The Team

Christabel Brand
Managing Director

Christabel established Portable Spectral Services back in 2011 with the aim of furthering the use of handheld XRF within the mining industry. From small beginnings, Chris has grown the company from a simple portable XRF hire company to one that encompasses all kinds of spectral technology and service offerings.

Chris works in many capacities within the company. In addition to her role as managing director, she has had extensive training from the Bruker application scientists to create matrix matched custom calibrations that guarantee clients are achieving the best results from their Bruker portable XRF’s. As a top-notch scientist and problem solver, Chris can often be seen teaching and supporting staff members with technical applications and trouble shooting.

The large variety of applications that go with the spectral technology is what keeps the job interesting, with each day being different. She says, “one day it is a lithium calibration the next it is seaweed.” She loves working with people from such a variety of industries that utilise this technology.

Chris has worked in laboratories for the last twenty-five years, including managing the assay laboratory in the gold refinery in Kalgoorlie.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Medical Science and a Master of Science in Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Nigel Brand
Consulting Geochemist

Nigel has been working as a geochemist within the mining industry for 25 years. Nigel offers PSS extensive international experience in diversified environments, strong global expertise in geochemistry and informed independent technical advice.

With the ability to manage all aspects of exploration geochemistry, and extensive experience in QAQC in exploration and mining, Nigel has the ability to advise, mediate and negotiate.

Nigel Specialises in;

Exploration GeoChemistry

Portable XRF Applications

Lithogeochemistry Vectoring

Geometalurgical Processing

Ferrous and non-ferrous mineral exploration

Sampling and Quality control

He is a highly trained and motivated  geochemist working initially with WMC Resources (11 years), Anglo American (5 years) before branching out over 15 years ago seeking more prospects within the mining industry, founding  Geochemical Services in 2005.

He works regularly with PSS as a Consulting Geochemist, and alongside his work at Geochemical Services.

Nigel holds a PhD from the University of Western Australia.

John L. Gravel M.Sc.A., P.Geo
Director / Chief Technical Officer - Canada
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John L. Gravel, M.Sc.A, P.Geo is a professional geoscientist and business management consultant currently mentoring companies on business structure and ownership.

Before retiring from Bureau Veritas, he was the Technical VP for the minerals business unit where he oversaw technology and geochemistry related activities, research and development. Prior to the purchase by Bureau Veritas, he served as Quality Manager, President, CEO and then Chairman of Acme Analytical Laboratories Ltd over an 18-year period.

Before AcmeLabs, he worked as an exploration and research geochemist for government and industry specializing in the evaluation, statistical analysis and interpretation of datasets spanning the scale from deposit size studies to regional geochemical programs covering hundreds of thousands of square kilometres.

He received his Master’s degree in Mineral Exploration (MINEX) from McGill University in 1985 and his Bachelor of Science degree (Geology) in 1979.

Mark Gravel
BD Director - Eastern & Maritimes - Canada
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Mark Gravel, is our Business Development Director for Portable Spectral Services covering Eastern Canada.
In his role, Mark applies his natural inquisitiveness to first understand client needs and processes and the potential intersection where PSS resources can help them reach their goals.  He is highly skilled in building the partnerships that match robust and reliable XRF-based solutions to industry applications that become catalysts for new efficiencies and discoveries.

Based in Montreal, Canada, Mark’s expertise is in working with clients to define needs and bring solutions that lead to next stage growth in their operations. Mark’s background is in marketing and sales. For over 35 years, he has worked with some of Canada’s top corporations and government bodies in executing communication strategies to advance knowledge and awareness. 

A proven trainer, Mark’s past experience includes educating media sales executives from across North America on the benefits of building cooperative partnerships to produce win-win solutions.  As owner of Lectus Média, Mark keeps an enthusiastic presence in the media and communications industry as Canadian consultant for U.K.-based The Economist Group and Toronto’s Strategic Content Labs.

Acacia Cherry
Office Manager

Acacia is a valued, long-standing team member who joined Portable Spectral Services in 2017. Initially beginning in the role of Administration and Accounts, Acacia’s role at PSS has continued to expand. In 2020 she was promoted to Office Manager.

In her role as Office Manager, Acacia oversees all activities within the office. This means she is engaged daily with every department and ensures staff are completing their tasks to a high-quality standard.

As she holds valuable experience that spans over a decade, Acacia continues to oversee accounts payable/receivable and administration and management for small business.

Acacia and Abigail work together on administration duties related to client enquiries and projects, rentals and booking of services and training.

In addition to these duties, Acacia also is passionate about websites and collaborates with the marketing department regularly on a vast array of projects. The Portable Spectral Services newsletter is also created and distributed by Acacia every month. If you would like to see the newsletter for yourself, you can sign up here.

In addition to her work at PSS, Acacia occasionally assists Emily and Abigail with PSS’ sister company, Healthy Homes & Gardens for our domestic sector.

Dr. Naomi Potter
Spectral Geologist / Spectral Team Leader

Naomi is the Spectral Geologist and Team Lead at Portable Spectral Services. In her role, Naomi oversees the Spectral Team in completing client projects to set deadlines in addition to continuing  their research and development in micro XRF technology and mineral identification software (AMICS). Her extensive experience includes a variety of analytical techniques including X-ray fluorescence technology, SWIR-NIR Spectroscopy.

This means Naomi is able to provide technical assistance to exploration and mining companies in identifying the most economic and efficient methods for their geochemical requirements, providing QAQC assistance and geochemical interpretations on a wide range of commodities and deposit types.

Naomi completed her PhD on the genesis and evolution of carbonated silicate melts in alkali systems at the University of Tasmania in 2019. Outside of what PSS offers she is knowledgeable in scanning electron microscopes and Laser Ablation-ICPM.

As of 2020, Naomi is also working as a visiting researcher at the University of Western Australia. Her project is focused on the Mt Keith nickel sulphide deposit, specifically the micro-scale chemistry and mineralogy and how this information can be extrapolated through the regolith to assist with the identification of weathering and alteration signatures of concealed deposits when exploring undercover.

Sophie Sciarrone
Spectral Analyst

Joining Portable Spectral Services in 2018 as a graduate chemist, Sophie was quickly noticed for her outstanding research skills and her ability to pick up new technology. As such, she works as a Spectral Analyst alongside Managing Director, Christabel to develop custom calibrations and explore the application of spectral technologies to a range of industries.

Sophie also works within the Spectral Team where she provides technical assistance for a wide range of portable spectroscopic instruments and collaborates on client projects.

She has experience in the resource industry and the benefits of combined analytical methods. Most notably in 2017, alongside Consulting Geochemist Nigel, she led a deposit scale evaluation of portable XRF, FTIR, Raman and SWIR spectral technologies. This was significant as it was conducted on the Pioneer Resources deposit Sinclair Caesium Mine, which remains the only commercial caesium mine in Australia and one of only three in the world.

Sophie holds an Honours degree in Chemistry from the University of Western Australia.

Andrew Barley
Spectral Technician

Andrew is part of the Spectral Team at Portable Spectral Services, joining the team in early 2020. In his role as Spectral Technician, Andrew works hands-on with the micro-XRF’s (M4 TORNADO and M4 TORNADO PLUS). Andrew collaborates with other Spectral Team members and is responsible for overseeing the instruments daily scanning schedule, preparing and carrying out analysis.

Working pragmatically, he employs his organisational skills daily, guaranteeing client projects are scanned within established project timeframes. In addition to this Andrew carries out weekly calibrations to verify the micro-XRF’s are functioning to maximum capacity. He also works on Portable Spectral Services Research and Development projects related to the micro-XRF.

Andrew is currently in his final year at Curtin University studying in Applied Geology.

Raquel Taylor
Instrument Supervisor
  • +61 8 9321 2830

Raquel joined the Portable Spectral Service team in February 2021 as the Instrument Supervisor for the Service Department.

In her role, Raquel oversees all things related to portable spectral instruments. This means she collaborates with Instrument Technician, Natalie to manage and maintain PSS’ hire fleet, in addition to delivering client related instrument services.

Raquel started her career as a laboratory technician in the mineral processing and refining industry. After gaining considerable experience with analytical instrumentation, Raquel progressed to become a research scientist within the research and development group at Alcoa.

Raquel’s skills span outward from her role at PSS, reflecting her many interests including delivering outstanding customer service, marketing knowledge, and proficiency in photography.

Raquel holds a Bachelor of Technology (Applied Analytical Chemistry) from Edith Cowan University.

Natalie Pawlow
Instrument Technician
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Natalie joined PSS in 2021, coming on board as Instrument Technician. Natalie approaches this role with dynamic enthusiasm. Working alongside Instrument Supervisor, Raquel, the service department engages daily with problem solving, time management, collaboration and maintaining the delivery of high-quality services.

Natalie is well equipped for the demands of this role. Previously she has worked for SGS as an Assistant Geotechnician, analysing soils. She has also completed work experience at ALS in the XRF department. Natalie has previous instrumentation experience, which she applies as a foundational knowledge base in her role at PSS. 

Natalie also brings administration, customer service, hospitality, horticulture and industrial manufacturing experience.

Natalie has a diploma in Laboratory Technology from North Metropolitan TAFE.

Emma Brand
Marketing & Media Officer

As Marketing and Media Officer, Emma promotes and continues to grow the company through a variety of marketing methods. Overseeing and collaborating with Media and Marketing assistant Jess, Emma designs, creates, captures, innovates and produces high quality marketing material for Portable Spectral Services.

Emma has been with the company since 2017 and has held both administration and technical roles. As a result of these skills, Emma often assists other staff members on projects.

Emma holds a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Communication and Media Studies and the History of Art from the University of Western Australia (UWA). She is currently completing her Honour’s year at UWA, working part-time at PSS.

Jessica Meyer
Marketing & Media Assistant

Jess combines and collaborates her vast media and video skills with the Marketing and Media Officer, Emma, to promote, educate and grow Portable Spectral Services and its associated channels.

Jess brings with her exceptional videography skills that enable her to capture, edit and upload valuable content relating to spectral technology to Portable Spectral Services YouTube Channel Professor Spectrum.

Jess manages the SEO and Google AdWords to ensure customers can find us online. This also enables to her to contribute to the maintenance of Portable Spectral Services websites;  portaspecs.com, microxrf.com.au and georaman.com.

As Marketing and Media Assistant, Jess is versed in all areas of marketing including content creation, production of studio quality photography and videography, constant engagement on PSS social media, as well as contributing to newsletters and industry conferences.

Jess holds a Diploma in Marketing and Communications and a Diploma in Screen and Media (Mass Communications) from North Metropolitan TAFE.

Emily Szczepanik
Administration Assistant
(Maternity Leave)

Emily is currently on maternity leave.

Emily joined Portable Spectral Services (PSS) in 2020, filling the position of Admin Assistant at front of house. Emily’s role ensures our staff are ready to provide the best service they can to our clients by supporting daily office activities.

Emily’s skills and knowledge are widespread ranging from accounts to mining and everything in between. This is perfect for her role as her bubbly personality and can-do attitude allows her to contribute to PSS everyday.

In addition to her work at PSS, Emily co-runs PSS’ sister company, Healthy Homes & Gardens (HHAG).

This company focuses on  the domestic sector. In her role, Emily coordinates with clients, participates in the delivery of services and continues to promotes all aspect of HHAG online.

Abigail Inwards
Administration Assistant

Portable Spectral Services welcomed Abigail in November 2020 as part of the Admin team. In her role Abi is usually the first contact clients have with PSS. As such, she ensures our clients receive excellent customer service on every occasion. Alongside Office Manager Acacia, Abigail supports our staff with day-to-day activities and keeps the office organised. 

In addition to her work at PSS, Abigail co-runs PSS’ sister company, Healthy Homes & Gardens (HHAG).

This company focuses on  the domestic sector. In her role, Abigail coordinates with clients, participates in the delivery of services and continues to promotes all aspect of HHAG online. 

Abigail holds a Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management, majoring in Events Management from Edith Cowan Universit.

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