Today sees the release of Ithaka S+R‘s report “Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Chemists” for which I was an interviewee.  It is pleasing to see active chemists feedback looping back to direct the future direction of Research Support Services in Chemistry.

About the report they say,

“In this report, we present the results of Ithaka S+R’s study of the scholarly practices of academic chemists. This study, funded by Jisc, presents information meant to empower research support providers in their work with chemists. The report covers themes such as data management, research collaboration, library use, discovery, publication practices, and research funding.”

Download Report


I’m pleased to say that I have now started a PDRA position under Dr Deanna D’Alessandro and Prof Cameron Kepert at the University of Sydney, Australia.




Controlling magnetic communication through aromatic bridges by variation in torsion angle – A series of heteroaromatic bridging ligands are employed in the synthesis of a family of paramagnetic, heterometallic ring dimers. The extent of spin propagation between the rings via the organic conduit is investigated through micro-SQUID magnetometry and EPR spectroscopy from which conclusions over the mechanism of spin-communication are drawn.

Just a quick news update. I had my graduation ceremony in Whitworth Hall at the University of Manchester with the other PhD and undergraduate chemists last week. By some miracle it happened to be the only sunny day of the week. And  this week I received in the post a certificate from the RSC admitting me as a Member.


I’m delighted to be presenting a keynote lecture at the XVI Brazilian Meeting on Inorganic Chemistry, Florianopolis, 13-17 August 2012! The meeting incorporates III Latin American Meeting on Biological Inorganic Chemistry and has attracted a wide selection of international researchers. I am travelling with the support of an RSC Dalton Division Bursary.

Well, hardly had I submitted the final copies of my thesis and I’m off to give a talk at ACS Spring – San Diego. I had prepared myself for a somewhat larger conference than is normal in Europe but this was a on a different scale completely. Nevertheless it was a great chance to catch up with some international friends and to make some new ones. Jonathan Barnes of the Stoddart Group at Northwestern was his usual enthusiastic self. I’ve seen Kim Dunbar talk on a few occasions before but it was great to meet up with members of the Dunbar Group for the first time at the poster session. I hope we can stay in touch in the future.

I was pleased to see Jeffrey Long of UCB speak, he gave an interesting talk on his radical based single molecule magnet. Other personal highlights were Arnold Rheingold (UCSD) speaking on a career in collaborative crystallography with peculiarities such as the ‘discovery’ of bond stretch isomerism, David Brook’s (San Jose State University) discussion of verdazyl radical incorporation in inorganic complexes and the Chemistry of Life plenary lectures.

Despite my extended visit down under, I’ve not really had a holiday for ages, so I was very pleased I’d managed to add a week of R’n’R in San Francisco. I found time to cycle the Golden Gate Bridge, get a hotdog at a baseball game and ride a cable car up the steep SF hills.


Viva complete I can afford a few smiles

Since getting back from Australia I’ve not had time to think about much other than my PhD viva and today all that worry was over! A couple of hours with Dr Michael Ingleson and Prof Edwin Constable (PhD supervisor of my MChem project supervisor Prof Mike Ward and author of multiple textbooks), I can finally breathe a sigh of relief, and after some minor corrections should be able to add a few more letters to my name!

Hopefully I can get them done in the next couple of weeks before heading off to San Diego for ACS Spring with James Walsh followed by some R’n’R in San Francisco.

Just briefly thanks to all the people who have helped me through the last couple of weeks! It’s been stressful!