10.1039/C5CP06096F

26 Jan

Welcoming Erin Austin into the group for her undergraduate project. She will be using HiPER for orientation selection studies.

13 Jan

MAGIC meeting in Manchester. Good to see such great progress from all the students.

11 Jan

JEL visited Marius Haugland, Edward Anderson and Tom Brown in Oxford. A very productive day!

04 Jan

Happy New Year! Congratulations to the wonderful Alice Bowen who had a paper accepted by PCCP just before Christmas (title: Exploiting orientation-selective DEER: determining molecular structure in systems containing Cu(II) centres; authors: Alice Bowen, Michael Jones, JEL, Thembi Gaule, Mike McPherson, Jon Dilworth, Chris Timmel and Jeff Harmer).

07 Dec

We welcome Andrew Stewart for a visit from Manchester this week.

01 Dec

Congratulations to Stacey Bell for passing her PhD viva today. Examined by Dr Andrea Di Falco and Professor Robert Sim.

30 Nov

Beginning to build the group website now we are in St Andrews.