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Advancing Main Group Chemistry
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Ayan Dasgupta  (PDF: 2018-)
Ayan completed his PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India with national scholarship under the supervision of Prof. Dr. S. Sankararaman. He then did his first postdoc with Prof. Dr. Tanja Gulder at Technical University of Munich, Germany, where he worked on the stereoselective synthesis of heterocyclic compounds using Lewis acid and hypervalent iodine as catalyst. At present, he is working with the Melen research group as a PDRA looking into the development of ambiphilic catalysts.


Shyam Basak (PDF: 2018-) Joint with Dr. Morrill http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/themorrillgroup/
Shyam did his PhD at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India with Prof. Dr. Dipakranjan Mal. Shyam will be working on a collaborative research project exploring the productive merger of organocatalysis with frustrated Lewis pairs.






Hugh Hamilton (PhD: 2015-)
​2009-2014 University of Edinburgh, UK (MChem, BSc) 
Hugh studied at the University of Edinburgh, where he obtained his Bachelors and Masters degree in chemistry with environmental and sustainable chemistry. He spent one year of his degree at the University of Alicante, Spain, as an Erasmus student, where he worked for Dr. Diego Alonso, exploring the synthesis of asymmetric organocatalysts using Buchwald-Hartwig cross-coupling reactions. His final year project with Dr. Jason Love concerned Schiff-base macrocyclic zirconium complexes (“Pacman” complexes) for small molecule activation. He is currently a student in the Catalysis CDT joint between Bath/Bristol/Cardiff. 

Darren Ould (PhD: 2016-)
Darren attained his Master’s in Chemistry at Cardiff University (2012-2016), achieving First-class honours. His final year project was under the supervision of Dr Benjamin Ward and focussed on using Group 13 complexes (principally aluminium) for catalysing polymerisation reactions. Darren achieved a number of awards during his undergraduate degree, with highlights including ‘Excellent MChem Research Project’ and ‘Outstanding MChem Degree Performance’. Now working as part of the Melen Group as a PhD student, Darren is currently investigating the catalytic abilities of a range of Group 15 Lewis acidic compounds. 

Jamie Carden (PhD: 2017-)
Jamie studied for his Master’s degree at Cardiff University (2012-2016), where he achieved 1st class honours. As part of his undergraduate studies, he undertook an Erasmus year at the University of Oulu, Finland, where he investigated oxidative additions of ditellurides to platinum whilst under the supervision of Professor Risto Laitinen. His Master’s thesis, under the supervision of Dr. Paul Newman, focused on the synthesis of novel expanded ring N-heterocyclic carbenes and their corresponding trimetallic complexes. Jamie then undertook a Master of Research in Catalysis (2016-2017), as part of the CDT in Catalysis doctoral training programme between the University of Bath, the University of Bristol, and Cardiff University. This year included research projects with Professor Duncan Wass at the University of Bristol, and Regius Professor Graham Hutchings in the Cardiff Catalysis Institute. Jamie is now a PhD student in the Melen group, investigating the catalytic properties of Frustrated Lewis Pairs via the use of enabling technologies joint with Duncan Browne (Cardiff) and Duncan Wass (Bristol).

Lukas Gierlichs (PhD: 2018-) 
Lukas joined the group in 2018 on an industry project joint with TOK and Duncan Browne. Lukas did his MChem degree at Cardiff with his MChem project focusing on microwave assisted borane catalysis with Duncan Browne. During his undergraduate degree Lukas spent a year in Canada at UOIT with Prof. Brad Easton. He is now looking at making water sensitive main group compounds for industrial applications.



Theodore Gazis (PhD: 2018-)
Theo completed his Mchem at Heriot-Watt university. He undertook his master project under the supervision of Dr. Magnus Bebbington on tandem furan cycloaddition-sigmatropic rearrangement reactions. Subsequently he joined the catalysis CDT where he did research projects with Dr Antoine Buchard and Dr Rebecca Melen. He is currently investigating ambiphilic catalysts for hydrogenation and carbon dioxide utilisation jointly with Prof. Thomas Wirth and Prof. Michael Hill.



Katarina Stefkova (PhD: 2019-)
Kate obtained her Master's in Chemistry and Pharmacology at University of Birmingham with first-class honours. In her 3rd year she completed a literature project about new therapeutics for the tuberculosis treatment, which was under supervision of Dr. Liam Cox. In her last year, her master project was under the supervision of Dr. Paul Davies and she explored a synthesis of novel N-heterocyclic carbenes which would be used in metal catalysis. Now as a PhD student in Dr. Melen's group she is investigating small molecules with Lewis acidic and Lewis basic sites for metal-free catalysis.






Rowan Page (MChem: 2018-)
​Rowan has been studying for his masters degree in chemistry at Cardiff university since 2015 and is currently working on his Mchem project which is on the synthesis of tris(fluorophenyl)trials; their properties and their potential applications in frustrated Lewis pairs.








Sean Smith (MChem: 2018-)
Sean is currently studying for his MChem at Cardiff university. Working in the Melen group his project is focusing on synthesis of Boron-containing diazaheterocycles.



Bayan Mohajeri Thaker (BSc: 2019-)
Bayan is currently studying for his BSc Chemistry with Industrial Experience degree at Cardiff University. He has previously spent a year in Australia working under the supervision of Prof. Cameron Jones at Monash University, Melbourne. During his research placement in the Jones Group, he has worked on the synthesis of bulky amidinate ligands for the stabilisation of low oxidation state group 14 complexes. Working in the Melen Group, he will be under the supervision of Theo looking at the reactivity of boranes.
PhD Students:
Melen Research Group 
The Boss:
Dr. Rebecca L. Melen
2004-2012 University of Cambridge, UK (PhD, MA, MSci, BA)
2012-2013 University of Toronto, Canada (postdoc)
2013-2014 Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany (Humboldt fellow)
2014-2017 Cardiff University, UK (Lecturer)
2017-        Cardiff University, UK (Senior Lecturer)

Honorary Group Members:
Research Students:
Postdocs: