Alison Bruce

Prof, Professor of physics


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Alison is a professor of physics and is the head of the Nuclear Physics Research and Enterprise Group at the University of Brighton. She is an experimental gamma-ray spectroscopist and her research is based on experiments she leads at international laboratories including GSI/FAIR in Darmstadt, Germany, the University of Jyväskylä in Finland and the  Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH) in Bucharest, Romania.

Alison is interested in measuring simple properties of exotic nuclei.  Her current focus is on neutron-rich A~100 nuclei where there is a prediction that the shape will change from prolate (rugby-ball shaped) to oblate (smartie shaped) as more neutrons are added. Her research teams produce these nuclei at experimental facilities around the world and study their properties in the short time (fractions of a second) before they decay into a different element.

Scholarly biography

Alison studied for her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Manchester before undertaking post-doctoral research work at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen and at the University of Liverpool. After a spell as a Higher Scientific Officer at STFC Daresbury Laboratory, she joined the University of Brighton as a lecturer in physics and energy studies. She is now a professor of physics at Brighton and a fellow of the Institute of Physics. She is a member of the nuclear physics board of the European Physical Society  and regularly sits on Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) grant and fellowship panels. She recently participated in STFC's 2018 evaluation of the nuclear physics programme. 

She has supervised 12 doctorate (PhD) students to completion and is currently supervising a further two PhD students. She has examined over 20 PhD degrees at universities in the UK and in Australia, Finland, Norway, Spain and Sweden.


Approach to teaching

During my time at Brighton I have taught on a range of courses including physics, energy studies, engineering and mathematics. I am currently teaching mathematics to final year mathematics undergraduates and to first year civil engineering students. It is interesting and challenging to teach these two groups who approach the subject quite differently.

Supervising PhD students is an important part of my role and I enjoy working with them as they develop into independent researchers. Many of my students have gone on to positions in academic and research institutes including at the University of Liverpool, the University of Western Cape (South Africa)  and the Institute of Cancer Research. One of the best bits of my job is seeing students fulfil their potential and achieve their goals.

Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising postgraduate research students in gamma-ray spectroscopy and experimental nuclear structure physics.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Studies of the Interacting Boson-Fermion Model in the W-Os-Pt nuclei, University of Manchester

External positions

Member of STFC(PPAN) Science Board

1 Oct 202330 Sept 2027

Member, Nuclear Physics Division Board, EPS

Oct 2018 → …

Member of scientific steering committee of ENSAR2 framework NuSpIN

Feb 2016 → …

Chair, nuclear physics grants panel, STFC, Science and Technology Facilities Council

Dec 2012Nov 2015

Member, nuclear physics grants panel, STFC, Science and Technology Facilities Council

Aug 2007Nov 2015

Fellow, IoP, Institute of Physics

2005 → …


  • QC Physics
  • nuclear structure physics
  • gamma-ray spectroscopy
  • exotic nuclei


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • First spectroscopic study of odd-odd Cu 78

    Pedersen, L. G., Sahin, E., Görgen, A., Bello Garrote, F. L., Tsunoda, Y., Otsuka, T., Niikura, M., Nishimura, S., Xu, Z., Baba, H., Benzoni, G., Browne, F., Bruce, A. M., Ceruti, S., Crespi, F. C. L., Daido, R., De Angelis, G., Delattre, M. C., Dombradi, Z., Doornenbal, P., & 47 othersFang, Y., Franchoo, S., Gey, G., Gottardo, A., Isobe, T., John, P. R., Jung, H. S., Kojouharov, I., Kubo, T., Kurz, N., Kuti, I., Li, Z., Lorusso, G., Matea, I., Matsui, K., Mengoni, D., Miyazaki, T., Modamio, V., Momiyama, S., Morales, A. I., Morfouace, P., Napoli, D. R., Naqvi, F., Nishibata, H., Odahara, A., Orlandi, R., Patel, Z., Rice, S., Sakurai, H., Schaffner, H., Sinclair, L., Söderström, P. A., Sohler, D., Stefan, I. G., Sumikama, T., Suzuki, D., Taniuchi, R., Taprogge, J., Vajta, Z., Valiente-Dobón, J. J., Watanabe, H., Werner, V., Wu, J., Yagi, A., Yalcinkaya, M., Yokoyama, R. & Yoshinaga, K., 3 Apr 2023, In: Physical Review C. 107, 4, 044301.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
  • Interpretation of metastable states in the N> 70 Zr region

    Browne, F., Bruce, A. M., Sumikama, T., Nishizuka, I., Nishimura, S., Doornenbal, P., Li, J. G., Lorusso, G., Söderström, P. A., Walker, P. M., Watanabe, H., Xu, F. R., Daido, R., Patel, Z., Rice, S., Sinclair, L., Wu, J., Xu, Z. Y., Yagi, A., Baba, H., & 30 othersChiga, N., Carroll, R., Didierjean, F., Fang, Y., Fukuda, N., Gey, G., Ideguchi, E., Inabe, N., Isobe, T., Kameda, D., Kojouharov, I., Kurz, N., Kubo, T., Lalkovski, S., Li, Z., Lozeva, R., Nishibata, N., Odahara, A., Podolyák, Z., Regan, P. H., Roberts, O. J., Sakurai, H., Schaffner, H., Simpson, G. S., Suzuki, H., Takeda, H., Tanaka, M., Taprogge, J., Werner, V. & Wieland, O., 8 Sept 2023, In: European Physical Journal A. 59, 9, 199 (2023).

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Commissioning the FAst TIMing array (FATIMA) at FAIR Phase-0: Half-lives of excited states in the N=50 isotones 96Pd and 94Ru

    Jazrawi, S., Yaneva, A., Polettini, M., Das, B., Regan, P. H., Górska, M., Cederwall, B., Jolie, J., Albers, H. M., Chishti, M. M. R., Banerjee, A., Hubbard, N., Mistry, A. K., Rudigier, M., Benzoni, G., Gerl, J., Bruce, A. M., Podolyák, Z., Nara Singh, B. S., Zhang, G. X., & 27 othersAlhomaidhi, S., Appleton, C., Arici, T., Blazhev, A., Davinson, T., Esmaylzadeh, A., Fraile, L. M., Häfner, G., Hall, O., John, P. R., Karayonchev, V., Koujoharov, I., Kurz, N., Mikolajczuk, M., Pietralla, N., Pietri, S., Regis, J. M., Sahin, E., Sexton, L., Schaffner, H., Scheidenberger, C., Sharma, A., Vesic, J., Weick, H., Werner, V., Lozeva, R. & Si, M., 26 May 2022, In: Radiation Physics and Chemistry. 200, 110234.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • High-spin states in 212Po above the α-decaying (18+) isomer

    Zago, L., Gottardo, A., Valiente-Dobón, J. J., Benzoni, G., Gadea, A., Górska, M., Lunardi, S., Podolyák, Z., Regan, P. H., Rudolph, D., Algora, A., de Angelis, G., Bazzacco, D., Benlliure, J., Boutachkov, P., Bracco, A., Bruce, A. M., Camera, F., Casarejos, E., Cortés, M. L., & 40 othersCrespi, F. C. L., Corsi, A., Domingo-Pardo, C., Doncel, M., Engert, T., Geissel, H., Gerl, J., Goasduff, A., Goel, N., Grebosz, J., Gregor, E., Habermann, T., Klupp, S., Kojouharov, I., Kurz, N., Lenzi, S. M., Leoni, S., Mandal, S., Menegazzo, R., Mengoni, D., Million, B., Morales, A. I., Napoli, D. R., Naqvi, F., Nociforo, C., Pfützner, M., Pietri, S., Prochazka, A., Recchia, F., Sahin, E., Schaffner, H., Sitar, B., Siwal, D., Strmen, P., Szarka, I., Ur, C. A., Walker, P. M., Weick, H., Wieland, O. & Wollersheim, H. J., 15 Sept 2022, In: Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics. 834, 5 p., 137457.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
  • Nature of seniority symmetry breaking in the semimagic nucleus Ru 94

    Das, B., Cederwall, B., Qi, C., Górska, M., Regan, P. H., Aktas, Albers, H. M., Banerjee, A., Chishti, M. M. R., Gerl, J., Hubbard, N., Jazrawi, S., Jolie, J., Mistry, A. K., Polettini, M., Yaneva, A., Alhomaidhi, S., Zhao, J., Arici, T., Bagchi, S., & 66 othersBenzoni, G., Boutachkov, P., Davinson, T., Dickel, T., Haettner, E., Hall, O., Hornung, C., Hucka, J. P., John, P. R., Kojouharov, I., Knöbel, R., Kostyleva, D., Kuzminchuk, N., Mukha, I., Plass, W. R., Nara Singh, B. S., Vasiljević, J., Pietri, S., Podolyák, Z., Rudigier, M., Rösch, H., Sahin, E., Schaffner, H., Scheidenberger, C., Schirru, F., Shearman, R., Tanaka, Y., Vesić, J., Weick, H., Wollersheim, H. J., Ahmed, U., Algora, A., Appleton, C., Benito, J., Blazhev, A., Bracco, A., Bruce, A. M., Brunet, M., Canavan, R., Esmaylzadeh, A., Fraile, L. M., Häfner, G., Heggen, H., Kahl, D., Karayonchev, V., Kern, R., Korgul, A., Kosir, G., Kurz, N., Lozeva, R., Mikolajczuk, M., Napiralla, P., Page, R., Petrache, C. M., Pietralla, N., Régis, J. M., Ruotsalainen, P., Sexton, L., Sanchez-Temble, V., Si, M., Vilhena, J., Werner, V., Wiederhold, J., Witt, W., Woods, P. J. & Zimba, G., 25 Mar 2022, In: Physical Review C. 105, 3, 6 p., L031304.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access