Professor Christiane Timmel was born in Saxony, Germany, where she also studied for her undergraduate degree in chemistry at the Technische Universität Dresden. She moved to England and the University of Oxford for her doctorate research. Her work was supervised by Peter Hore who inspired in her a real fascination with the phenomenon of spin and taught her invaluable tools to tackle theoretical problems in both Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (also Electron Spin Resonance, ESR) and Spin Chemistry.
Supported by the Royal Society first as a Dorothy Hodgkin and later a University Research Fellow, Professor Timmel moved into experimental science. Continuing in the footsteps of Keith McLauchlan she investigates spin-polarised radical pairs and their magnetic sensitivity. In this field of Spin Chemistry, her main focus has been centred on the study of the radical pair mechanism, speculated to lie at the heart of avian (night migratory) magnetoreception. In 2007, she cofounded Oxford’s Centre of Advanced Electron Spin Resonance (CAESR). In ESR as in Spin Chemistry, the study of spin polarised states such as spin-correlated radical pairs and molecular triplets is the main focus of her work.
Professor Timmel is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford and a fellow of New College (Oxford). In 2019 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and, the same year, took up her position as Chair of the RSC ESR group.