New members of the group

This summer we are joined by five wonderful undergraduate students – Kacper, Sarah, Szymon, Ioana and Ben! They have secured different competitive funding schemes to pursue a topic of their interest, to learn a new skill and to gain experience of research.

In an order of starting dates only:

  • Kacper is funded by Carnegie Trust Vacation Scholarship for his project ‘In search of interstellar glycine – characterisation of spectroscopic properties under extreme conditions via computational simulation‘. He will be working between our group and In Silico Photochemistry Group at Durham University, bringing together molecular dynamics and quantum chemical calculations.
  • Sarah has won Afton Chemical Summer Internship and is working with PhD student Hannah, studying interactions between glycine molecules and Martian clays.
  • Szymon secured the EPSRC Vacation Scholarship and joined PhD student Rosie. Szymon is testing new modes of biochar for the adsorption of pharmaceutical pollutants.
  • Ioana was awarded Undergraduate Research Bursary of the Royal Society of Chemistry for her project ‘Prebiotic Molecules of Icy Moons: Molecular Modelling for Characterisation of Interactions in the Extreme Environments’.
  • Ben has joined us with E4 Research Experience Placement, coming from the computational phyics degree, his is now working with Hannah on the development of analysis tools for molecular simulations.

Warmest welcome to our newest group members. As always grateful to the funders for the opportunity they create by these schemes. I am looking forward to working with you, learning together about how things work and to the science your placements will surely inspire!

Found out more about current and past group members, as well as opportunities to join or visit us.

NERC Research Experience Placements this Summer

We are looking for a motivated UG student from the UK university to join our group with the NERC funded placement.

Bringing Atomic-level insights to Caesium Decontamination by Clay Minerals

The student will investigate the adsorption of Cs-137 onto montmorillonite and vermiculite clays at atomic-level resolution. They will use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, a theoretical method, providing atomistic-level details to macroscopic observations. Through this work we will gain a mechanistic understanding of the Cs-clay adsorption process and we will help inform the choice of natural clay between the local naturally available ones, on the nuclear waste disposal sites.

More details about project and eligibility here.

Application deadline 19th of May, apply here.

2 PhD positions for 2021

2 x PhD positions (click on the titles for further details):

Design of Biochar for Sequestration of Emergent Pollutants

Weathering of Clays under Extreme Conditions: Implications for the Biosphere and Extraterrestrial Environments

Deadline: 7th January 2021, 12 noon

To apply follow the link 

Funding & Eligibility: The studentship is fully-funded for 42 month, incl. home/international fees, research costs and UKRI stipend (currently at £15,285 per annum), and is part of the E4 Doctoral Training Partnership. For further details see Entry & Eligibility Criteria.

Comment for CW

Comment for Chemistry World News on a recent article by A. Wolos et al “Synthetic connectivity, emergence, and self-regeneration in the network of prebiotic chemistry” published in Science.

It is great to see the use of computers to combine our chemical knowledge, to enable predicting new chemical pathways. The team, previously known for software Chematica, lead by Bartosz Grzybowski and Sara Szymkuć, demonstrated how this can be used to map-out reactions from most simple early Earth ones towards the building blocks of life.

Read more:

talk to your Scientist Next Door

As a small community of scientist from the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham, we started project.

Our aim is to share our passion for science with children that are now bound to be homeschooled through the COVID-19 lockdown.

We believe this time can become a life-changing opportunity and help bring up a new generation of fantastic scientists!

During the lockdown, we will hold group video calls with families and discuss topics of interest, share ideas and resources.

We have called this project Scientist Next Door as we think after the lockdown is over, it would be great to meet in person your neighbouring scientists!

You can learn more about scientists participating to this project here. And if you are a scientist and would like to join us, contact Valentina.

And for now, stay home, stay safe, look after yourselves and loved ones and join the forum and the upcoming video calls.