You are here

Iris Dillmann

Iris is a Research Scientist at TRIUMF and Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria. Her multifaceted research interests cover many areas of nuclear physics and astrophysics with focus on the creation of elements heavier than iron in stars. Since 2010, Iris leads her own research group which focuses on two aspects of decay spectroscopy of exotic nuclei:
1) Decays of very neutron-rich nuclei (so-called beta-delayed neutron emitters), and 
2) Decay rate modifications of highly-charged ions orbiting in storage rings or trapped in electron beam ion traps (EBITs).

Her group carries out experiments at radioactive beam facilities in Europe (GSI Darmstadt, Germany and IGISOL in Jyvaskyla, Finland) as well as at RIKEN Nishina Center in Japan.

At TRIUMF, her inhouse-program is focused on decay spectroscopy of short-lived, neutron-rich nuclei with the GRIFFIN spectrometer and its picturesque best buddy DESCANT, as well as using the EBIT of the TITAN facility to investigate rare decay modes of highly-charged ions. A new, unique future research direction that she is pushing forward in collaboration with the TRIUMF Accelerator Division is a design study for the coupling of a heavy ion storage ring with a neutron target to the existing ISAC facility, allowing for the first time to measure neutron capture cross sections of short-lived nuclei directly.

Iris has published an article about "Lessons in becoming a scientist" in 2016 in Physics World. She also gave an interview for the German Helmholtz Association ("The path is never straight and narrow").
For the present TRIUMF 5-Year Plan she was interviewed by Science Writer Ian O'Neill about the "multi-messenger nuclear astrophysics" program at TRIUMF. You can find the interview on p. 22 in the 5YP document and on his webpage.

When not travelling, exploring the best restaurants in the world, ziplining through canyons, or playing soccer/ volleyball/ badminton/ tennis ..., you can find her reading books or observing her resident squirrels Tarzan and Jane from her beloved hammock.

  • Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria (since 2016)
  • Research Scientist at TRIUMF: Associate Scientist (2013-16), Scientist (2016-22), Senior Scientist (since 2022)
  • Helmholtz Young Investigators Group Leader at GSI Darmstadt and the University of Giessen (2010-15)
  • Postdoctoral reseacher at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (2007) and the TU Munich (2008-09)
  • Participant in the ESA Astronaut Selection Program 2008
  • Ph.D. (Dr. phil. nat.) University of Basel, Switzerland (2006)


  • 2010: Helmholtz Young Investigators Grant, Germany - 1.25 MEuros for 5 years
  • 2014: NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement, Canada - C$120k for 3 years


  • Coordinator and lecturer PHYS 565 (UBC): "Applications of Isotopes for Science and Medicine"
  • Coordinator and lecturer PHYS 527 (UBC): "Special Topics in Nuclear Physics"
  • Guest lecturer PHYS473 (UBC, since 2024): "Applied Nuclear Physics"
  • Guest lecturer PHYS314 (UVic, since 2023): "Nuclear Physics and Radioactivity"

Selection of international committees: