Professor Stuart MackenzieBack to People

Subjects: Chemistry
Department: Chemistry
College appointment: Tutorial Fellow
Officer: Chair of Bursarial Committee
Phone: 01865 286794


Born and brought up in County Durham and educated at Shotton Hall Comprehensive School and Peterlee Tertiary College, I read for a DPhil in Physical Chemistry at Magdalen 1992-96 after a first degree in Physics and Chemistry at Leeds University. I worked as a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow in Boulder, Colorado with Professor David Nesbitt and then as a Ramsay Memorial Fellow back in Oxford. My first permanent academic job was at the University of Warwick (1999-2006) before I moved to Cambridge (2006-08). I finally returned to Magdalen as Tutorial Fellow in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry in 2008. I am now Professor of Chemistry in the department of Chemistry.


All aspects of physical and theoretical chemistry.

Research Interests

I run a research group of about 10 people within the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory with research interests spanning gas-phase spectroscopy and dynamics and spin dynamics in protein systems. In particular, we use a combination of experimental and computational approaches to study the structure and chemical reactivity of isolated transition metal clusters as models of active sites on heterogeneous catalysts. In other projects we employ novel optical cavity-enhanced absorption techniques to study magnetic field effects in proteins – work driven by a desire to understand the way many animals, especially some migratory songbirds, sense the Earth’s magnetic field.

Selected Publications

Magnetic sensitivity of cryptochrome 4 from a migratory songbird
Nature 594, 535-540 (2021)

Au10+ is a strong broadband infrared chromophore
Phys. Rev. Lett., 127, 033002 (2021)

Spectroscopy and Infrared Photofragmentation Dynamics of Mixed Ligand Ion-Molecule Complexes: Au(CO)x(N2O)y+
J. Phys. Chem. A 125 7266 (2021)

Free electron laser infrared action spectroscopy of nitrous oxide binding to platinum clusters, Ptn(N2O)+
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 22, 18606-18613 (2020) DOI: 10.1039/D0CP02800B

Detection of Magnetic field Effects by Confocal Microscopy
Chemical Science, 30, 7772-7781 (2020) DOI: 10.1039/D0SC01986K (Edge article POTW)

Infrared Study of OCS Binding and Size-Selective Reactivity with Gold Clusters, Aun+ (n = 1–10)
J. Phys. Chem. A, 124, 5389-5401 (2020) DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.0c03813

Demonstration of a chemical compass in microtesla magnetic fields: a proof of principle for radical pair magnetoreception in birds
Nature Comm., 10, 3707 (2019) DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11655-2

Photodissociation Dynamics and the Dissociation Energy of Vanadium Monoxide, VO, Investigated using Velocity Map Imaging
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 21, 15560-15567 (2019) DOI: 10.1039/c9cp02120e

Structural isomers and electronic states of gas-phase M+(N2O)n (M=Co, Rh, Ir) ion-molecule complexes
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 21, 13959-13967 (2019) DOI: 10.1039/c8cp05995k (Ashfold festschrift)