Spectroscopy Spotlight: Highlighting Interviews from the Past Quarter


This quarter Spectroscopy spoke to experts in laser ablation, SERS, and Raman spectroscopy, among others.

The first quarter of 2024 also brought about some newly developed content projects at Spectroscopy. These new projects are designed to present the technical information our audience craves in a more digestible and readable format.

Over the past quarter, we have expanded our interview coverage by reaching out to different subject matter experts (SMEs) in the field. Our goal in doing so was to cover a wider breadth of topics for our audience, as well as shine a light on the ongoing research happening in spectroscopy and related applications.

Stage light and golden glitter lights on floor. Abstract gold background for display your product. Spotlight realistic ray | Image Credit: © Bokehstore - stock.adobe.com.

Stage light and golden glitter lights on floor. Abstract gold background for display your product. Spotlight realistic ray | Image Credit: © Bokehstore - stock.adobe.com.

Many of these interviews were done live at conferences around the world. The editors of Spectroscopy attended several conferences, including the Winter Conference on Plasma Spectrochemistry, which took place in January in Tucson, Arizona, at the El Conquistador Hilton Resort; SPIE Photonics West, which took place in late January in San Francisco, California; and Analytica, an annual trade show that took place in Munich, Germany, this past April. One of our conference interviews was with Jacob T. Shelley, Alan Paul Schulz Career Development Professor of Chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York (1). At SPIE Photonics West, Ana Dobles of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, spoke to us about how artificial intelligence and deep learning has great potential in the field of microscopy (2). We also got the chance to sit down with Uwe Karst of the University of Münster at Analytica, who shared his current work using inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to study oxidative metabolism reactions (3).

Apart from conference coverage, the editors launched a content series titled, “Inside the Laboratory.” Although many SMEs are often cited in various scientific publications, there were many ongoing projects happening at universities around the world that are not featured in a recent journal article. This series hopes to capture some of that research and spotlight the current spectroscopic research happening in the field.

To that end, we conducted three interviews with three lead investigators––John Cottle, Jacob T. Shelley, and Tessa Calhoun. Shelley discussed how his group has built new instruments using acoustic waves to detect gas-phase ions (1). Meanwhile, John Cottle’s laboratory, the Petrochronology Group at the University of California Santa Barbara, is doing ongoing work using “laser ablation split steam” analysis to measure elemental concentrations and isotopic ratios in rocks and minerals (4). We also learned how Tessa Calhoun and her group is using second harmonic scattering (SHS) to probe how living bacterial membranes uptake and transport small molecules, including antibiotics (5).

We also covered several key industries in the spectroscopy space this past quarter with our interview content, including agriculture, environmental analysis, and archaeology. We learned from the Columbia Climate School, for example, how stimulated Raman scattering microscopy can be used to test for nanoplastics in water bottles (6). We also explored the use of Raman spectroscopy in the agriculture industry by speaking to Miri Park of the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technologies, who shared her work in using Raman spectroscopy to assess the quality of agricultural crops (7). And finally, we spoke to Dulasiri Amarasiriwardena, emeritus professor of chemistry at Hampshire College, about his work using laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) to investigate trace metal nutrition and exposure to toxic metal(loid) pollutants by studying Andean mummy remains (8).

As we move into the month of May, we are continuing to identify new SMEs in the field of spectroscopy. Do you know of someone who you think should be featured in Spectroscopy? Let us know. Send an email to associate editorial director Caroline Hroncich at chroncich@mjhlifesciences.com to make a recommendation.


(1) Wetzel, W. Inside the Laboratory: The Shelley Group at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Spectroscopy. Available at: https://www.spectroscopyonline.com/view/inside-the-laboratory-the-shelley-group-at-rensselaer-polytechnic-institute (accessed 2024-04-29).

(2) Acevedo, A. Artificial Intelligence’s Potential in Microscopy: An Interview with Ana Doblas of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Spectroscopy. Available at: https://www.spectroscopyonline.com/view/artificial-intelligence-s-potential-in-microscopy-an-interview-with-ana-doblas-of-the-university-of-massachusetts (accessed 2024-04-29)

(3) Hroncich, C.; Wetzel, W. Analytica 2024: An Interview with Uwe Karst. Spectroscopy. Available at: https://www.spectroscopyonline.com/view/analytica-2024-an-interview-with-uwe-karst (accessed 2024-04-29).

(4) Wetzel, W. Inside the Laboratory – The Petrochronology Group at University of California, Santa Barbara. Spectroscopy. Available at: https://www.spectroscopyonline.com/view/inside-the-laboratory-the-petrochronology-group-at-university-of-california-santa-barbara (accessed 2024-04-29)

(5) Wetzel, W. Inside the Laboratory: The Calhoun Laboratory at the University of Tennessee. Spectroscopy. Available at: https://www.spectroscopyonline.com/view/inside-the-laboratory-the-calhoun-laboratory-at-the-university-of-tennessee (accessed 2024-04-29).

(6) Hroncich, C. Analyzing Nanoplastics: An Interview with Scientists from the Columbia University’s Climate School. Spectroscopy. Available at: https://www.spectroscopyonline.com/view/analyzing-nanoplastics-columbia-university-climate-school (accessed 2024-04-29).

(7) Wetzel, W. Reviewing the Impact of Raman Spectroscopy on Crop Quality Assessment: An Interview with Miri Park. Spectroscopy Suppl. 2024, 39 (s2), 28–31. https://www.spectroscopyonline.com/view/reviewing-the-impact-of-raman-spectroscopy-on-crop-quality-assessment-an-interview-with-miri-park

(8) Wetzel, W. Analyzing Mummies' Hair Using LA-ICP-MS: An Interview with Dula Amarasiriwardena. Spectroscopy. Available at: https://www.spectroscopyonline.com/view/analyzing-mummies-hair-using-la-icp-ms-an-interview-with-dula-amarasiriwardena (accessed 2024-04-29).

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