Dean Sheppard

Departmental Lecturer

I am the Departmental Lecturer in Physical & Theoretical Chemistry.

I teach Chemistry at Somerville in addition to two other colleges, Lady Margaret Hall, and St Peter’s. Previously I held Lectureships at Magdalen, Merton and New.

I studied for my MChem degree at Magdalen College (2008-2012) before moving to New College for a DPhil in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry under the supervision of Professor Stuart Mackenzie, which I completed in 2016.

My position involves teaching all aspects of the undergraduate Physical Chemistry course, from Prelims (1st Year) to Final Honours School (3rd Year). I hold tutorials for small groups of students where we discuss the lecture course material in more detail. We also meet in larger groups for problems classes to cover the more numerical aspects of each topic, and I offer thematic revision classes to prepare each group of students for their respective exams. In the Chemistry department, I provide synoptic revision lectures to all years and examine the first year Physical Chemistry Prelims paper.

My DPhil research was concerned with the photochemical spin dynamics of proteins, suggested to be the basis of the magnetic sense in some animals. It involved the development of a range of highly sensitive optical cavity-enhanced techniques to detect very small changes in reactivity caused by an external magnetic field.


Broadband Cavity-Enhanced Detection of Magnetic Field Effects in Chemical Models of a Cryptochrome Magnetoreceptor, J. Phys. Chem. B., 118, 4177, (2014)

Millitesla Magnetic Field Effects on the Photocycle of an Animal Cryptochrome, Sci. Rep., 7, (2017)

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