I currently hold a Chancellor's Fellowship having previously been the recipient of a five-year Royal Society of Edinburgh BP Trust personal research Fellowship hosted here at Strathclyde (2012-2017). My main research focus is on both homo- and heterometallic main group and transition metal complexes (particularly alkyls and amides), and how they can be used practically in socially and economically important applications. We are especially interested in the s-block metals such as lithium, sodium and magnesium and the novel chemistry that can be obtained when these are paired with environmentally benign metals of high natural abundance such as zinc, aluminium and iron. These metals are considerably cheaper than precious transition metals and, once more is understood about their chemistry, they have the potential to replace the heavy metals in diverse areas including catalysis, while their lower molecular weight makes them attractive in the field of energy storage materials. We are currently focused on the pairing of these elements for the targeted synthesis of electrolyte complexes for post-lithium batteries. Mg for example shows considerable promise here due to its divalency and considerable natural abundance.
I received MChem (Hons) and Phd degrees from the University of St Andrews in 2002 and 2006 respectively, the latter studying the coordination chemistry of polyaromatic disulfide ligands in the group of Prof Derek Woollins. Following this I joined the group of Prof Tris Chivers at the University of Calgary, Canada for a three year postdoctoral spell researching the synthesis, coordination and redox chemistry of group 16 imidodiphosphinate ligands. I then returned home to my native Scotland to take up a postdoctoral position under the direction of Prof Robert Mulvey at Strathclyde where I studied main group bimetallic complexes.