2020 Cohort

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Francesca Fiorentini

University College

Francesca completed her MChem at Durham University. Her final year project involved the synthesis of models for the solid-supported synthesis of glycosphingolipids. Prior to her brief foray into organic chemistry, Francesca undertook a summer project supervised by Dr Michael Cowley, synthesising ligands for low-oxidation state aluminium chemistry. This piqued her interest in catalysis and, broadly, organometallic synthesis. Outside of the lab, Francesca enjoys cooking, reading and looking after her growing collection of indoor plants.

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Liam Griffin

University College

Liam is the recipient of the Oxford-Radcliffe OxICFM CDT Scholarship 2020. Originally from Bracknell, he completed his undergraduate studies at Jesus College in Oxford. His main interests in chemistry are focused on main group chemistry – his masters' project looked at catenation in tin and germanium complexes, and his DPhil project will be on Aluminium (I) chemistry. Outside of chemistry, he is a keen cook, and he also enjoys rowing, climbing, and singing in a choir.

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Matthew Haynes

The Queen's College

Originally from Sheffield, Matt completed his BA and MSci from the University of Cambridge in 2020. During his final year research project in Prof Dominic Wright’s group he investigated novel inorganic cyclodiphosphazane ligands. His research interests centre around the synthesis of novel organometallic catalysts with applications in sustainable chemical synthesis. Outside the lab he enjoys live music, watching football, playing racquet sports and escaping to the countryside.

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Aaron King

Magdalen College

Aaron completed his masters in chemistry at the University of Bristol. He conducted his final year project under the supervision of Professor John Bower, working on aza-Heck cascade reactions involving C-H activation. His research interests include both organometallic and main group chemistry, with a focus on catalysis. In his free time he enjoys cooking, going on walks and occasionally some running.

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Maya Landis

Jesus College

Maya conducted her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Barnard College in New York, but she is originally from Heidelberg, Germany. During her final year project, she synthesized analogs of a small molecule inhibitor of formins to analyze its structure-activity relationship, under the supervision of Professors Vizcarra and Rojas. She is interested in researching sustainable methods of catalysis. In her free time she enjoys gardening, baking, and exploring nature.

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Joe Morrow

The Queen's College

Joe completed his MChem at the University of Oxford. His final year project consisted of a computational study on low-dimensional transition metal oxides, supervised by Prof. John McGrady. Joe’s research interests are in ab initio crystal structure discovery. In his DPhil, he hopes to apply this to materials which are promising for battery technology. In addition, he is interested in magnetic ordering and topological phases. Outside of chemistry, Joe captains the Men’s Blues Cross Country team and enjoys exploring the Oxfordshire countryside.

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James Murrell

Exeter College

James completed his MChem degree at Durham University. His research interests lie in the area of solid-state chemistry, and his final year research project involved the synthesis and investigation of perovskite-derived oxide ion conductors for use in energy applications. He also spent 3 months at the University of Fribourg, working towards graphene-based rolled-up hyperbolic metamaterials. In his spare time, James enjoys reading, playing squash and rowing.

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Kam Poon

Trinity College

Kam is from London and completed his MSci at UCL in June 2020. Under the supervision of Dr Clare Bakewell, his final year’s work was aimed at the development of photoswitchable catalysts to control ring-opening polymerization reactions. His research interests include inorganic synthesis, catalysis and materials, particularly in the context of green chemistry. Outside of chemistry he loves to travel, read, bake and is an avid cricket supporter.

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Samuel Roberts

Christ Church

Sam is from London and recently graduated from the University of Oxford with an MChem in July 2020. His final year project, with Prof. Dermot O’Hare, focused on making layered double hydroxide composite materials, for use in post combustion carbon capture. Broadly, his research interests are centred around solid state materials and their use in sustainable applications. Outside of the lab he enjoys reading, cycling and rock climbing.

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Charlotte Simms

Trinity College

Charlie studied for her undergraduate integrated Master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh. Her final year project focused on investigating the encapsulation of MRI contrast agents within self-assembled supramolecular cages, and evaluating the host-guest complex as a possible contrast agent. Her academic interests include supramolecular chemistry and luminescence, but she is also very excited to learn about other aspects of inorganic chemistry through the CDT. In her spare time Charlie likes to go to the pub, cook for friends and befriend local cats.

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Katherine Steele

St Catherine's College

Having grown up in Essex, Katie completed her MChem course at Oxford in 2020. Her Part II project examined the intercalations of the layered compound, niobium selenide. She has always been fascinated by structure and her academic interests lie around the fields of solid-state chemistry and diffraction. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, playing Pokémon Go and running the St Catz Juggling Club.

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Ludmila Ta┼čkesen

The Queen's College

Ludmila comes from Slovakia. She did her undergraduate studies in the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where she completed her MChem degree with an emphasis on solid state chemistry. When she is not in the lab, she enjoys hiking, playing tennis, traveling and learning about new cultures and their cuisines.