Sharon E. Ashbrook


  • KY16 9ST

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Research overview

Our research aims to combine high-resolution multinuclear Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with periodic first-principles calculations to investigate structure, order and dynamics in the solid state. Research involves the development of new experiments, implementation and improvement of existing experiments and the application to systems of interest in chemistry, geology and materials science. Particular emphasis is given to nuclei which possess a nuclear electric quadrupole moment, such as 17-O, 23-Na or 27-Al, which account for over 75% of all NMR-accessible nuclides. Current areas of interest include high-pressure minerals, microporous framework materials and ceramic materials proposed for the encapsulation of nuclear waste.

For more information see the SEA group website:

Academic/Professional Qualification

MChem Hertford College, University of Oxford

MA University of Oxford;

DPhil Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford

Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE)

Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) 

Member of the Institute of Physics (MinstP)

Member of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain 


Professor Ashbrook studied for an MChem Chemistry degree at Hertford College, University of Oxford, before completing her DPhil, also at Oxford in the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, under the supervision of Stephen Wimperis. After a postdoc at the Unviersity of Exeter, Professor Ashbrook was awarded a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, which she held in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge. During this time she also held the Charles and Katherine Darwin Research Fellowship at Darwin College. Professor Ashbrook moved to St Andrews in 2005, when she was awarded an RCUK Academic Fellowship, and was promoted to Reader in 2009 and Professor in 2013. She was awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award in 2015, and elected FRSE in 2016. She has also been awarded the RSE Makdougall Brisbane Medal (2012) and the RSC Harrison Prize (2004), Marlow Award (2011), Corday Morgan Award (2015) and Bourke-Liversidge Award (2021). In 2017, she was awarded a Suffrage Science Award. Professor Ashbrook also acts as the Professorial Senate Assessor for Science and Medicine on University Court. 

Profile Keywords

Solid-state NMR method development; Applciation of NMR to the study of inoragnic materials; First-principles calcualtion of NMR parameters; Solid-state NMR of microporous materials

Teaching activity

CH1301 The Impact of Chemistry (5 lectures and module convenor)

CH1401 Introductory Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (tutorials)

CH1402 Inorganic and Physical Chemistry 1 (tutorials)

CH2701 Physical Chemistry 2 (14 lectures, 6 tutorials and laboratory)

CH3431 Chemistry workshop (10 workshops)

CH4717 Fundamentals of Spectroscopy of Molecules and Solids (9 lectures and 1 laboratory)

CH444/CH5441 Honours Project Assessment

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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