David Forest qualified with a BA in Physics from the University of Oxford in 1994, and then went on to study for a PhD in experimental nuclear physics at the University of Birmingham, completing it in 1999.
Immediately after completing his PhD, David took up a postdoctoral research position in the Birmingham Nuclear Physics group, working in the same area as his PhD. He was involved in the first laser spectroscopy measurements of radioactive isotopes at the IGISOL facility at Jyväskylä, Finland. He was also part of the team that developed the bunched-beam method of laser spectroscopy, whereby an ion beam cooler accumulates ions for up to several hundred milliseconds and then releases the bunch in a few microseconds. This condensed time structure allows for an improvement in signal to noise of several orders of magnitude, making it possible to carry out precision measurements on very low yields of exotic, short-lived nuclei. This technique was developed at Jyväskylä and is now also used regularly at the ISOLDE facility at CERN.
Dr Forest lectures on topics such as Radiation Protection, Radiation Shielding and Environmental Impact of Nuclear Power for the Physics and Technology of Nuclear Power MSc course. He took over the role of Senior Tutor for the School of Physics and Astronomy in July 2017.