Stephen Thomas was born in Toronto, Canada, and completed his GCSEs at Court Fields Community School and A-levels at Richard Huish College in the South West of England. After completing his MChem at Cardiff University working with Prof. Nick Tomkinson, he moved to Churchill College, University of Cambridge for a PhD with Dr Stuart Warren. Postdoctoral work with Prof. Dr Andreas Pfaltz at the University of Basel, Switzerland, was shortly followed by a move to the University of Bristol to join Prof. Varinder Aggarwal FRS as his group Research Officer. In 2012 Stephen moved to the University of Edinburgh as a Chancellor’s Research Fellow. In 2014 he was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. Stephen and the group have been awarded the 2016 RSC Hickinbottom Award, a Thieme Journal Award and a Pfizer Green Chemistry Research Award.
Liam Donnelly graduated from the University of Nottingham after completing his MChem degree with a year in industry. His final year project was completed under the supervision of Prof. Hon Wai Lam developing a rhodium-catalysed C-H functionalisation reaction in the synthesis of a series of lead-like spiroindene compounds. He also undertook a summer placement with Dr. Ross Denton at the University of Nottingham and completed a year in industry in the department of process chemistry at Merck. He then began a PhD as part of the CRITICAT CDT. After 6 months training in St. Andrews, including a research project with Dr. James Taylor, he moved to Edinburgh to work jointly in the Love and Thomas groups investigating the chemistry of high oxidation state oxo-metal complexes as catalysts for the reduction and oxidation of small molecules.
Kieran is from Fife and completed his MChem degree at The University of St Andrews. He undertook summer placements at Akzo Nobel in Gateshead and at ENSCL in Lille. Kieran did an industrial placement at DuPont Teijin Films in 2016-17 researching solid state polymerisation techniques. His final year project was under the supervision of Prof. Matt Clarke in the Use of Manganese Catalysts for Catalytic Reduction. Kieran joins the Thomas group in September 2018 to start a PhD funded by AstraZeneca.
Dom grew up on a farm in south Devon, and completed his MSc at the University of Bristol. He undertook a summer placement (funded by the RSC) under the supervision of Prof Fred Manby, studying CCSD(T)-in-DFT embedding on novel Iron(I) complexes. His final year project was under the supervision of Dr Chris Russell, studying the role of the hypervalent iodine(III) oxidant in redox gold catalysis. In 2018, he started his PhD in the Thomas Group, funded by the Royal Society.
Luke grew up in Suffolk and obtained his MChem from the University of Bath which included an industrial placement at Sanofi developing and implementing PAT systems. Under the supervision of Dr Matthew Jones, his final year project was studying Aluminium (III) initiators for producing the biopolymer polylactic acid. In 2019, he began his Royal Society funded PhD in the Thomas group at the University of Edinburgh.
Alex Beaton Garcia
Having grown up in the Highlands of Scotland, Alex obtained his MChem at the University of Edinburgh in 2018. During his studies, he completed a year abroad at the University of Alicante working on catalysis in the environmentally benign deep eutectic solvents. He undertook his Master’s project here in the Thomas group and won the MChem research award for his work on asymmetric boron catalysis. This was followed up by a 10-month long research internship working in organic synthesis with the Maulide group in Vienna. He returned to Edinburgh in September 2019 to commence his PhD, jointly supervised by Dr Stephen Thomas and Dr Mike Cowley. His research will involve investigating Aluminium-catalysed borylations.
Adrián Moreno González
Adrián is from La Rioja, Spain, famous for its wine. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the Universidad de La Rioja. His final year project was studying gold (0) subnanoclusters for the catalytic hydration of terminal alkynes under the supervision of Prof José María Lopez de Luzuriaga. In 2020, he joined the Thomas group for his MRes.
Rory grew up in leafy Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, before studying biochemistry (BSc) at the University of Bath. This included a placement year with Oxitec where he investigated self-limiting insect control technologies in mosquitos, sparking his interest in synthetic biology. Rory pursued this by studying synthetic biology (MRes) at University College London, where he joined the biocatalysis group lead by Profs. Helen Hailes and John Ward. His project focussed on generating novel alkaloid drug scaffolds, through engineering cytochrome P450s for an intramolecular C-C phenolic coupling reaction. Rory recently joined the Thomas and Wallace groups at the University of Edinburgh to pursue a PhD, funded by Lubrizol through the EaSi-CAT programme, with the goal to develop sustainable routes to petrochemicals.
Nojus grew up in Vilnius, Lithuania and obtained his MChem degree from University of Nottingham. He carried out his final year research project on copper mediated trifluoromethylation of aryl halides under supervision of Prof. Simon Woodward. Nojus started his PhD in September 2020 jointly supervised by Dr Stephen Thomas and Prof. Michael Ingleson and is now working on aromatic C-H functionalisation utilising novel sulfur electrophiles.