Group photo taken 2018. Current members (left to right) Professor Mattanjah de Vries, Gregory Gate, Trevor Cohen, Alex Cadler, Ana Parejo Vidal, Florine Rombach, Evalynna Ong, Ryan Rodriguez, Michael Haggmark, Nathan Svadlenak, Ann Williams


We mourn the loss of Sam Boldissar (1992-2017) who passed away in a rock climbing accident this March at Joshua Tree National Park. Sam (center left in the photo above, beside Mattanjah) was first and foremost our friend who had a brilliant mind and passion for science, the California outdoors, and his family and friends. Sam was ever humble and his enjoyment of life was infectious. We are better for knowing him and absolutely devastated he is no longer here. -March 2017

Sam had his hands in everything within our lab and we are currently preparing his works for publication. Please look firstly to his work on the photorelaxation dynamics of 6-thioguanine (published June 2017 Phys. Chem. A) .


    Can't stop the spirits when they need you
    This life is more than just a read through

                                                 -Red Hot Chili Peppers

In the de Vries group, we use state-of-the-art spectroscopy to explore dynamics and properties of compounds in the gas phase that have previously been unexplored. By coupling Resonant Enhanced Multi Photon Ionization (REMPI) with TOF-mass spectrometry, we are able to wavelength and mass select to distinguish isomers in the instrument. Through this, properties such as the vibrational modes and excited state lifetimes of molecules in the gas phase. This results in an analysis of compounds free of solvent interactions. Currently, we have split our research efforts into two major fields: the analysis of canonical and alternative nucleobases and the study of art and pigments to better understand the photo-stability of these compounds.



December 16, 2019 Low Temperature Formation of Carbonaceous Dust Grains from PAHs. Lisseth Gavilan Marin, Salma Bejaoui, Michael Haggmark, Nathan Svadlenak, Mattanjah de Vries, Ella Sciamma-O'Brien, and Farid Salama. was accepted for publication in the AstroPhysical Journal

September 6, 2019: our paper "Excited state intermolecular proton transfer in hydroxyanthraquinones: Toward predicting fading of organic red colorants in art" came out in Science Advances.

September 2019: Congratulations to Prof. Faady Siouri on being appointed Head of Chemistry at Arab American University, Palestine.

August 2019 - our paper on isoguanine has been selected as a 2019 PCCP HOT article.

August 5, 2019 - Welcome to Robert Marks, Universität Duisburg-Essen for a three month visit.

July 31 2019 - Prof. de Vries is in the top 5% of highly cited authors in the Physical portfolio of journals of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

July 2019 - hosted Sabrevian Davis and Lydia Fields from Jackson State University.

June 2019, congratulations to Gregory Gate and co-authers on our new paper on isoguanine.

April 22, 2019 Dr. Mattanjah S. de Vries Specially Appointed Professor at Tokyo tech University 

March 6-8, 2019 we hosted the second annual JSU-UCSB workshop

September 2018, Congratulations to Michael Haggmark's recent publication Evidence for competing proton-transfer and hydrogen-transfer reactions in the S1 state of indigo

June 16, 2018—Congratulations to Kevin Shultz and Trevor Cohen and Rebecca Tang on completing their undergraduate degrees at UCSB! We wish you the best on your future endeavors.

April 16, 2018—Congratulations to Greg Gate for making it to the third round of the 2018 UCSB Graduate Slam.

March 19, 2018—Ryan Rodriguez (undergraduate) presented a poster at the 2018 ACS Conference in New Orleans.

January 25-28, 2018--We would like to congratulate graduate students Gregory Gate and Michael Haggmark on their successful talk and poster presentation respectively at the Pacific Conference on Spectroscopy and Dynamics.

November 4, 2017—Trevor Cohen (undergraduate) successfully presented his summer project at a poster presentation and talk at the Research and Creative Activities Conference.

October 12, 2017—Congratulations to Jacob Berenbeim on his successful thesis defense. We wish you the best of luck at your postdoc in England.

October  10, 2017—Congratulations to Jacob Berenbeim on his newly published paper, Excited-State Dynamics of Isocytosine: A Hybrid Case of Canonical Nucleobase Photodynamics, in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

August 10, 2017—Ryan Rodriguez (undergraduate) presented his work on the deuteration of indigo at the end of his McNair Scholars Program

June 26, 2017—Congratulations to Faady Siouri on his newly published paper, Excited State Dynamics of 6-Thioguanine, published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A.

April 21, 2017—Congratulations to Faady Siouri on his successful thesis defense!     

de Vries Research Group: Shedding Light on our Origins

Research in the de Vries Group involves a powerful combination of probing the photochemical properties or organic molecules by employing laser desorption of molecules from surfaces, laser photo-ionization, multiphoton spectroscopy, femtosecond & picosecond spectroscopy combined with mass spectrometry on a wide variety of projects.