group photo

The Arnold and Love groups June 2016, 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.

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.

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



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 finally 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.

Nov '16: Well done Megan Seymour on winning 'I'm a scientist, get me out of Here' and causing a twitterstorm.

Sept '16: Congratulations to Michal Dutkiewicz on passing his PhD viva...and with his second paper comparing organometallic uranium, neptunium, and plutonium binding to the uranyl ion just out in Angewandte Chemie.

June '16: Many congratulations to former PDRA Dr Rianne Lord, who is starting a lectureship at the University of Bradford.

May '16: Our work on the first fully characterised neptunium (III) organometallics, their reduction to the first formally Np(II) complex, and unusual molecular and electronic structures and covalency is published in Nature Chemistry, and covered by Chemical and Engineering News.

Apr '16: Polly talks in the Sunday Times about STEMming the leaky pipeline and A Chemical Imbalance.

Mar '16: Polly discusses whether female scientists make good politicians on BBC R4's Today programme.

Jan '16: Polly discusses the completion of the 7th row of the PT with Eddie Mair on BBC R4's PM programme.

Jan '16: Good luck to Dr. Johann Hlina as he returns to the TU Graz, Austria to finish his Schroedinger Fellowship...and with a JACS paper about M-M bonding just out (March).

Dec' 15: Fortress tops the list. Our EPSRC proposal to use pressure to study bonding covalency and reactivity in the f-block is funded.

Dec '15: A Chemical Imbalance is discussed at the 2015 Pacifichem meeting with two ACS past-presidents, Profs E. Ann Nalley and Marinda P. Li Wu.

Aug '15: The first bis(imido) thorium complex, and made by a simple, and we hope general, route.

Jul '15: Kezia Dugdale visits our labs to discuss female role models in science, and the importance of science to the Scottish economy.

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