Member Profile – Dr James (Jimmy) Anstie, ARC Research Fellow

My Projects:

I am currently working on several projects gathered under the central theme of direct frequency comb spectroscopy.   The optical frequency comb is a Nobel Prize winning optical source that consists of many hundreds of thousands of equally spaced optical signals that span a large swathe of the optical spectrum.  We can use this comb light to probe a sample, usually an atomic or molecular gas, and, with a few clever tricks, we can characterise its absorption spectra with amazing accuracy, precision and speed.

I am most excited about work we are currently pursuing that employs direct frequency comb spectroscopy to analyse the breath, which we hope to use as the basis for non-invasive, broad-spectrum medical diagnostics and screening.  I have recently won two grants: a Catalyst Research Grant, awarded by the South Australian Department of State Development; and a Linkage Grant, awarded by the Australian Research Council, to support this work.

About Myself:

I was awarded my PhD in 2007 for work on constructing ultra-stable cryogenic oscillators, followed by a more commercial project partnering with Rio Tinto that saw the development of an ultrasensitive airborne gravity gradiometer.  In 2010 I changed fields and started working on precision optical measurements as part of Andre Luiten’s group at the University of Western Australia.  I moved to Adelaide in March 2013, along with most of Andre’s group, to join IPAS and begin my current work on frequency comb spectroscopy.

Physics doesn’t leave much room for hobbies, but I am a reasonably accomplished artist and have produced a couple of comics in the past.  I like to run, when the weather is not too terrible, and have a personal goal of completing a half marathon in six months time – though to be honest, I am a little behind in my training.  My girlfriend Dani and I also like exploring Adelaide, with a real soft spot for locally grown food and produce. Almost every weekend sees a trip to either the Central Markets, or one of a growing list of farmers’ markets in and around Adelaide.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the last year and a half in Adelaide – it is quite a charming place (despite its reputation), and I am definitely looking forward to more.

James Anstie

Dr James Anstie


Posted on October 29, 2014, in IPASnews, ResearchNews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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