PLA group


half the group, above the bay
at the lab… and above the bay
Postdocs: Dr Amy Price is developing new f-block coordination chemistry for applications in rare earth separations and quantum information storage (QIS). Dr Anthony Wong is studying f-block metal-metal bonding and its influence on reactivity. Dr Addison Desnoyer is developing new catalyses from simple organo-lanthanide complexes. Dr Rachel Meyer is studying actinyl reduction and metallation with applications in quantum information storage.

PhD students: Francis Lam, Michael Trinh, and Matt Hernandez are working on bimetallic with supported by O-donor ligands with complementary reactivity or electronic structure for catalytic conversions of small molecules (hydrocarbons, CO, CO2, and N2), and organometallic transuranic chemistry.  Amy Kynman and Gretchen Brown are studying catalytic C-H/C-element bond functionalization chemistry with cerium complexes.  Ryte Rutkauskaite and Gabe Herrera are working on new oxo-group reactivity of actinyl compounds for catalytic C-H/C-element bond activation. Nick Katzer and David Fiszbein are studying actinyl oxo chemistry, and organo-transuranic chemistry. Steven Gray and Paul Ewing are part of the EPSRC-funded Criticat CDT (Centre for Doctoral Training) in sustainable catalysis, and supported in part by the UK catalysis hub. Steven is developing new, polynuclear rare-earth catalysts for the copolymerization of biorenewables. Paul is working in collaboration with Andrew Smith in St Andrews on catalytic conversions of carbon dioxide and other biorenewables using the reactive lanthanide – N-heterocyclic carbene combination.

PLA: Recent CV. Polly is the Director of the Chemical Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a faculty professor in the Chemistry department at University of California, Berkeley. She obtained her degrees from Oxford and Sussex in the UK, and was a Fulbright postdoctoral fellow at MIT before returning to the UK to a lectureship in 1999. Her academic career in the UK comprised a lectureship, then readership at the University of Nottingham, then a professorship at the University of Edinburgh where she held the Crum Brown Chair of chemistry before moving to California in 2019.

She made the film ‘A Chemical Imbalance’, a call to action for simple changes to achieve equality of opportunity in science, and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list in 2018 for her contributions to chemistry and women in STEM; A Chemical Imbalance. Recent media work: BBC’s Infinite Monkey Cage; BBC’s Brainwaves.

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