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Bristol School of Chemistry celebrates fantastic independent research fellows

30 July 2019

At Bristol, we’re proud to be able to host a number of externally-funded independent research fellows in the School of Chemistry.

The excellent work of Early Career Researchers is vital to the success of any University, and here in the School of Chemistry we want to celebrate the number and quality of these research projects being undertaken by future leaders in Chemistry. Many of these independent fellows have joined us in the last year or so, reflecting the research intensive culture in the School. Three have been appointed to lectureships within the last year – so the future looks bright here in the School of Chemistry.

Dr Susannah Bourne-Worster

1851 Fellowship

Susannah is working in computational chemistry, trying to understand how organisms efficiently transfer absorbed energy during photosynthesis and whether the same principles could be applied to artificial devices.

Dr Bryan Bzdek

NERC Independent Research Fellowship

Bryan is working to reduce uncertainties in climate change by studying the chemistry of aerosols. This work includes investigating atmospherically relevant light-induced reactions in aerosol droplets, resolving the dynamic properties of droplet surfaces, and developing new approaches to measure aerosol particle chemical composition.

Dr Beatrice Collins

Royal Society University Independent Research Fellowship

Beatrice’s research is focused on the development of autonomously operating chemically-fuelled molecular motors. These molecular systems operate under out-of-equilibrium regimes and we are using transition metal-based reactivities to generate the key cyclic reaction networks that underpin this behaviour.

Dr Michael Cotterell

NERC Independent Research Fellow

Michael is focused on developing new spectroscopy tools for measuring the optical properties of atmospheric aerosols. He is particularly interested in the kinetics of formation of light absorbing molecules in organic aerosol and how aerosol light absorption evolves over atmospheric lifetime.

Dr Pierangelo Gobbo 

University of Bristol Vice Chancellor's Fellowship

Pierangelo’s research aims to open new frontiers in the field of synthetic biology by pioneering new technological advancements towards the spatio-temporal organisation of protocells into interconnected networks that are capable of emulating living tissues and displaying emergent synergistic behaviours.

Dr Alastair Lennox

Royal Society University  Research Fellowship

"Our research is driven by the urgent requirement to improve sustainability in the synthesis of complex organic molecules. This is to meet the growing demands from society for the products that use these molecules, such as pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. We specialise in the development of electrochemistry as a tool to conduct sustainable, safe and scalable redox reactions for organic synthesis."

Dr David Naafs

Royal Society University Research Fellowship

"I am an organic geochemist and study the impact of the environment on Life in the past, present, and future. By using climatological and biogeochemical information recorded in the lipids of organisms and preserved in the geological record I aim to answer long-standing questions related to the processes and mechanisms that drive changes in climate and biogeochemistry."

Dr Tom Oliver

Royal Society University Research Fellowship 

Tom’s research group uses state-of-the-art ultrafast spectroscopies such as two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy and transient absorption microscopy to investigate out-of-equilibrium femtosecond to picosecond dynamics in a range of chemical, nanomaterial and biological systems. These include natural and artificial light harvesting proteins, the influence of spatial morphology on charge transfer in thin photovoltaic films, photoprotection and repair in DNA and plants.

Dr Fabio Parmeggiani

EPSRC Independent Research Fellowship

Dr Parmeggiani’s research focuses on custom design of modular proteins. He combines computational and experimental methods to design novel bio materials and understand how spatial organization of molecular signals affect interaction of cells with their environment and ultimately their development and fate. At the same time Fabio will develop new biological tools for broad applications in material science, diagnostics and therapeutics.     

Dr Sebastian Rochat 

Joint Fellowship with the School of Chemistry Department of Engineering Mathematics

Sebastian investigates polymer-based materials and composites for applications in photocatalysis (water splitting, CO2 reduction), as stimuli-responsive smart sensors and actuators, and as materials for gas storage and separation.

Dr Melanie Roffet-Salque

Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship

"My Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship recognises the untapped potential of archaeological pottery vessels to serve as a novel proxy for palaeoprecipitation and explores the link between climate change and human responses in the past."

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