University of Otago, New Zealand


Te Tari Hua-Ruanuku

Professor Keith C. Gordon

contact photo
Professor Keith C. Gordon
Spectroscopy of inorganic and biological systems
Tel: (03) 479 7599
Location: Science II, 5n1

Personal data - Keith Gordon

Born July 1, 1965, Belfast, UK.
Married to Kathryn (since 1989)
Father of Emily and Calum
British and New Zealand citizen


Attended The Queen's University of Belfast as an undergraduate, 1983-1986, and as a graduate, 1986-1989.

Primary degree: BSc with First class honours in Chemistry, June 1986.
Secondary degree: PhD in Chemistry, November 1989.

Thesis Title: Time-Resolved Spectroscopy of the Excited States of some Copper(I) Complexes in Solution.

Employment history

Professor, University of Otago, Chemistry Department, 2009 - present.

Associate Professor, University of Otago, Chemistry Department, 2003-2009.

Senior Lecturer, University of Otago, Chemistry Department, 1999-2002.

Lecturer, University of Otago, Chemistry Department, 1993-1998.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA, 1990-1992.
Supervisor: Professor W.H. Woodruff.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Queen's University Belfast, 1989-1990.
Supervisor: Professor J.J. McGarvey.

Distinctions and honours

New Zealand Institute of Chemistry Maurice Wilkens Prize for excellence in Chemical Sciences, 2010

Foundation Award (from Queens University Belfast), 1986

Andrew's Studentship (from Queens University Belfast), 1986-1989

Emily Sarah Montgomery Scholarship (from Queens University Belfast), 1988

Postgraduate Grant (from Department of Education, Northern Ireland), 1986-1989

Postgraduate Travel Grant (from Department of Education, Northern Ireland), 1989

Director's Postdoctoral Fellowship (from Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA), 1990-1992

Professional activities

Editor-in-chief Vibrational Spectroscopy 2016 - present

PCB Marsden review panel 2013 - 2015

International advisor board for the International Conference on Vibrational Spectroscopy series 2013 - present

Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (FRSNZ) 2012

Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC CChem) 2011

Editorial board Vibrational Spectroscopy (Journal impact factor 2, Elsevier) 2015 - 2019

Editorial Board Journal of Raman Spectroscopy (Journal impact factor > 3, Wiley) 2011 - present

Editorial board Journal of Spectroscopy and Dynamics ( New journal, Simplex Academic Publishers) 2010 - present.

Pacifichem 2010 Technical Program Advisors, Materials & Nanotechnology and Security (2007 - 2010)

Editorial board member: Asian Journal of Spectroscopy 1997 - present

Member of the Advisory Board: Asian Chemistry Letters 2004 - present

Referee for: Asian Journal of Spectroscopy; Inorganic Chemistry; Inorganica Chimica Acta; Journal of Raman Spectroscopy; Journal of Organometallic Chemistry; Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences; Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Journal of the American Chemical Society; Current Applied Physics; European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry; Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics; Journal of Physical Chemistry, A; Chemical Physics Letters; Synthetic Metals.

Member of the local organising committee for The International Conference on the Science and Technology of Synthetic Metals, Wollongong, Australia, 2004.

Member of Program committee for the Australasian Conference on Laser Spectroscopy, Christchurch, December 1998

Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry since 1985

Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry (NZIC) since 2005, Member since 1997.

President New Zealand Institute of Chemistry (2006)

Selection panel for FNZIC applications and HortResearch, TeachNZ and NZIC prizes (2004, 2005)

1st Vice-President New Zealand Institute of Chemistry (2005)

2nd Vice-President and Otago Representative for Council, New Zealand Institute of Chemistry (2004)

Chairman, New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, Otago Branch (2002 - 2003)

Secretary, New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, Otago Branch (1999 - 2001)

Committee Member, New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, Otago Branch (1997-1998)


  1. Ph.D., Otago, S.M. Scott, Electrochemistry and spectroscopy of some metal polypyridyl complexes, 1993–1997.  Researcher at AgResearch, Christchurch, New Zealand
  2. Ph.D., Otago, T.J. Simpson, Spectroscopic, electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical studies of some metal complexes in solution, 1993–1996. Currently a software engineer in Dunedin
  3. Ph.D., Otago, M. Waterland, Spectroelectrochemistry and time-resolved spectroscopy of some copper(I) and rhenium(I) complexes in solution, 1995 - 1998.  Associate Professor in Chemistry at Massey University.
  4. M.Sc., Otago, J. Sherborne, Spectroscopy and Electrochemistry of Ruthenium(II) and Molybdenum Polypyridyl complexes, 1995–1997.  Currently a High School teacher in Auckland
  5. P.G.Dip. Sci., Otago, M. McDonald, Porphyrin Arrays, 1995. Works as a ski instructor in USA
  6. Ph.D., Otago, S. E. Page, Laser Spectroscopy of polypyridyl complexes, 1997–2000.  IT consultant, Sydney.
  7. Ph.D., Otago, A. H. Flood, The photophysical behaviour of osmium(II) polypyridyl complexes, 1997–2001.  Professor at Indiana University, Chemistry Department, USA.
  8. Ph.D., Otago, P.A. Cocks, Spectroscopic studies of porphyrins and polypyridyl complexes, 1996–2000.  Teacher in Korea
  9. Ph.D., Otago, M. I. J. Polson, Ru(II) complexes of terpy ligands, 1996–2000 (joint supervisor with Dr A.G. Blackman).  Currently a technician at University of Canterbury, NZ.
  10. M.Sc., Otago, R. Cowling, Spectroscopic studies on chromophoric enzyme substrates, 1997–1998.  Currently a High School Teacher, Auckland.  (joint supervisor with Dr E.W. Tan).
  11. M.Sc., Otago, S. Collett, 1997–1999 (joint supervisor with Dr I. McKinnie)
  12. Ph.D., Otago, B. H. Dana, Fundamental investigations of redox-activated fluorophores. Otago, 2000 – 2004 (Profs B. H. Robinson and J Simpson, Chemistry, primary supervisors). Currently a research scientist at Resenne paint, Wellington.
  13. Ph.D., Otago, Sarah. L. Howell, Excited states in polypyridyl complexes probed by vibrational spectroscopy and ab initio calculations, 2002 – 2005.  Recipient of a FRST Top Achiever Award.  Lecturer at the University of Keele, England.  Research Analyst at Preqin (Fund manager), London.  Now High School teacher in Wellington.
  14. Ph.D., Otago, Clare J. Strachan (supervisor panel with Prof. T. Rades, Pharmacy), Evaluation of drug polymorphs using spectroscopic methods and multivariate analysis. 2002 – 2005.  Senior research scientist, Drug Discovery and Development Technology Centre, University of Helsinki, Finland. Lecturer at the University of Otago, School of Pharmacy. Currently an Associate Professor at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
  15. Ph.D., Otago, Natasha J. Lundin, Design and synthesis of multi-functional complexes for photo- and electroluminesence. 2003 – 2007.  Postdoctoral Fellow at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, 2008 – 2009, currently a mother in Wellington.
  16. M.Sc., Otago, Jarrod Brain, Spectroscopy of solar dyes, 2003 – 2005. Currently enrolled for a PhD at Massey University
  17. Ph.D., Otago, Tracey M. Clarke, Probing exciton, polaron and bipolaron structures in conducting oligomers: A theoretical and resonance Raman study, 2003 – 2007.  Recipient of a University of Otago Prestigious Scholarship. Accepted to the Sciences Divisional List of Exceptional PhD theses (  Postdoc at Imperial College, 2008 – 2010, Research fellow at the University of Wollongong, 2011 – 2014, Lecturer at University College London, UK from 2015.
  18. Ph.D., Otago, Penny J. Walsh, Modelling and Spectroscopy of Polypyridyl and Porphyrin Complexes for Electroluminescence and Solar Cell Applications, 2004 – 2007.  Accepted to the Sciences Divisional List of Exceptional PhD theses ( Currently working for the Patent Office (IPONZ) Wellington.
  19. Ph.D., Otago, J. Axel Zeitler (joint supervisor with Prof. Thomas Rades, School of Pharmacy, Prof. Sir Michael Pepper, Cavendish Lab, Cambridge), Spectroscopy of polymorphic drug forms, 2004 – 2006. Listed as Exceptional PhD Theses in the Division of Health Sciences (  Currently a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge and lecturer in the Chemical Engineering dept.
  20. Ph.D., Otago, Fang Tian (co-supervisor; Dr. D. Saville, School of Pharmacy, primary supervisor), Dynamic processes in polymorphic drug forms, 2005 - 2007.  Currently a postdoctoral fellow at Department of Pharmaceutics and Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  21. Ph.D., Otago, Cushla M. McGoverin, Raman spectroscopy based chemometric analysis of complex mixtures.  2005 – 2008. Recipient of a TEC Top Achiever. List of Exceptional PhD theses ( Postdoctoral fellow at Stollenbosch University, South Africa 2009. Temple University PA, USA, 2010 – 2013, University of Auckland 2014.
  22. Ph.D., Otago, John Earles, Spectroscopic studies of porphyrin-maquette complexes.  2006 – 2009.  Postdoctoral fellow university of Tromso, Norway 2010 - 2012. Policy analyst MOE Wellington 2013.
  23. Ph.D., Otago, Louise Ho (co-supervisor; Prof. Thomas Rades, School of Pharmacy, primary supervisor), Spectroscopic Imaging of Drug polymorphs.  2006 – 2009. Listed as Exceptional PhD Theses (  Currently a researcher in Australia.
  24. Ph.D., Otago, Kirsten Graeser (co-supervisor; Prof. Thomas Rades, School of Pharmacy, primary supervisor), Investigations of drug polyamorphism.  2006 – 2009.  Currently a research scientist at Roche, Switzerland.
  25. Ph.D., Otago, Andrea Heinz (co-supervisor; Prof. Thomas Rades, School of  Pharmacy, primary supervisor) Novel approaches for physicochemical characterisation and quantification of amorphous pharmaceutical compounds.  2006 – 2008.  Pharmacist in Halle, Germany.
  26. Ph.D., Otago, Ulrike Zimper (joint with Prof Rades, Pharmacy) Milling Behaviour of Drugs. 2007 – 2011.  Research scientist South Africa
  27. Ph.D., Otago, Michael Fraser (joint supervisor with A/Prof Allan Blackman) Studies of new electronic materials.  Marsden Funded scholarship.  2008 – 2011. Postdoc at UBC, Canada.
  28. Ph.D., Otago, Pranav Karnwar (joint with Dr CJ Strachan, Pharmacy) “Investigating solid-state transformations of differently prepared amorphous materials in the presence of excipients during storage and dissolution.” 2008 – 2011.
  29. Ph.D., Otago, Samuel Lind “Theoretically driven, rational design of photosensitive dyes for energy capture” 2009 – 2012. Recipient of a TEC Top Achiever Award.  Recipient of the R. H. T. Bates Postgraduate Scholarship.  Worked for Thermo Fisher Scientific in Dunedin, 2013, Oritain business manager since 2014.
  30. Ph.D., Otago, Raphael Horvath, “Spectroscopy and modelling of metal polypyridyl complexes” 2009 – 2012. Divisional List of Exceptional PhD theses ( Works as a postdoc at the University of Nottingham, UK.  
  31. Ph.D., Otago, Matthew Reish.  “Classification of Organic Photovoltaic and Nonlinear Optical Materials.' 2009 – 2013.  Divisional List of Exceptional PhD theses ( Postdoctoral researcher 2014 – present, University of Virginia.
  32. Ph. D., Otago, Miriam Haseer. 'Evaluating Critical Quality Attributes of Modified release Systems using Advanced Imaging Techniques.' (joint with Prof T. Rades and Dr CJ Strachan, Pharmacy) 2009 – 2013.
  33. Ph. D., Otago, Anastasia Elliott, “Raman spectroscopic studies of molecular electronic materials.” 2011 – 2014.  Works as a researcher at Macraes Goldmine Otago
  34. Ph.D., Otago, Sara Fraser, “Analysis of herbal and counterfeit medicines with Raman spectroscopy.” 2011 – 2014. Postdoc at the University of Helsinki 2014, POstodc with the Dodd-Walls Center, University of Otago 2015 – present. 
  35. Ph. D., Otago, Haotian Zheng (co-supervisor with D Everett Food Science) “Structural aspects of the bovine milk fat globule membrane” 2011 – 2014. 
  36. Ph. D., Otago, Alvie Lo “Spectroscopic and computational studies of solar cell materials” 2011 – 2015.
  37. Ph. D., Otago, May Mah, Imaging of solid dosage forms, 2011 – 2015.
  38. Ph. D., Otago, Daniel Killeen (joint with Prof. N. Perry), Raman spectroscopy of plants, 2011 – 2015. Divisional List of Exceptional PhD theses ( Currently a researcher at Plant and Food, Nelson.
  39. M. Sc., Otago, Geoffrey Smith, Raman spectroscopic study of paint and dairy samples, 2011 – 2012 with credit.
  40. Ph. D., Otago, Holly van der Salm,  Spectroscopy of donor-acceptor compounds 2012 – 2015.
  41. Ph. D., Otago, Christopher Larsen, Synthesis and spectroscopy of donor-acceptor materials 2012 – 2015. Divisional List of Exceptional PhD theses (
  42. Ph. D., Otago, Geoffrey Smith, 2013 – present.
  43. M. Sc., Otago, Jeremy Rooney, Vibrational Spectroscopy and Multivariate Analyses for the Detection of Adulterated Weightloss Products, 2013 – 2014 with distinction.
  44. Ph. D., Otago, Greg Huff, 2013 – present 
  45. Ph. D., Otago, Jonathon Barnsley, 2015 – present
  46. Ph. D., Otago, James McLay, 2015 - present  
  47. Ph. D., Otago, Jeremy Rooney, 2015 – present (Callaghan Innovation Fellow working with NZ Steel)
  48. Ph. D., Otago, Georgina Shillito, 2016 - present
  49. Ph. D., Otago, Ruth Sales, 2016 - present
  50. Ph. D., Otago, Thomas Hall, 2016 - present
  51. Ph. D., Otago, Joshua Sutton, 2017 - present