Department of Geological Sciences The Pickering Research Group

About Me

I use and develop synchrotron light techniques to investigate the roles of metals and other elements in living systems, cross-disciplinary research that encompasses both environmental and biomedical interests.

Academic Background

  • B.A. (Hons), Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge
  • Ph.D. Imperial College London


GEOL 851.3 Synchrotron Hard X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy

Instructors: Graham George, Ingrid Pickering

X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), a primary technique of the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, provides local molecular and electronic structure of specific chemical elements in any matrix. XAS can be applied with little pre-treatment of the sample and can be used to answer fundamental chemical questions about almost any sample or system, from soils and rocks to intact biological tissues to purified proteins or chemicals. The course will include a description of the physical principals underlying XAS, practical aspects of experimental technique, details of data analysis and some common pitfalls and difficulties. This course will equip students with a practical working knowledge of the technique and its capabilities, with examples drawn from the chemical, biomedical and environmental sciences.

GEOL 451.3: Synchrotron X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy

Instructors: Graham George, Ingrid Pickering 

Follows the same lecture syllabus as GEOL 851.3 but does not include the project. 

SYNC 801: Introduction to Health Research Using Synchrotron Techniques

Instructors: Dean Chapman, Ian Coulthard, Graham George, Pawel Grochulski, Helen Nichol, Ingrid Pickering (primary instructor).

SYNC 801 Provides a broad overview of major synchrotron-based health research techniques with reference to Canadian Light Source facilities. Techniques covered include biomedical imaging, X-ray fluorescence imaging, macromolecular crystallography and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Gives students information on strengths, limitations and applicability of each technique. Health research case studies are integrated.

Core course for CIHR-THRUST, the CIHR-funded Training in Health Research Using Synchrotron Techniques graduate training program.