Skip to main content

About the lab

We specialise in developing advanced analytical techniques and new methods to assess, prevent and repair damage and deterioration to cultural objects, such as paintings, murals and tapestries. 

Our areas of specialism include:

  • thermal and calorimetry methods of analysis, which reveal the nature of pigments and binding media 
  • the development and application of a (patented) dielectric probe for monitoring moisture content on humidification of paintings 
  • the development of quartz crystal microbalance dosimeters for monitoring microclimates, especially within paint frames or museum display cases (our dosimeters are now in use around the world, including the storerooms at the Tate, Apsley House in London, and museums in Ghent, Cracow and Mexico) 
  • the micro-analysis of parchment 
  • damage assessment of leather and parchment 
  • the development of new methods to monitor the effects of various conservation treatments of canvas and varnishes 
  • the chemical composition of nineteenth-century paint media. 


Dr Marianne Odlyha (Academic Head of Laboratory).