group photo

The Arnold and Love groups, and the kind of fire we don't mind having.


We make and study reactive and unusual complexes of the rare earths, actinides, and early transition metals. We use these to make new catalysts for difficult transformations such as hydrocarbon C-H bond activation and carbon dioxide chemistry. Our labs have state-of-the-art equipment for the synthesis of highly air-sensitive complexes, and the study of their reactivity towards small, inert molecules, particularly for the development of new homogeneous catalysts.

The website for the Chemical Imbalance project.

Sci-Sisters: A cross-cutting network for women in leadership positions in Scottish STEM industry, government and academia. Find out more and join the scientific sisterhood here.

We welcome speculative applications at any time of year to study towards a PhD or spend a postdoctoral research period in our laboratories. See also our Criticat Centre for Doctoral Training for funded PhD projects related to sustainable catalysis.

EaStCHEM School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, the King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3FJ, UK +44 (0)131 650 5429



August '19: Congratulations to Francis Lam for winning the Best Talk prize at the DYME meeting.

June '19: Evidence Base, our multi-PI Inclusion Matters EPSRC grant launches at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Feb. '19: Our neptunium work is highlighted by Nature.

Jan. 19: Our collaborative, evidence-based programme to improve diversity in the physical sciences research community, funded by the EPSRC starts with the recruitment of the first of three PDRAs.

Jan. 19: Polly talks to the Guardian about the UK's nuclear waste legacy.

Dec. 18: Brad is awarded an RSC grant for new low oxidation state neptunium chemistry.

Oct. 18: Our Chem. Sci. paper on cerium-NHC complexes and their activation and CO2 conversion is Pick of the Week and selected for cover art. The work was carried out by a combination of students on our EPSRC funded CRITICAT CDT and students in our joint research programme with the TU Munich’s catalysis centre and Institute for Advanced Study.

Oct. 18: We talk to the BBC about nuclear waste.

May 18: Polly is elected to the Royal Society of London.

May 18: Polly is the first woman to win the Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Apr. 18: Congratulations to Jordann Wells on passing his PhD viva.

Mar. 18: Polly talks about the group's science to BBC Scotland's Brainwaves.

Jan. 18: Well done Jamie for winning the best speaker prize at the National Nuclear Lab conference.

Dec. 17: Polly is made an ambassador for TU Munich.

Dec. 17: Congratulations Dr Max McMullon, our second, Edinburgh-based, joint TUM-Edinburgh PhD student.

Nov. 17: Polly is awarded the Chancellor's Prize for research.

Nov. 17: Read our new essay on thulium - 'in your element' in December's issue of Nature Chemistry.

Oct. 17: Congratulations to Kai Wang and Marketa Suvova on passing their PhD vivas, both with flying colours.

Sept. 17: Our grand review of all organometallic neptunium chemistry is out in Chem. Rev..

Aug. 17: Well done Tatsumi Ochiai who has been awarded a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship by the JSPS, Japan's Society for the Promotion of Science.

Jul. 17: Well done Megan Seymour on being awarded second prize out of over 250 entrants at the XXII EuCheMS Conference in the Netherlands for her poster 'Electron-Rich, Arene-Stabilised f-Element Aryloxides for Small Molecule Activation'.

May 17: Polly talks to BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour about the SciSister network and how to retain women in STEM.

Apr. 17: Nicola is selected as a Sci-Finder Future Leader from an international field. She will visit the CAS HQ in the US before attending the fall ACS meeting.

Apr, 17: New - Sci-Sisters: A cross-cutting network for women in leadership positions in Scottish STEM industry, government and academia. Find out more and join the scientific sisterhood here.

Mar 17: Congratulations Dr Julia Rieb, our first Munich-based, joint TUM-Edinburgh PhD student.

Feb. 17: Our study on the first uranium-rhodium bonded complexes, showing that shorter is not stronger, is highlighed by Chemistry World.

Feb 17: Our organometallic neptunium work is out in Chemical Science, and the second time we've reduced Np to formally Np(II) is again covered by Chemical and Engineering News. (The 'most viewed' item on the website for that week.)

Jan 17: Congratulations Jamie Purkis on winning the poster prize at the National Nuclear Laboratory, NDA conference.

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