Goldsmith Group Photo

Current Group Members

Principal Investigator

Picture of Dr. Randall GoldsmithRandall Goldsmith (Room 3309A)

When Randall Goldsmith was an undergraduate, he was one of those chemistry majors who couldn’t quite figure out which type of chemistry he liked best. He later learned that he also really liked physics, materials science, engineering, and biology, and that it was ok to be interdisciplinary. When not doing or teaching chemistry, he can be found chasing frisbees or cooking whatever Kenji López-Alt tells him to cook. His least-favorite part of being a chemistry professor is having to (sometimes) tuck in his shirt.

Post Docs

Lisa-Maria Needham

Lisa-Maria is Marie-Skłodowska Curie Global Fellow in the Goldsmith group and joined in January 2021 after completing her Ph.D. and first postdoc in the Lee Lab at the University of Cambridge. Lisa-Maria loves single-molecules and is really excited about developing new techniques to look at the non-fluorescent ones. Her current research is focused on developing new optical microcavity-enhanced methods for single-molecule light scattering. Outside the lab, Lisa-Maria loves outdoor activities, exploring the wilderness, singing, and playing the guitar.

Carlos Andres Saavedra Salazar

Carlos joined the Goldsmith group after doing a Ph.D. in collaboration with the ‘Institut für Angewandte Physik’ in Bonn Germany and ‘Universidad de Guanajuato’ in León, México with Prof. Dr. Dieter Meschede and José Luis Lucio. He is currently working on fiber-based cavity enhanced single-molecule spectroscopy at cryogenic temperatures.  Besides research he likes to play the electric guitar and practice powerlifting.

Michael Aristov

Graduate Students

Photo of Andrew CavellAndrew Cavell

Picture of Cecilia Vollbrecht Ceci Vollbrecht

Ceci is a physical chemistry student that joined the lab in the fall of 2017. While in lab Ceci enjoys working on anything that might lead to learning or making something new and discussing ideas with her great lab mates. Outside of lab she enjoys exploring the Madison area through both hiking and riding her horse, playing on any sports teams she can and helping with science outreach programs

Photo of Veronica KraseckiVeronica Krasecki

Veronica joined the group in Fall 2017. She thinks single molecule spectroscopy is ridiculously cool. She loves chemistry and loves having the opportunity to learn, teach, and do research. Outside of lab she loves cooking, watching horror movies, eating sour cream & onion chips, and (occasionally) hiking.

Brendan Cullinane

Brendan is biophysics student who joined the lab in the fall of 2018. He is thrilled to study the chaotic world of protein dynamics as part of the ABEL trap team. Outside of the lab, he enjoys music, dungeons and dragons, and overly dramatic cooking shows.

Photo of Katherine ParrishKatherine Parrish

Katherine joined the group in the fall of 2018. She likes all kinds of chemistry and is eager to combine them in cool new ways! She loves reading, writing, and teaching science, and is grateful to all the incredible teachers who’ve helped her along the way. When not doing chemistry, Katie enjoys playing cello, walking her dog, and laughing at her own jokes.

Beau SchweitzerPicture of Beau Schweitzer

Beau joined the group in the Fall of 2019. After falling for the UW-Madison chemistry department, he decided to come back for more after graduation. He was inspired to be a spectroscopist by one of his professors. He enjoys working with lasers because they’re cool. Besides chemistry, Beau enjoys running, video and board games, and all other sorts of media.

Brandon Hacha

Brandon joined the group in Fall 2019. While he calls himself an analytical chemist, it’s mostly because he hasn’t fully accepted being an experimental physical one. He currently works on the photonic crystal project (one of the few that did not already include a Brandon or Brendan). Outside of lab, Brandon enjoys exploring Madison, trying to bake sourdough bread, and following the most boring parts of local and state politics.

Picture of Mackinsey SmithMackinsey Smith

Mackinsey is an inorganic chemistry student who joined the lab in Fall 2019. She has always loved trying to figure out how things work, and she’s excited to shoot lasers at catalysts to figure out how they work. Outside of the lab, she enjoys swing dancing, playing with cats, and baking.

Picture of RayRay Czerwinski

Ray joined the Goldsmith group in the fall of 2019. She thinks all chemistry is super cool, especially single-molecule spectroscopy. When she isn’t doing science, Ray likes to make music, play tabletop games, and climb things, generally not all at once. She’s the one on the left in that photo.

Alex Fairhall

Alex joined the Goldsmith Group in the Fall of 2020 as a physical chemistry student after a short break from academia. He’s excited to be getting back into research under such a diverse group and looks forward to exploring single molecule spectroscopy in temperatures even lower than Madison’s cold winters. Outside of the lab, he enjoys reading and writing, playing sports such as ultimate frisbee or volleyball, and practicing his Japanese.

Simi Kaur

Simi is a biophysics student who joined the Goldsmith group in the Fall of 2020. Although her first love is Chemistry, she is fascinated by all walks of science and finds it difficult to just choose one field. She is super excited to combine her broad experimental and computational interests as a part of the ABEL trap team. Outside of lab, Simi loves baking sweet treats, trying new foods, traveling to new places, hiking in scenic locations, and learning how to bike.

Julia Rasch

Julia is an analytical chemistry student who joined the group in Fall 2020. She is excited to develop new instrumentation to study single molecules. Outside of chemistry, Julia enjoys walking her dog, ogling other peoples’ dogs, avoiding writing bios for the group page for nine months, and cooking.

Daniel Sole-Barber

Daniel Sole-Barber, a member of the physical chemistry path, joined the Goldsmith group in Fall 2021. He enjoys learning new spectroscopic techniques, and was immediately intrigued by the idea of single molecule Raman spectroscopy. He hopes to teach one day, but for now is excited by the prospect of doing more research. Outside of the lab, he likes swimming, reading manga, traveling, and playing video/board games.

Samantha Evans

Sam moved to Madison and joined the Goldsmith group in Fall 2021. Don’t be fooled by the Golden Gate Bridge – she is from Pennsylvania. When it comes to science, she’s an analytical chemistry student with a desire to make microresonators that can enable single-molecule spectroscopy. Away from science, Sam can be found hiding from the sun, doing nail art, and binge-watching television shows at record-breaking speeds.


Yulia Podorova

Yulia joined the lab in 2022. She is excited about all things spectroscopy, but is particularly passionate about building new instruments. She is what one would call a hobbyist: she likes outdoor activities like climbing and slacklining, is a skillful baker and mixologist, an avid pop culture follower, and she runs an independent feminist book club.

Ben Brewster

Ben is an analytical student who joined the Goldsmith group in Fall 2022. He loves understanding how things work and is excited to learn more about how single molecule spectroscopy can probe catalyst dynamics. Outside of lab, Ben enjoys guitar, camping, playing basketball, and reading science fiction.

Anders Bergsten

Undergraduate Students

Evan Jensen

Evan joined the Goldsmith grop in January of 2020. He is chemistry major with a certificate in physics and works on the fluorescence side of the lab. Outside of doing chemistry, Evan also enjoys baking, playing the tenor saxophone, playing lacrosse and most other sports, and eating his baked creations.

Jordan Boysen

Jordan joined the Goldsmith Group in March 2022. He is majoring in chemistry and aspiring to earn certificates in mathematics and physics. Currently he does most of his work on acoustic waveguides. Outside of chemistry, Jordan enjoys playing chess, exploring the outdoors, playing the ukulele, and trying new things that Madison has to offer. 

Lucy Kneeley

Lucy joined the Goldsmith Group in March of 2022. She came from North Carolina to study Material Science and Engineering and applies her background in engineering to chemistry whenever she can. Outside of chemistry she loves water skiing, graphic design, obsessing about the snow, and dying her hair different colors.