The Mountford Group: Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis

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Mountford Group 2014-2015

Back row: Andrey Protchenko | Richard Collins | Ross Green | Nick Rees | Matt Blake | Ben Clough | Phoebe Macdonald | Simona Mellino | George Schenck | Bowen Xie.  Front row: Karen Gamero-Vega | Bryony Core | Laura Stevenson | Nichabhat Diteepeng | Philip Mountford | Helen Yin | Insun Yu | Junjuda Unruangsri | Alicia Walker | Adán Reyes-Sanchez

[Previously: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999]


Matt Blake joined the Mountford group in 2009 as a graduate of Bristol University where he carried out his undergraduate research project with Dr Duncan Wass. He spent the first year of his DPhil working on aspects of the metal-catalysed polymerisation of cyclic esters for the sustainable synthesis of biodegradable environmentally friendly polymers. In the last two years of his DPhil he explored the chemistry of new metal-metal bonds involving alkaline earth, lanthanide and transition metals. Matt submitted his thesis in February 2013. He has since continued in the group as a post-doc, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, further developing the chemistry of molecular metal-metal bonded systems. Matt is also a Junior Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College.

Ben Clough, a second year  DPhil in the group, is a graduate of the University of Oxford and a member of St Edmund Hall. He carried out his Part II research project in the group of Dr Jose Goicoechea, working on the transition metal-mediated activation of group 15 Zintl ions. In his DPhil studies he is developing the synthesis and reactivity of titanium alkoxyimido and related compounds.

Richard Collins is a third year DPhil in the group and a member of Linacre College. Richard previously spent his Part II year in the Mountford group working on aspects of the metal-catalysed polymerisation of cyclic esters for the sustainable synthesis of biodegradable environmentally friendly polymers. He is now working towards his DPhil in olefin polymerisation catalysis in association with LANXESS Elastomers B.V.

Bryony Core is a graduate of the University of St Andrews where she carried out a research project with Prof. Paul Kamer on the the synthesis of new chiral phosphacyclic ligands for late transition metals. She is a member of Trinity College and is currently working towards her DPhil on ring-opening polymerization catalysis using rare earth and alkaline earth catalysts.

Nichabhat Diteepeng is a graduate of Mahidol University in Thailand and a member of St Edmund Hall. She carried out her Master's project on developing the magnesium catalysts for the ring-opening polymerisation of lactide with Dr.Khamphee Phomphrai. In her DPhil studies she is now working on the ring-opening polymerisation catalysis using alkaline earth catalysts, which are funded by the Royal Thai Government.

Karen Gamero-Vega is a new DPhil in the group from the Autonomous University of Coahuila where she carried out her thesis research project in collaboration with The Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV) - Saltillo under the supervision of Dr. Antonia Martinez and Dr. Esther Sanchez. She is a member of St Edmund Hall and currently she is working on the synthesis and reactivity of transition metal alkoxyimido and hydrazido compounds and their reactivity with small molecules as part of his DPhil studies, which are funded by CONACYT and FIDERH.

Ross Green is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh (MChem) where he worked with Dr. Jason Love on the chelation and reactivity of the uranyl cation. He is working towards a DPhil investigating metal-metal bonds between alkaline earth and transition metal elements. He is a member of St. Edmund Hall.

Phoebe Macdonald is a Part II student and a member of St Hugh's College. She is working on ring-opening polymerisation catalysis using alkaline earth catalysts.

Simona Mellino is a member of Jesus College and holds a University of Oxford Clarendon Scholarship. Simona graduated from the University of Trieste and spent six months in Montpellier for her masters thesis project in the group of Dr. Eric Clot, working on copper-catalyzed direct synthesis of amides. She is carrying out a joint experimental and DFT project in the group under to joint supervision of Eric Clot and Philip Mountford in the area of small molecule activation chemistry.

Philip Mountford is Professor of Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis and Head of Inorganic Chemistry. His research interests centre around studies of the synthesis, structure, bonding and reactivity of organometallic compounds of the transition metals and lanthanides. For further details follow the link at the top of the page.

Andrey Protchenko is just finishing as a post-doc in the group working on a collaborative project (with Profs Simon Aldridge and Cameron Jones, Monash University) which is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and Oxford University's John Fell Fund. Andrey is exploring the chemistry of the metal-boron bond in a range of new supporting ligand environments. He worked with Prof Mike Lappert at University of Sussex on the chemistry of lanthanide complexes in low (+2 for La) or high (+4 for Ce) oxidation states. He will now we working full-time with Simon Aldridge but remains an honorary member of the group.

Nick Rees is NMR manager for Inorganic Chemistry and an associate member of the group. Without Nick and his repertoire of very clever NMR experiments - not to mention keeping the two 300 MHz and the 500 MHz Inorganic NMR spectrometers going - we wouldn't be able to characterise and study most of the more exotic compounds we make.

Adán Reyes-Sanchez Adán Reyes-Sánchez is a graduate of the National Autonomous University of Mexico where he did a Master’s project on the nickel-catalysed hydroamination of organic unsaturations under the supervision of Prof. Juventino García. He is a member of St Edmund Hall and currently he is working on the synthesis of organolanthanide complexes for the activation of small molecules as part of his DPhil studies, which are funded by CONACYT MX, the Mexican Bureau of Education, the Department of Chemistry of the University of Oxford and St Edmund Hall.

George Schenck is a Part II student and a member of Brasenose College. He is working on new metal-element bond chemistry.

Laura Stevenson is a graduate of Imperial College (MSci) where she worked with Dr George Britovsek on the carbonylation of biomass derived alcohols. Laura is currently working on aspects of transition metal hydrazide chemistry, principally towards catalytic N-C bond forming reactions.

Junjuda Unruangsri is a graduate of Oxford University and a member of St Hilda's college.  Having spent her Part II year in the Mountford group working on developing the chemistry of the early transition metal M=N-NR2 functional group, she is now working on the metal-catalysed  polymerisation of cyclic esters for the sustainable synthesis of biodegradable environmentally friendly polymers. She will be shortly be taking up a postdoctoral position with Prof. Charlotte Williams at Imperial College London.

Alicia Walker is a Part II student and a member of New College. She is working on new metal-element bond chemistry.

Bowen Xie is a graduate of the University of St Andrews (MChem) where he worked with Dr. Matt Clarke on the mechanistic study and optimisation of asymmetric methoxycarbonylation. He is working towards a DPhil investigating the synthesis and reactivity of Zirconium and Hafnium borylimido compounds.

Dr Insun Yu completed her Ph.D. degree at the University of British Columbia (UBC) under the supervision of Prof. Mehrkhodavandi in November 2012. Her graduate studies focused mainly on the study of catalysts for the ring opening polymerization of cyclic esters and the synthesis and reactivity of late transition metal carbene compounds. In particular, Insun investigated the mechanism of living ring opening polymerization of lactide catalyzed by chiral dinuclear indium(III) complexes and the development of new indium(III) complexes for copolymerization of cyclic ether and ester. She stayed at UBC as a joint postdoctoral scholar with Prof. Pierre Kennepohl to learn DFT computational skills with Orca software until April 2014.

Helen Yin  is a graduate of Imperial College (BSc) where she did her undergraduate research project with Prof. Charlotte Williams on the synthesis of zinc alkyl and hydride species. She is now working towards her DPhil on ring-opening polymerization catalysis using rare earth and alkaline earth catalysts.

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