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Personal profile

Research Biography

Dr Sara Miller is a Lecturer in Analytical Chemistry in the College of Science and Engineering. She completed her PhD at The University of Otago, New Zealand, in 2014 on the topic “Raman spectroscopy for Analytical Applications”.  Dr Miller holds expertise in the application of vibrational spectroscopy to study a wide range of materials and complex systems. Vibrational spectroscopy uses non-destructive light-matter interactions to give a molecular fingerprint (spectrum) of a sample. This molecular fingerprint can be used alongside multivariate analysis methods to gain insights into a sample’s composition and structure. Examples of its use include quality control of produce, identifying counterfeit or adulterated products, disease diagnosis, identifying compositional changes associated with disease states, and studying compositional and structural changes of pharmaceutics and materials over time.

Research Expertise

Vibrational spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, Raman microscopy, low frequency Raman spectroscopy (also called low wavenumber Raman or THz-Raman spectroscopy), spatially offset low frequency Raman spectroscopy, chemometrics, multivariate data analysis, principal component analysis, multiple curve resolution, partial least squares regression, support vector machines, solid state analysis, pharmaceuticals, biominerals, produce.

Research Interests

  • Pharmaceuticals - solid state and compositional analysis, drug dissolution, formulation, storage and processing effects.
  • Biominerals (e.g. teeth and bone) – compositional differences with disease state, structural-compositional relationships, low wavenumber Raman spectroscopy for insights into the solid state structure/order.
  • Primary produce – quality assessment and control, classification of species, adulteration/counterfeit detection.
  • Disease diagnosis – multi-spectroscopic approaches for point of care diagnostics.
  • Any application where non-destructive assessment of composition may provide valuable insights.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Raman Spectroscopy for Analytical Applications, University of Otago

Award Date: 13 Dec 2014

External positions

Senior Research Fellow, Department of Chemistry, University of Otago

Jan 2023Nov 2023

Principal Investigator, Dodd-Walls Centre for Quantum and Photonic Technologies

Sept 2021Nov 2023

Associate Investigator, Dodd-Walls Centre for Quantum and Photonic Technologies


Research Fellow, Department of Chemistry, University of Otago

Dec 2017Dec 2022

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Otago

Dec 2015Dec 2017

Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki

1 Nov 201431 Oct 2015


  • QD Chemistry
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • Chemometrics
  • Multivariate data analysis
  • Vibrational spectroscopy


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