Dr Sophie Marie Briffa PhD

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Research Fellow

Contact details

Address
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Dr Sophie Briffa is a materials’ scientist whose research interests include nanomaterial synthesis and characterisation, nanomaterial behaviour and transformations in the environment, nanosafety and nanomaterials for the purpose of conservation. 

Qualifications

  • 2011 – BSc Chemistry with Materials – University of Malta
  • 2013 – MSc Mechanical Engineering (Research) – University of Malta
  • 2013 – Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies – Royal Academy of Dance
  • 2017 – PhD Environmental Health Risk – University of Birmingham

Biography

Dr Sophie Marie Briffa read for a BSc (Hons.) in Chemistry with Materials (2011) and a MSc. in Mechanical Engineering (2013) at the University of Malta.  Her MSc was funded by the Strategic Educational Pathways Scheme.  In 2017 she was awarded a PhD in Environmental Health Risk from the University of Birmingham.  This was part funded by the FP7 project NanoMILE and Malta’s Endeavour Scholarship Scheme.

During her doctoral research studies Sophie was awarded a transnational access grant from QualityNano for a laboratory visit to Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, which enabled her to carry out further research related to the PhD.  Her PhD thesis, titled “Synthesis and Ageing Transformations of Manufactured Metal Oxide Nanomaterials” has recently been awarded the Sir Oliver Lodge Prize (2017) for its quality.  She is currently working as a research fellow in the Environmental Nanoscience research group at the University of Birmingham on the H2020 funded project ACEnano.

Sophie has participated in several international conferences with 11 oral presentations and 4 poster presentations.  She was awarded a Best Talk Award at the 2nd NanoSafety Forum for Young Scientists in Visby (2016).  To date she has published 4 papers as a first author and co-authored a further 2. Her research interests include nanomaterial synthesis and characterisation, nanomaterial behaviour and transformations in the environment, nanosafety and nanomaterials for the purpose of conservation. 

Although thoroughly devoted to her academic life in her free time Sophie pursues a number of interests away from laboratories and out of her white coat.  Sophie holds a Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies from the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and teaches with established local private ballet schools.  She is currently reading for a BA in Dance Education with the RAD in conjunction with the University of Bath (on a part-time distance-learning basis).  Her performance in these studies has been rewarded with the Iris Truscott Scholarship (2015-2016). Furthermore, Sophie is a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award holder and a scout leader with a local Birmingham scout group.

Publications

  • S.M.Briffa, F. Nasser, E. Valsami-Jones and I. Lynch. “Uptake and impacts of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) capped metal oxide nanoparticles on Daphnia magna: role of core composition and acquired corona”. ES:Nano. 2018.
  • S.M. Briffa, I. Lynch, V. Trouillet, M. Bruns, D. Hapiuk and E. Valsami-Jones. “Thermal transformations of manufactured nanomaterials as a proposed proxy for ageing”. ES:Nano. 2018.
  • A.J. Chetwynd, E.J. Guggenheim, S.M. Briffa, J.A. Thorn, I. Lynch and E. Valsami-Jones. “Current Application of Capillary Electrophoresis in Nanomaterial Characterisation and Its Potential to Characterise the Protein and Small Molecule Corona”. Nanomaterials. 2018. 8(2) 99. DOI: 10.3390/nano8020099
  • I. Hansjosten, J. Rapp, L. Reiner, R. Vatter, S. Fritsch-Decker, R. Peravali, T. Palosaari, E. Joossens, K. Gerloff, P. Macko, M. Whelan, D. Gilliland, I. Ojea-Jimenez, M.P. Monopoli, L. Rocks, D. Garry, K. Dawson, P.J.F. Rottgermann, A. Murschhauser, J.O. Radler, S.V.Y. Tang, P. Gooden, M.A. Belinga-Desaunay, A.O. Kham, S.M. Briffa, E.J. Guggenheim, A. Papadiamantis, I. Lynch, E. Valsami-Jones, S. Diabate and C. Weiss.“Microscopy-based high-throughput assay enable multi-parametric analysis to assess adverse effects of nanomaterials in various cell lines”. Arch Toxicol. 2017. DOI: 10.1007/s00204-017-2106-7.
  • S.M. Briffa, I. Lynch, V. Trouillet, M. Bruns, D. Hapiuk, J. Liu, R. E. Palmer and E. Valsami-Jones. “Development of scalable and versatile nanomaterial libraries for nanosafety studies: polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) capped metal oxide nanoparticles.” RSC Advances. 2017. 7. DOI:10.1039/C6RA25064E
  • S. M. Briffa, E. Sinagra, D. Vella, “TEOS based consolidants for Maltese Globigerina Limestone: Effect of hydroxyl conversion treatment”, Proceedings of 12th International Congress on Deterioration and Conservation of Stone, New York City (US A), 22-26 October 2012.

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