Group Members


Dr Andy Lawrence (Group Leader)

andy-1Dr Andy Lawrence is a senior lecturer in organic chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. Andy completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Oxford in 2006 (MChem, Hons 1st Class) and subsequently obtained a DPhil degree in 2010 under the supervision of Prof. Sir Jack E. Baldwin FRS and Dr. Robert M. Adlington. Andy then moved to Australia to spend two years (2010-2011) as a postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Michael S. Sherburn at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. In 2012, Andy began his independent academic career at the ANU as an ARC Research Fellow before moving back to the UK in 2013 for a lectureship at the University of Edinburgh. Andy was awarded a 2016 Thieme Chemistry Journals Award and was named as the 2017 RSC Hickinbottom Award winner.

Dr Nicholas Green (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Nicholas Green studied a Ph.B. (Science) at the Australian National University (ANU) and received an Honours degree with the University Medal in 2010, subsequently completing doctoral studies as a Rodney Rickards scholar with Professor Michael Sherburn at the Research School of Chemistry, ANU, in 2015. His research interests include enantioselective multi bond-forming processes and the use of highly unsaturated molecules in synthesis.


Irene De Silvestro (3rd Year PhD Student)

IreneIrene completed her Master of Science in Chemistry at the University of Trieste (Italy) in December 2013 (110/110 cum laude with honourable mention). Irene started her PhD studies within the Lawrence Group at the University of Edinburgh in January 2014 and is working on diversity orientated biomimetic synthesis of natural products.


Robert Cracknell (2nd Year PhD Student)

RobRobert completed his undergraduate studies in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University (1st Class Hons) in 2014 and began his PhD studies within the Lawrence Group the same year. He is currently working on biomimetic approaches towards the total synthesis of complex alkaloids.



Peter Dabell (1st Year PhD Student)

PeterDabellPeter comes from Morayshire in the north of Scotland, and completed his MChem at the University of St Andrews in June 2014 before starting his PhD there as part of the Criticat CDT in September of that year. He moved to Edinburgh in April 2015 to work jointly in the Lawrence and Thomas groups on the development of biomimetic transition metal catalysed reactions for the oxidation of polyphenols, and their application in natural product synthesis.

Marie Thomson (1st Year PhD Student)

Marie Website Picture 1Marie completed her MChem (with a year in industry at BASF, Germany) at the University of St Andrews in June 2014 (1st Class Hons). During her time at St Andrews, Marie was awarded the AstraZeneca Prize for the best Honours Research Project in Biological Chemistry and was selected for the Deans’ List. Marie travelled to South East Asia and Australasia for a year and joined the Lawrence group in September 2015. Marie is working on developing biomimetic approaches towards complex terpene natural products.

Ioanna Nakou (MSc Student)

Ioanna completed her undergraduate studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 2016, where she worked on the synthesis of Morita–Baylis–Hillman adducts as potential inhibitors of bacterial urease. She then undertook a five-month internship in the Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry Research Group at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She is currently embarking on her Master’s in Medicinal and Biological Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh with a UK/EU Master’s Scholarship. Ioanna will be working on biomimetic total synthesis under the supervision of Peter.

Koen Rietdijk (Undergraduate Project Student)

fullsizerenderKoen was born in Veldhoven, the Netherlands. He started an MSci Pharmacology at UCL, but decided to continue doing an MChem in Medicinal and Biological Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. For his masters thesis, he will be working on enantioselective organocatalysed reactions of p-quinols under the supervision of Dr Nicholas Green.



Catherine Connolly (Undergraduate Project Student)

img_2656Catherine is currently in the final year of an MChem (Medicinal and Biological Chemistry) degree at the University of Edinburgh. She recently completed a 12 month R&D Industrial Placement within the Medicinal Chemistry Department at GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage. For her masters thesis, she will be working on diversity-orientated biomimetic chemistry under the supervision of Dr Nicholas Green.

Past Members

Dr Patrick Brown (PhD Student 2013-2016)

  • Senior Scientist at GSK

Rhiann Ankers (Undergraduate Project Student 2015-2016)

  • Louis Cohen – 2016 MChem Project Prize winner

Connie Buettner (Undergraduate Project Student 2015-2016)

  • 2016 Forbes Prize winner

Duncan MacDonald (Undergraduate Project Student 2015-2016)

Rebecca Burns (Undergraduate Project Student 2014-2015)

  • Louis Cohen – 2015 MChem Project Prize winner

Becky Gerrard (Undergraduate Project Student 2014-2015)

Kiera Mehigan (Undergraduate Project Student 2014-2015)