Contact us

Professor Anita C Jones

Professor Anita C Jones

Professor of Molecular Photophysics

Room 260

University of Edinburgh
Joseph Black Building
David Brewster Road

Research Interests

Photophysics and photochemistry, time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy, fluorescent nucleic base analogues, DNA conformation and interactions, applications of fluorescence in detection and sensing, use of photonic crystal fibres as optofluidic systems

Research Overview

The research in my group is concerned with the study of molecular photophysics and photochemistry, and the development and application of fluorescence techniques. Much of our research is interdisciplinary and involves collaboration with biologists, physicists and engineers. Current projects include:

  • Probing DNA conformation and DNA-enzyme interactions, using time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy.
  • Use of 2-aminopurine, a fluorescent isomer of adenine, as a probe of electronic energy transfer in DNA.
  • Photophysics of new fluorescent nucleic base analogues.
  • Development of optofluidic systems, based on photonic crystal fibre, for ultrasensitive luminescence detection of singlet oxygen.
  • Fluorescence properties of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs): pressure-induced effects and optical sensing applications.



  1. 2-Aminopurine flipped into the active site of the adenine-specific DNA methyltransferase M.TaqI:crystal structures and time-resolved fluorescence, T. Lenz, E.Y.M. Bonnist, G.Pljevaljcic, R.K. Neely, D.T.F. Dryden, A.J. Scheidig, A.C. Jones, E. Weinhold, J. Am. Chem. Soc 2007, 129, 6240-6248.
  2. Branchpoint Expansion in a fully-complementary three-Way DNA junction, T. Sabir, A. Toulmin, L. Ma, A.C. Jones, P. McGlynn, G.F. Schroder, S.W. Magennis, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 6280−6285.
  3. 2-aminopurine as a fluorescent probe of DNA conformation and the DNA–enzyme interface, A.C. Jones and R.K. Neely, Quarterly Reviews of Biophysics 2015, 48, 244-279.
  4. A bend, flip and trap mechanism for transposon integration, E.R Morris, H. Grey, G. McKenzie, A.C Jones, J.M Richardson, eLife 2016;5:e15537
  5. Photonic crystal fibres for chemical sensing and photochemistry, A.M. Cubillas, S. Unterkofler, T.G. Euser, B.J.M. Etzold, A.C. Jones, P.J. Sadler, P. Wasserscheid, P. St.J. Russell, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2013, 42, 8629 – 8648.
  6. Taking two-photon excitation to exceptional path-lengths in photonic crystal fiber, G.O.S. Williams, T.G. Euser, J. Arlt, P. St.J. Russell, A.C. Jones, ACS Photonics 2014, 1, 790-793.
  7. Quantitative mapping of aqueous microfluidic temperature with sub-degree resolution using fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy, E.M. Graham, K. Iwai, S. Uchiyama, A.P. de Silva, S.W. Magennis, A.C. Jones, Lab Chip 2010, 10, 1267–1273
  8. Europium complexes with high total photoluminescence quantum yields in solution and in PMMA, O. Moudam, B.C. Rowan, M. Alamiry, P.Richardson, B.S. Richards, A.C. Jones, N. Robertson, Chem. Commun., 2009, 43,6649-6651.