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Following my MSci degree at the University of Strathclyde, I carried out my PhD under the supervision of Professor Robin Bedford at the University of Bristol. This research focussed on the use of Rh and Pd for directing group mediated C-H functionalisation chemistry, principally for the selective formation of aryl-aryl and aryl-halide bonds. This research was supported by GSK.

In 2011 I was awarded a Government of Canada Commonwealth Research Fellowship to undertake postdoctoral research with Professor Laurel Schafer at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. This research involved the use of early transition metal, primarily Ti complexes for the synthesis of biopolymers.

In 2012 I was awarded a Bath Prize Fellowship to commence independent research in the field of catalysis with subsequent appointment to Lecturer in 2014. I was awarded an EPSRC Early Career Fellowship, which commenced in December 2017 and was promoted to Reader in 2019. I was awarded the RSC Sir Edward Frankland Fellowship and Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2022. In October 2023 I moved, along with my group, to the University of Cambridge.

Blue Roll Challenge: 5 seconds

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Dr Leah Webster

Leah completed her PhD in October 2023 at Imperial College London under the supervision of Dr Mark Chadwick, focussing on titanium pincer complexes for small molecule activation. Before this she completed her MChem with International Study at the University of Manchester. She joins the group in Cambridge on an EPSRC Doctoral Fellowship. Outside of the lab, Leah enjoys running, yoga and anything Taylor Swift related.

Favourite phrase: tbc 

RIP Blue-roll Challenge

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Emily Pocock

Emily graduated from the University of York in 2020 with an MChem, following an industrial placement year at Eli Lilly. Emily’s interests include playing the ukulele, going to the gym and playing cooperative board games (as she is too competitive to play against anyone!).


Favourite phrase: "so it was 80%/90%/40%/13%... I'll repeat it"

Blue Roll Challenge:  2 minutes 2 seconds


Mirela Johnson

Mirela graduated from Cardiff University in 2020 with a Master's in Chemistry, with an industrial placement at AstraZeneca. She is now undertaking her PhD at Bath (in collaboration with Monash University) as a member of the CSCT '20 cohort. Outside of academia, Mirela enjoys keeping fit with monthly jogs and walks up hills in search of painted rocks, (does not apply to the Uni hill).


Favourite phrase: "H(buh)pin"

Blue Roll Challenge:  20 seconds


Charlie Cavens

Charlie hasn't revealed much about herself yet. To be clear, this is not a picture of Charlie Cavens- it is a different Charlie.


Favourite phrase: "Forest of trees"

Blue Roll Challenge:  27 seconds


Ollie Jarvis

Ollie finished his MChem at the University of Bath in 2022 and stayed on for the summer as a researcher in the Hill group. Wanting a change of scenery, Ollie started his PhD at the University of Bath in October 2022 in a research group approximately 15 meters down the hall. Having eventually settled into his new environment, Ollie could start the process of doing things regularly enough to consider them as hobbies, candidates include: reading, writing, painting, listening to podcasts, playing the piano, going to the gym, running, playing ball sports and video games.


Favourite phrase: “I’ll get over it”


Blue Roll Challenge: 1 minute 03 seconds

Nathan Buxton

Nathan graduated from the University of Bristol in 2023 with a Master’s in Chemistry, where his final year project was with Professor Paul Pringle. Nathan started his PhD in October of 2023 at Cambridge. Outside of his PhD Nathan's hobbies include having no film knowledge, reading, Drag Race, and going out for drinks with friends.


Favourite phrase: 


Blue Roll Challenge: Oh no! The blue roll challenge is no more!


Gary the Groundsnake

Gary is an honorary group member who blends in seamlessly to his natural environment. A natural joker, he lifts the group's spirits especially when more phenylphosphine needs synthesised. In his spare time Gary enjoys trying to come up with chemistry based puns.

Favourite words: “health and sssssafety firsssst” and "phossssphinessss"

Blue Roll Challenge: Gary doesn't have arms and the weight of a blue roll >>> weight of Gary


Former Group members


Dr. Samantha Lau (December 2019 - July 2023)

Dr. Thomas Hood (March 2021 - March 2023)

Dr. Danila Gasperini (February 2018 - February 2021)

Dr. Maialen Espinal-Viguri (April 2015 - October 2016)

PhD Students

Tom Linford-Wood (PhD defence April 2023)

Adam Barrett (PhD defence November 2022)

Callum Woof (PhD defence September 2021)

Cei Provis-Evans (PhD defence April 2020)

Nathan Coles (PhD defence July 2019)

Kim Gallagher (PhD defence June 2019)

Andrew King (PhD defence July 2018)

MChem, MRes and Summer Students

Thomas Wright (24 Part III student)

Miriam Kaufman (24 Part III student)

Tahlia Palmer (23 MChem project student)

Alessandra James (22 MChem project student)

Iain Ross  (22 MChem project student)

Leah Firmstone (21 RSC summer student)

Jamie Threadgold (20/21 MChem project student)

Isobel Thomas (20/21 MChem project student)

Ali Najmi (19/20 MChem project student)

Jonny Nevett (19/20 MChem project student)

Hugh Sanderson (19/20 MChem project student)

Stephen Andrews (18/19 MChem project student)

Alex James (18/19 MChem project student)

David Pilley (18/19 MChem project student)

Thomas Linford-Wood (2019, Catalysis CDT MRes student)

George Simmonds (17/18, MChem project student)

Dmitry Gorbachev (2017, summer student)

Jacob Boswell (2017, CSCT MRes student)

Oli Driscoll (16/17, MChem project student)

Kirsty Milne (Catalysis CDT)

Eni Minerali (Summer 2016, NSF REU student, University of North Carolina, Greensboro)

Connor Huntwork (Summer 2016, NSF REU student, Guildford College, NC)

Callum Woof (15/16, MChem project student)

Amber Kozak (Summer 2015, NSF REU student, University of North Carolina, Greensboro)

Jade Izaguirre (Summer 2015, NSF REU student, Berry College, Georgia)

Faye Wix (14/15, MChem project student)

Jonathan Hall (14/15, MChem project student)

Sarah Bent (14/15, MChem project student & RSC summer student)

Leighton Holyfield (2014, CSCT MRes student)

Madison Davidson (Summer 2014, NSF REU student, University of North Carolina, Greensboro)

Caleb Brown (Summer 2014, NSF REU student, Guildford College, NC)

Vikki Evans (13/14, BSc Nat Sci project student)

Sam Dyer (13/14, MChem project student)

Tom Jukes-Longford (12/13, MChem project student)

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