Mary Jane Simpson
McCardell Bicentennial Hall 328
(802) 443-5978
Office Hours
Spring 2024: Tuesdays 9:00 am – 12:00 pm in MBH 563

Mary Jane Simpson is originally from Altamonte Springs, FL. She got her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Stetson University, a small liberal arts college near her hometown. Then, she earned her PhD in chemistry at Duke University by developing ultrafast optical spectroscopy and microscopy techniques for studying melanin chemistry and the chemical changes associated with skin cancer. Following graduate school, she fulfilled a childhood dream by working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. At ORNL, she built a multimodal confocal/fluorescence/ultrafast optical microscopy instrument to study how the physical characteristics of perovskite solar cell materials influence their electronic properties. In her current position at Middlebury College, which she began in 2016, she focuses all of her effort on being an excellent teacher and member of the Middlebury Community. Most recently, she is exploring pedagogical approaches to build student confidence in addition to teaching about problem solving and experimental design in the context of the general chemistry laboratory. She is also working on a HHMI-funded grant to make changes to approaches to STEM teaching at Middlebury College that promote equity and inclusion. Outside of work, Mary Jane enjoys cooking, running, and spending time with her school-age children.

Courses Taught

Course Description

General Chemistry I
Major topics will include atomic theory and atomic structure; chemical bonding; stoichiometry; introduction to chemical thermodynamics. States of matter; solutions and nuclear chemistry. Laboratory work deals with testing of theories by various quantitative methods. Students with strong secondary school preparation are encouraged to consult the department chair for permission to elect CHEM 0104 or CHEM 0107 in place of this course. CHEM 0103 is also an appropriate course for a student with little or no prior preparation in chemistry who would like to learn about basic chemical principles while fulfilling the SCI or DED distribution requirement. 3 hrs. lect., 3 hrs. lab, 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024



View in Course Catalog


B. Doughty, M.J. Simpson, S. Das, K. Xiao, Y.Z. Ma, “Connecting Femtosecond Transient Absorption Microscopy with Spatially Co-Registered Time Averaged Optical Imaging Modalities,” The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 124 (19), 3915-3923 (2020)

Y.Z. Ma, B. Doughty, M.J. Simpson, S. Das, K. Xiao, “On the origin of spatially dependent electronic excited-state dynamics in mixed perovskite thin films,” Lithuanian Journal of Physics, 58 (4) (2018).

M. J. Simpson, B. Doughty, S. Das, K. Xiao, Y.-Z. Ma, “Separating Bulk and Surface Contributions to Electronic Excited-State Processes in Hybrid Mixed Perovskite Thin Films via Multimodal All-Optical Imaging,” Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters8 (14), 3299-3305 (2017).

M. J. Simpson, B. Doughty, B. Yang, K. Xiao, Y.-Z. Ma, “Imaging Electronic Trap States in Perovskite Thin Films with Combined Fluorescence and Femtosecond Transient Absorption Microscopy,” Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 7 (9), 1725-1831 (2016).

B. Doughty, M. J. Simpson, B. Yang, K. Xiao, Y.-Z. Ma, “Simplification of Femtosecond Transient Absorption Microscopy Data from CH3NH3PbI3 Perovskite Thin Films into Decay Associated Amplitude Maps,” Nanotechnology 27 (11), 1-10 (2016).

M. J. Simpson, B. Doughty, B. Yang, K. Xiao, Y.-Z. Ma, “Separation of Distinct Photoexcitation Species in Femtosecond Transient Absorption Microscopy,” ACS Photonics 3 (3), 434-442 (2016).

M. J. Simpson, B. Doughty, B. Yang, K. Xiao, Y.-Z. Ma, “Spatial Localization of Excitons and Charge Carriers in Hybrid Perovskite Thin Films,” Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 6 (15), 3041-3047 (2015).

J. W. Wilson, S. Degan, C. S. Gainey, T. Mitropoulos, M. J. Simpson, J. Y. Zhang, W. S. Warren, “Comparing in vivo pump–probe and multiphoton fluorescence microscopy of melanoma and pigmented lesions” Journal of Biomedical Optics, 20 (5), 051012 (2015).

M. J. Simpson, J. W. Wilson, C. P. Dall, K. Glass, J. D. Simon, W. S. Warren, “Near Infrared Excited State Dynamics of Melanins: the Effects of Iron Content, Photo-Damage, Chemical Oxidation, and Aggregate Size,” Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 118 (6), 993-1003 (2014).

M. J. Simpson, K. Glass, J. W. Wilson, P. Wilby, J. Simon, W. S. Warren, “Pump-Probe Microscopic Imaging of Jurassic-Aged Eumelanin,” Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 4 (11), 1924-1927 (2013).

M. J. Simpson, J. W. Wilson, M. A. Phipps, F. E. Robles, M. A. Selim, W. S. Warren, “Nonlinear Microscopy of Eumelanin and Pheomelanin with Subcellular Resolution,” Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 133, 1822-1826 (2013).

T. E. Matthews, J. W. Wilson, J. Y. Zhang, M. J. Simpson, J. Y. Jin, W. S. Warren, “In vivo and ex vivo epi-mode pump-probe imaging of melanin and microvasculature,” Biomedical Optics Express, 2, 1576-1583 (2011).

T. E. Matthews, I. R. Piletic, M. A. Selim, M. J. Simpson, W. S. Warren, “Pump-probe imaging differentiates melanoma from melanocytic nevi,” Science Translational Medicine, 3, 71ra15 (2011).