Ruth is a Forensic Chemist, with a PhD in mass spectrometry (MS). Her interest in MS (particularly hyphenated techniques involving chromatography) started in the pharmaceutical industry, which provided the basis of her PhD (2008) and postdoctoral research with Prof Brenton at the Institute of Mass Spectrometry at Swansea, on biomolecule elucidation and instrument development. Following completion of a PG Cert in Higher Education she became Lecturer in Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) in 2011 specialising in analytical methods, pharmaceutical, environmental and forensic analysis, including quality management systems and professional laboratory practice.

Ruth’s research focuses on pharmaceutical analysis and analytical technologies for medical/chemical analysis, with collaborators in academia, government agencies and industry. Recent research is concerned with environmental medicine and developing MS and sample preparation technologies. She also carries out pedagogic research. She has received grant funding (RCUK/charities) and supervised postgraduate research students. Ruth trains staff and external parties in LC-MS, regularly contributing to the EPSRC National Mass Spectrometry Facility Summer School. 

Ruth is a Chartered Chemist, Chartered Scientist, Fellow of The Higher Education Academy and an active member of the British Mass Spectrometry Society, American Society for Mass Spectrometry and Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). She supports the Analytical Methods Committee of the RSC, generating teaching materials and good practice guides as a member and secretary of the Instrumental Analysis Sub-committee. Ruth also supports RSC outreach as a Chemnet Ambassador promoting scientific education to A-level students.  She is Scheme Director and Industrial Liaison Officer for PG programmes (MSc, MRes, PG Dip., PG Cert.) working with multinational companies, government agencies and SMEs in supporting study and research.

Areas of Expertise

  • Analytical Technology Development
  • Applied Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry
  • Environmental Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis
  • Sample Preparation


  1. A ‘Periodic Table’ of mass spectrometry instrumentation and acronyms. Anal. Methods
  2. & Miltefosine: a novel internal standard approach to lysophospholipid quantitation using LC-MS/MS. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
  3. & Electro-Focusing Liquid Extractive Surface Analysis (EF-LESA) Coupled to Mass Spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry 86(7), 3323-3329.
  4. & (2014). Extraction of Over-the-Counter Pharmaceuticals from Water and Sludge Cake Using ISOLUTE® QuEChERS Prior to LC/MS Analysis.. (Application Note, Biotage No. AN831).
  5. & Guide to achieving reliable quantitative LC-MS measurements. LGC.

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  • PMLM00 Mass Spectrometry - basics and fundamentals

    This module will enable students to gain a sound knowledgebase of the basic concepts of mass spectrometry including the individual components, linking to modern separation techniques, instrument maintenance, spectral interpretation, and the basis of modern applications such as, compound identification by generating a characteristic mass `fingerprint¿ for the chemical structure and compound quantitation.

  • PMLM01 Separation science and sample handling

    This module covers the basic concepts of separation science, from analyte extraction through chromatographic separation, sample handling and ultimately to mass spectrometry-based detection. The module will focus on the application of separation science for the analysis of biomolecules isolated from complex mixtures.

  • PMLM03 LC/MS Applications II: Pharmaceutical

    This is an applications driven module designed to provide the student with an extensive knowledgebase of drug development and the role of mass spectrometry within the pharmaceutical industry. Students will be able to characterize and map the path of a drug from administration, to metabolism and elimination, and critically evaluate drug design.

  • PMLM04 LC/MS Applications III: Environmental and Forensic Analysis

    This module will provide students with a sound knowledgebase of environmental and forensic analysis by mass spectrometry and several transferable skills suitable for continued professional development. Students will gain an insight into the role mass spectrometry has to play in agriculture and archaeology, in addition to more topical subjects such as monitoring climate change and the fight against crime and terrorism.

  • PMLM07 Data analysis and method development

    This module will allow students to statistically evaluate their data acquired using LC-MS to provide meaningful conclusions for their work. This will involve the practical use of `state-of-the-art¿ databases and software analysis tools available to the mass spectrometry community. Students will gain experience using the latest software technology and techniques for their future careers.

  • PMLM08 Professional Management and laboratory practice

    This module will cover Good Laboratory, Clinical and Manufacturing Practice (GLP, GCP, GMP) including, experimental design required for assay validation approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The need and implementation of SOPs with particular focus on the pharmaceutical and medical industries, and how these correlate with stringent quality control procedures and health and safety existing due to current legislation.

  • PMLM09 Dissertation: MS experimental project.

    Students will have the opportunity to join an established research group to work in a modern and well equipped laboratory or alternatively undertake a suitable non-laboratory based project. In this module the student will be able to gain extensive `hands on¿ specialist expertise in a chosen topic which could be targeted to their future career in the field of mass spectrometry.


  • Development and feasibility of a Flowing Atmospheric Pressure Afterglow (FAPA) Discharge ionisation source as part of the Waters multi-modal ‘Universal’ ionisation source platform. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Catherine Thornton
  • Mass Spectromic investigation of pharmaceuticals in environmental matrices: homogenate analysis (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Anthony Brenton
    Other supervisor: Dr Geertje Van Keulen
  • Application of GC-MS to the identification of products derived from a couples gasification/Fischer-Tropsch system for the production of hydrocarbons for fuel from carbonaceous waste. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Steven Kelly
  • 'Development and feasibility of a FLowing Atmospheric Pressure Afterglow (FAPA) Discharge ionisation source' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Anthony Brenton
  • 'Development of advanced ionisation techniques for mass spectrometry' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Karl Hawkins

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Scheme Director - Applied Analytical Science (LCMS): MRes, MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert.

    2016 - Present

  • Admissions Tutor - Applied Analytical Science (LCMS): MRes, MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert.

    2011 - Present

  • Industrial Liaison Officer - Applied Analytical Science (LCMS): MRes, MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert.

    2011 - Present

  • Chair - Applied Analytical Science (LCMS) Board of Studies Committee

    2016 - Present

  • Member - Recruitment and Admissions Committee

    2011 - Present

  • Member - Matriculation Sub-committee

    2011 - Present

  • Member - Learning and Teaching Committee

    2016 - Present

  • Member - Postgraduate Taught Studies Committee

    2014 - Present

  • Member - Student Staff Consultative Committee

    2011 - Present

  • Member - Higher Degrees Committee

    2011 - Present

  • Member - Devices Research Committee

    2014 - Present

External Responsibilities

  • Member, Chartered Chemist (CChem)

    2015 - Present

  • Member, Chartered Scientist (CSci)

    2015 - Present

  • Fellow, The Higher Education Academy

    2012 - Present

  • Member, Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC)

    2012 - Present

  • Committee Secretary, Instrumental Analysis Sub-committee of the RSC

    2015 - Present

  • Member, Mass Spectrometry Sub-committee of the RSC

    2010 - 2015

  • Member, RSC Scheme Accreditation Committee

    2016 - Present

  • Ambassador, RSC Chemnet

    2010 - Present

  • Member, British Mass Spectrometry Society (BMSS)

    2004 - Present

  • Member, American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS)

    2005 - Present

  • Member, Chromatographic Society (ChromSoc)

    2004 - Present

  • Reviewer, Journal of Chromatography A

    2011 - Present

  • Reviewer, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

    2012 - Present

  • Reviewer, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis

    2010 - Present

  • Reviewer, Journal of Chromatography B

    2008 - Present

  • Member, HTC Scientific Organising Committee

    2018 - Present

  • Lecturer, EPSRC National Mass Spectrometry Facility Summer School

    2008 - Present

Research Groups

  • Institute of Mass Spectrometry (IMS)

    Swansea University has long been established as a centre of excellence for mass spectrometry, a discipline involving the ionization of a sample to produce either positive or negative ions, which are accelerated in a vacuum system and the mass of the intact molecule or fragments determined.

  • Advanced Analytical Technologies

    Advanced Analytical Technologies (AAT) is a multi-institutional research group between Prof G Brenton, Dr R Godfrey and Dr C Williams of Swansea University Medical School and Dr K McKay of University of Liverpool. Current research is industry supported and includes the development of mass spectrometry instrumentation and methodologies, sample preparation technology and informatics.

  • Analytical Environmental Medicine

    The Analytical Environmental Medicine research group is led by Dr R Godfrey and Dr G Van Keulen of Swansea University Medical School. Research is integrated with the AAT group, industry and government bodies. Current areas of interest include environment pollution and recycling technologies, anti-microbial resistance, and informatics

  • EPSRC National Mass Spectrometry Facility (NMSF)

    The Institute of Mass Spectrometry is home to the EPSRC UK National Mass Spectrometry Facility (NMSF), formerly known as the EPSRC National Mass Spectrometry Service Centre (NMSSC). Swansea University has long been established as a centre of excellence for mass spectrometry, with the siting of the Royal Society Research Unit in the 1970’s followed by the Mass Spectrometry Research Unit and then the EPSRC National Mass Spectrometry Centre in the 1980s.

  • Dr Kirsty McKay

    Dr Kirsty McKay is a lecturer in the Technological Plasma Group of the Electrical Engineering and Electronics department at the University of Liverpool. Her research concerns the development, characterisation and use of low-temperature atmospheric-pressure plasmas for technological applications, particularly environmental sustainability, polymerisation of monomers and manufacture of surface coatings, and sterilisation using large-area discharges. She is part of the AAT research group at Swansea.

  • Waters Corp

    Research projects concerning: analytical technology development.

  • Decus Research (Excal Ltd.)

    Research projects concerning: green technology and environmental pollution.

  • Biotage GB

    Research projects concerning: analytical technology development and analytical environmental medicine.

  • Porvair Filtration Group (Porvair Sciences)

    Research projects concerning: analytical technology development.

  • Natural Resources Wales (NRW)

    Research projects concerning: analytical technology development and analytical environmental medicine.

  • Thermo Fisher Scientific

    Research projects concerning: analytical technology development