Fairlamb Research Group

Catalysis, Synthetic and Mechanistic Chemistry

Current members

25.09.2017: Wellcome to all new group members!

Dr. Joshua Bray (PDRA)

Josh studied his MChem degree at the University of York, working in the research group of Prof. Fairlamb on the C-H bond functionalisation of 2-pyrones. He worked towards a PhD in the Fairlamb group exploring the relevance of Pd nanoparticles in cross-coupling processes.  His project was sponsored by BayerCropScience.  Josh has recently re-joined the group as a PDRA, working on robotic systems and reaction optimisation, on the POLARIS project funded by the Centre for Future Health initiative. 


Dr. Joshua Bray

Lisa Backwell (year 1 PhD student)

Lisa did her MChem(Ind) undergraduate degree at the University of York (2013-17). Her masters year was spent working at Lifearc in Stevenage synthesising a custom fluorine fragment library and developing a 19F NMR fragment screening procedure within the company. In October 2017 she joined the Fairlamb group working towards a PhD that explores the impact of impurities found in Pd precatalysts. The project is also co-supervised by Prof. James Lee and funded by a University of York Chemistry Teaching Studentship.


Lisa Backwell

Neil Scott (year 2 PhD student)

From Edinburgh, Neil received an MChem degree from The University of Edinburgh in 2015. In his final year he worked under the supervision of Dr Uwe Schneider to explore catalytic applications of BAC: a novel stable carbene. He then worked for a year at Sphere Fluidics Ltd, a droplet microfluidics company based in Cambridge where he manufactured and developed specialist surfactants for applications droplet microfluidics. In October 2016 Neil joined the Fairlamb group at The University of York and is working towards a PhD, fully-funded by BayerCropscience.


Neil Scott

Mark Petchey (year 2 PhD student)

Mark carried out his MChem (Year in Industry) degree at the University of York, spending his masters year at Bayer Crop Science, Frankfurt. The research involved the synthesis of novel heterocyclic derivatives for use as herbicides and safeners. He is currently working towards a PhD in the Fairlamb and Grogan groups engineering enzymes for the preparative synthesis of amide pharmaceuticals. His project is sponsored by the BBSRC and GlaxoSmithKline (iCASE).


Mark Petchey

David Turnbull (MSc by research student - writing-up)

David studied his BSc Chemistry degree at Teesside University. His dissertation was on the limitations of BBCEAS when analysing colourimetric environmental assays. He is currently writing-up his Master’s on the C-H bond functionalisation of tryptophan, with application to peptides and proteins.



David Turnbull

Claire Lancaster (MChem research project student)

Claire is a fourth year undergraduate from Stockport, Greater Manchester working on my MChem project on Mnganese based CO-RMs. I decided to do a project in this area because of my interests in metals and their applications in biology and pharmceuticals. When I'm not studying chemistry I'm a keen violin/viola player as well as an active girl guide.


Claire Lancaster

Will Evans (MChem research project student)

Will is a fourth year MChem student researching the catalytic application of of metal salts in C-H bond activation. In Summer 2016 Will carried out a 10 week project in the Fairlamb group, focused on CORMs and cyclomanganated 2-phenylpyridine tetracarbonyl species


Will Evans

Daniel Johnson (MChem research project student)

Daniel is a chemistry, biological and medicinal chemistry MChem student working in the Fairlamb group. He is currently working on cyclomanganation of suitable substrates, with applications as CO-releasing agents and catalytic C-H bond activation.



Daniel Johnson

Christina Jordan (Erasmus student)

Christina is currently working towards her MSc Chemistry degree at the University of Münster.  Recently she joined the Fairlamb group as an Erasmus student and is involved in a manganese(I) C-H-activation project.


Christina Jordan

Franziska Grün (Erasmus student)

Franziska studied her BSc. Chemistry degree at the University of Mainz, Germany. She finished her thesis concerning saccharidic carrier for cancer treatment in Prof. Opatz´ group. For three moths she had a practical trainee at the Chulalongkorn University of Bangkok, Thailand. To continue her master studies she changed to the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Until March 2018 Franziska will join the research group of Prof. Fairlamb.


Franziska Grün 

Lars Anders Hammarback (year 3 PhD student)

Anders originally comes from Gusum, Sweden and obtained his MChem at York working in the Fairlamb group on the scope and mechanism of a C-2 arylation reaction of tryptophan. He is currently working towards a PhD in the Fairlamb and Lynam groups, studying manganese(l)-catalysed C-H bond activation of various compounds. Anders has conducted a significant amount of mechanistic studies during his time in York, learning new techniques and skills along the way.  His project is sponsored by Syngenta and the EPSRC (iCASE).


Anders Hammarback

George Clarke (year 3 PhD student)

George did his MChem at the University of York, with an year in industry as part of his MChem project at Lubrizol near Derby. He is currently working towards a PhD on Intelligent Chemical Synthesis – an Informed Approach using Robotics and Mechanistic Investigations. He was awarded a University of York Chemistry Teaching Studentship to fund his PhD studies.  His project is also supported by the POLARIS project, funded by the Centre for Future Health initiative.


George Clarke

Benjamin Aucott (year 4 PhD student)

Ben is a PhD student, co-supervised by Prof. Fairlamb, Dr. Jason Lynam and Dr. Alison Parkin. His research involves synthesizing transition metal carbonyls and probing their redox properties for therapeutic applications. He enjoys the wide-ranging, interdisciplinary nature of this work. Ben came to York in 2014 after an MChem at Wadham College, Oxford, studying hydrogenase inhibition using spectroelectrochemistry in the group of Professor Kylie Vincent. You might also find him learning about natural history, supporting the mighty Nuneaton Town FC, or attempting various complex aerobics routines.


Benjamin Aucott

Mary Kagoro (year 4 PhD student)

Mary studied her MSc. at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi state, Nigeria. She worked on the syntheses of some selected phenylhydrazone(s) for possible use in intramolecular [2+2]-imine cyclization leading to the formation of fused lactams. Mary is currently working towards a PhD in the research groups of Prof. Ian Fairlamb and Prof. Simon Duckett, on the synthesis of unsaturated oxygen-containing heterocycles and their use in fluorescence and NMR imaging in live bacterial cells.


Mary Kagoro

Dr. Charlotte Elkington (research techinician)

Charlotte studied for both her MChem and PhD at the University of York.  Her PhD project used DFT and parahydrogen enhanced NMR to study catalytic roles of iridium hydrides, under the supervision of Dr. John McGrady and Prof. Simon Duckett.  After a few years working as a school science technician she returned to the University and works as a technician in the undergraduate teaching laboratories aswell as in the Fairlamb research group. 

Charlotte plays an important role in our group activities in addition to supporting the Departmental ReactIR equipment (IC10 and RIR15 with Si and Diamond probes), based in the Fairlamb laboratory.



Dr. Charlotte Elkington

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