Dr Valentina Erastova Chancellor’s Fellow

More information and contact details here


Rosie Wood – E4 DTP PhD Student (since 2020)

I am a PhD student working on the molecular modelling of biochars. The goal of my research is to better understand the interfacial interactions of biochars and ultimately offer insights into how to improve their performance as adsorbents in water treatment. I did my undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Bristol and, as part of the E4 DTP, I will be taking courses across many different areas of environmental science.

Hannah Pollak – PhD Student (since 2021)

In my PhD project I am studying interactions between clays and organic pollutants such as pharmaceuticals. I am using molecular modelling techniques in order to gain atomic-level understanding about retention and release of contaminants by minerals in soils. These insights should enable the design of effective materials to be used in drug pollution remediation.

During my bachelor’s studies in chemistry, and my master’s studies in theoretical chemistry and computational modelling I focused on the experimental and theoretical study of biological systems. I believe that my expertise in these fields provides me with a good foundation for my current research.


Eoin Kearney – MChem student (since 2020)

I’m Belfast-born final year MChem student. I am interested in sustainable materials. My project involves the use of molecular dynamics simulations to examine the interactions of radioactive materials with clay.

Karolina Zieba BSc student (since 2020)

I am a 4th year Chemistry BSc student interested in sustainable chemistry and science policy. My background in coding is limited to high school classes, but I am happy to see chemistry education modernise to include computational chemistry modules. I hope to work on the policy side of science and society after completing a relevent MSc programme. Specifically, I would love to work as a  policy advisor or a researcher for a think tank or a government sector. I’m also the proud pet parent of a snake called Snooper and a squad of freshwater tropical fish. I’m currently training to be a yoga instructor and on the weekends you might find me sewing or embroidering like the old lady that I am. (Pronouns: she/her)


Jacob Streat – BSc student (since 2020)

I am from Land’s End in Cornwall and now on my 4th year chemistry. I am interested in medicinal and sustainable chemistry, specifically the regulation of pharmaceuticals as they are released into the environment. The condition of the oceans, and the environment as a whole is very important to me and I hope this project will allow me to contribute in some small way. Outside of chemistry degree, I spend my time participating in sports such as rugby, football, snow sports and surfing at the university. I try and spend most of my time in the water/ on the beach.

Visiting the Group

Our group is a host for HPC-EuropaPan-European Research Infrastructure on High-Performance Computing. If you are interested in a collaboration, please get in touch with Valentina about EPCC visit through the Transnational Access Program.

Joining the Group

2 fully-funded PhD positions for 2021 via E4 DTP, application deadline 7th Jan 2021, open to UK/EU/International students, see here for details.

If you are interested in joining the group as a PostDoc, PhD, Masters or an Intern for more details and funding opportunities see here.


Ritu Tomar – PGT project student, summer 2020

Deidrah Carillo – PGT project student, summer 2020


Laura Muckersie – BSc student (2019 – 2020)

Laura is in her final year of BSc in Chemistry. Laura’s BSc project focuses on using molecular dynamics simulations to study adsorption mechanisms of a range of ions on silicate clays


Alex Tsioutsios – BSc student (2019 – 2020)
Alex is from Greece, and on his 4th year of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry degree. After graduating he would like to continue with chemistry research in either industry or academia. For his project, Alex is using molecular modelling to screen interactions in natural and synthetic layered minerals.


Debashish Banerjee – visiting PhD student (summer 2019)
Deb is a PhD student in the group of Prof Andrey Kalinichev at the Department of Subatomic Physics and Associated Technologies (Subatech), IMT Atlantique, Nantes, France.  Through molecular modelling, Deb studies the fate of radioactive waste in the environment, in particular interactions between radionuclides with the encapsulating natural French clays, and the effects of common small organic molecules.