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Love and Arnold group members at Firbush (April 2015)


JBL_face_2015Jason Love was awarded a BSc(Hons) in Applied Chemistry by Salford University in 1989 followed by a PhD in rhenium polyhydride chemistry in 1993, working with John Spencer. Following a series of postdoctoral positions with Geoff Cloke (Sussex), Michael Fryzuk (UBC), and Martin Schröder (Nottingham) looking at alkene polymerisation, dinitrogen fixation, and anion-binding receptor chemistry, respectively, he was awarded a lectureship and Royal Society URF (1999-2004) at Sussex in 1999. In 2001, he moved to Nottingham University and then to Edinburgh University as a Senior Lecturer in 2007 and Reader in 2010, and is now Professor of Molecular Inorganic Chemistry (2015). He is the current Head of Inorganic Chemistry at Edinburgh (2014-19) and Edinburgh PI of the EPSRC CDT in Critical Resource Catalysis (CRITICAT) with St Andrews and Heriot-Watt Universities . He has researched chemistry across the Periodic Table, focussing at present on small molecule redox catalysis in relation to energy and resource sustainability, ligand design strategies for d- and f-element chemistry, supramolecular catalysis and metal extraction processes.

Nicola BellNicola Bell graduated with an MChem in Chemistry from Heriot-Watt University in 2008. After a brief period in industry she undertook a PhD with Dr Phil Bailey at the University of Edinburgh, working on late transition metal complexes of ‘soft’ tripodal ligands. During this time Nicola was awarded a PhD development scholarship in Teaching in Higher education and was accepted as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2012 Nicola was granted an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship working with Prof. Polly Arnold working on actinide coordination chemistry and since 2014 she has been working on uranyl activation in the Love and Arnold groups. In 2015 Nicola was chosen to attend the ‘Voices of the Future’ event at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster to question MPs on science policy.

max_pictureMassimiliano Curcio completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Naples “Federico II”, working on sugar-derived ligands for C-C bond formation under the guidance of Prof. Francesco Ruffo. After experiencing materials chemistry with Dr. Eugenio Amendola at Italy’s National Research Council working on epoxy thermosets with self-healing ability, he joined the Love group in September 2014 as part of CRITICAT CDT program. He is currently researching novel transition-metal catalysts for carbon dioxide electroreduction in collaboration with Dr. Dimitri Mignard from the School of Engineering of the University of Edinburgh. He is funded by CRITICAT

James face

James Pankhurst graduated with an MChem degree in Chemistry from the University of Sussex in 2013. During his time as an undergraduate student he was awarded a Junior Research Associate Bursary to work with Dr Qiao Chen on the electro-spinning of ordered, conductive nanofibers. For his Master’s project, he worked with Dr John Turner on the synthesis of U(IV) alkyl and siloxide complexes for small molecule activation. Funded by the University of Edinburgh’s Principal’s Career Development Scholarship, he joined the Love group in 2013 as a PhD student. His current research includes sequestration of carbon dioxide by tetranuclear zinc complexes as well as developing macrocyclic transition metal complexes for use in the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. He was also awarded a ScotCHEM International Graduate School Scholarship, which will be used to fund a six-month research placement abroad in 2016.

Euan DoidgeEuan Doidge graduated with an MChem in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh in 2014. He completed his Masters research project under the supervision of Prof. Peter Tasker, Dr Carole Morrison and Prof. Jason Love working on solvent extraction for metal recovery. He has worked on projects investigating modes of extraction as well as designing novel reagents that utilize both inner-sphere coordination and supramolecular interactions to enhance the strength and selectivity of metal extractants. In 2014 he was awarded a Principal’s Career Development PhD Scholarship in the Love Group to continue researching ligand design for novel solvent extraction systems.

Cath WeetmanCath Weetman graduated University of Bath in 2011 with an MChem with Industrial Training, which was spent at Sasol Technology in St Andrews. She then continued on at Bath for my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Michael Hill where she researched kinetic and mechanistic investigations into magnesium catalysed hydroboration of various unsaturated substrates, including carbon dioxide. She joined the Arnold/Love groups in September 2015, for f-element small molecule activation.

Bradley CowieBradley Cowie was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and graduated with an Honours B.Sc. degree in chemistry from McMaster University in 2008. He then pursued a Ph.D. degree at McMaster University under the supervision of Prof. David J. H. Emslie, and his research was directed towards utilizing ambiphilic Group 13 Lewis acid-containing ligands for coordination to late transition metals for the purpose of: (a) preparing new metal complexes featuring varying metal–Lewis acid and metal–co-ligand–Lewis acid coordination modes, and (b) exploiting the presence of a pendant Lewis acid within the ligand framework to promote metal–Lewis acid cooperative reactivity for the transformation of small molecules and organic substrates. During the course of his Ph.D. research, Bradley was awarded the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), the NSERC Post-Graduate Scholarship for Doctoral Research (PGS-D) and The Dr. Ronald J. Gillespie Prize for Excellence in Inorganic Chemistry. Bradley successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis, entitled “Late Transition Metal Complexes of Group 13 Lewis Acid-Containing Ambiphilic Ligands,” in October, 2015, and in November, 2015, joined the Arnold and Love groups to pursue research pertaining to uranyl activation.


Brian Shaw carried out his MChem in Edinburgh. He undertook a summer internship in the raw materials lab at Pirelli Tyres HQ in Milan, working with near infrared spectroscopy to create and validate methods for quantification of said raw materials and completed his year in industry in the analytical labs at Cytec (now Solvay) in Stamford, CT, working with chromatography (both liquid and gas) and mass spectrometry. He analysed chemicals used in the mining industry, largely in the froth flotation of copper. His masters project was in environmental chemistry with Dr Mat Heal in which he modelled spatial and temporal variations in various pollutants around Edinburgh and Glasgow. At the end of his degree, he was honored to be nominated for and awarded a Salters’ Prize, reflecting his potential to succeed as a leader in the chemical industry and continuing Edinburgh’s strong tradition with regards to this prize.


Jamie Hunter graduated with a MChem industrial degree from the University of Leeds in 2016. During his degree, he undertook an industrial placement with Diversey SealedAir NL working as a R&D chemist, primarily on enzymatic detergents and surfactants. Upon returning from the Netherlands he completed his master’s project with Dr. Visuvanthar Sridharan, at the University of Leeds, researching Iridium catalysed cascade reactions to create fused ring heterocycles. His PhD is funded by the E3-DTP.

liam-donnellyLiam Donnelly graduated from the University of Nottingham after completing his MChem degree with a year in industry. For his masters project he worked under the supervision Prof. Hon Wai Lam developing a rhodium-catalysed C-H functionalisation reaction in the synthesis of a series of lead-like spiroindene compounds. He undertook a summer placement with Dr. Ross Denton at the University of Nottingham, working on a project to optimise and demonstrate an iridium-catalysed reductive amination reaction. He completed my year in industry in the department of process chemistry at Merck, Sharp and Dohme in Hertfordshire. In addition to Merck project work, he undertook his own independent projects in the research area of iminium ion catalysis and in the discovery and development of a novel copper-catalysed intramolecular coupling reaction for the synthesis of isoindolenes. His PhD is funded by CRITICAT.

Lotte van reesLotte van Rees graduated from the University of Amsterdam after completing her MChem degree in ‘Molecular design synthesis and catalysis’ in 2017. She completed her Master project under the supervision of Professor Jason Love on  perrhenate-catalyzed deoxydehydration chemistry. Her research project will focus on the C-H oxygenation reaction using homo- and heterodinuclear Pacman compounds and is funded by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Critical resource Catalysis, CRITICAT.


Past members.

Mary HealyMary Healy graduated with an MChem degree with a Year in Industry from the University of Edinburgh in 2012 during which she undertook an industrial placement with 3M working in the corporate analytical laboratory. She completed her Masters research project with Prof. Simon Parsons and Dr. Carole Morrison assessing the performance of DFT functionals in optimising molecular crystal structure parameters. Her current research focuses on understanding the mode of action of industrial and novel metal extractants. During her PhD she has spent time working with industrial sponsor Cytec Inc in Stamford CT.

Mary received her PhD in 2017 and is now working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA

Emma Connolly

Emma Connolly graduated from the University of Edinburgh after completing her MChem degree with a Year in Industry. During this time she worked on a research project with Prof. Pak Leung and Dr Sumod Pullarkat at Nanyang Technological University Singapore on the synthesis of tertiary amine tethered palladium complexes. She also undertook an industrial placement at the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences Singapore under the supervision of Dr Marc Garland. She completed her Masters research project with Dr Paul Lusby working on supramolecular-assisted photosynthetic reactions, before returning to Edinburgh in September 2012 to start a PhD in the Love group. She has also previously worked in research and development with Macfarlan Smith in Edinburgh.

Emma received her PhD in 2017 and is working for Diageo.

Danny faceDanny Morris graduated with an MChem from the University of Sheffield in 2012 completing his final year under the supervision of Dr. Nathan Patmore where he focussed on the synthesis of precursors to metal-metal quintuple bonds.  Spending the summer after graduation continuing this research in the same group, he then moved to Edinburgh in the autumn of 2012 to take up a PhD position in the group where he is currently researching the reduction chemistry of the perrhenates.  He has also recently returned from the Technische Universität München where he worked with Prof. Fritz Kühn’s group on metal-free catalysis.

Danny received his PhD in 2017.


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