Group Members

Lawrence Group 2023 b&w

Dr David Jones (Postdoctoral Associate)

David completed his doctoral training, in the area of organophosphorus chemistry, under the joint supervision of Dr Eileen O’Leary (Munster Technological University) and Dr Timothy O’Sullivan (University College Cork, UCC) in 2018. David then worked concurrently as a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr Gerard McGlacken (UCC) in the general areas of metal nanoparticle catalysis and homogeneous C–H activation, as part of an Eli Lilly Research Award Program (LRAP), and as an associate lecturer in the School of Pharmacy, UCC.

Dr Vera Demertzidou (Postdoctoral Associate)

Vera Photo

Vera was born and raised in Greece and she completed her undergraduate degree, Masters and doctoral training at the Department of Chemistry of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki under the supervision of Associate Professor Alexandros Zografos. Her Masters and PhD Thesis were focused on natural product synthesis and more specifically on the divergent and collective synthesis of furosesquiterpenoids and sesquiterpene lactones through common scaffold establishment. She joined the Lawrence group in May 2021 to pursue ways to develop new enantioconvergent multicomponent reactions.

Dr François Richard (Postdoctoral Associate)


François completed his undergraduate studies at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Chimie de Montpellier (ENSCM), followed by his doctoral studies at Queen Mary University of London under the supervision of Dr Stellios Arseniyadis. His work focused on the functionalisation of butenolides via metal-catalysed asymmetric allylic alkylation and C-H activation processes and their application to natural products synthesis. He joined the Lawrence group in October 2021 to develop new approaches toward enantioconvergent reactions.

Dr Steven Bennett (Postdoctoral Associate)

S. Bennett

Steven studied Chemistry with Drug Discovery at the University of Strathclyde, achieving his Master’s degree in 2016. Following this, he moved to the University of Bristol to commence doctoral studies under the supervision of Prof. Varinder K. Aggarwal on the total synthesis of prostanoids and the difunctionalisation of C–C σ-bonds enabled by strained boronate complexes. After completion of his doctoral studies, he continued in the Aggarwal group as a post-doctoral research associate before joining the Lawrence group in October 2021 to focus on the development of new approaches towards enantioconvergent catalysis.

Andrew Tiberia (PhD Student)

Andy was raised in Cambridgeshire and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of York in 2018 (MChem, Hons 1st Class), spending his final year at Syngenta developing a novel herbicidal compound. Now part of the CRITICAT CDT, his PhD (jointly supervised with Prof. Lloyd-Jones) will involve the development of a new approach to enantioconvergent catalysis

Kimberley Dodds (PhD Student)

KimberleyKimberley grew up in Falkirk and obtained her MChem from the University of Edinburgh. She carried out her final year project in the Campopiano group exploring thermostable transaminase biocatalysts and then conducted a short summer project developing biocatalytic routes to industrially relevant compounds. Kimberley is undertaking her PhD studies in the field of transaminase biocatalysts with our industrial partner Johnson Matthey, under the joint supervision of Prof. Lawrence and Prof. Campopiano. Outside of her studies, Kimberley is a competitive bowler who is part of the ladies and junior ladies Scotland International team.

Adam Lockyer (PhD Student)

adamAdam completed his MChem at the University of Lincoln in 2021. He worked on the synthesis and self-sorting capabilities of lanthanide-salen complexes under the supervision of Dr Guzman Gil-Ramírez. After the completion of his MChem, Adam joined the Lawrence group to undertake a PhD studying the total synthesis of complex natural products.

Tomás Vieira de Castro (PhD Student)

tomasTomas completed his undergraduate degree in Medicinal and Biological Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh in 2018. He conducted his final year research project in the Lawrence group investigating the mechanism of a complex biomimetic domino reaction sequence. Following the completion of his degree, Tomas moved to Australia to work in the group of Prof. Jonathan George at the University of Adelaide, working towards an MPhil degree in the area of natural product synthesis. Tomas returned to Edinburgh to begin his PhD studies in September 2022.

Tristan Smolarski (PhD Student)

tristan_webTristan graduated from his undergraduate studies at the École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse (ENSCMu) in 2022. During his studies, he joined Spirochem AG to work on the synthesis of complex scaffolds. He then visited the University of Berkeley, California under the supervision of Prof. Richmond Sarpong, where he worked on the synthesis of prostratin.  Tristan joined the Lawrence group to undertake a PhD studying the biomimetic total synthesis of natural products.

Allison Findlay (Undergraduate Project Student)

AllisonAllison grew up just outside Glasgow and is a Fifth year Medicinal and Biological MChem Student at the University of Edinburgh. She is joining the Lawrence Group to complete her 5P master’s project which involves the biomimetic total synthesis of a dimeric natural product, isolated from a marine derived fungus.


Maxwell Etherington (Visiting Student – Australian National University)

MaxEtheringtonMaxwell is a third-year visiting student from the Australian National University in Canberra, where he is studying for a Bachelor of Philosophy, majoring in chemistry and earth sciences. He has joined the Lawrence group to complete a project developing a key reaction for the total synthesis of complex natural products.


Past PhD and PDRA Members

Dr Jacob Bestwick (PhD Student 2018-2022)

Dr Jake Stuart (PhD Student 2018-2022)

Dr Helen Jones (PhD Student 2017-2021)

Dr Catherine McKenna (PhD Student 2017-2021)

Dr Joshua Homer (Postdoctoral Fellow 2018-2021)

Dr Katherine Law (Postdoctoral Fellow 2018-2020)

Dr Robert Godfrey (PhD Student 2014-2019, Postdoctoral Fellow 2019-2020)

Dr Peter DaBell (PhD Student 2015-2019)

Dr Marie Thomson (PhD Student 2015-2018)

Dr Irene De Silvestro (PhD Student 2014-2017)

Dr Nicholas Green (Postdoctoral Research Fellow 2016-2017)

Dr Patrick Brown (PhD Student 2013-2016)

Past Undergraduate Students and Visitors

Kacper Patej (Undergraduate Summer Student 2022)

Ben Coles (MSc Project Student 2022)

Caspar Lamborelle (Visiting Student 2022 – TU Berlin)

Lorna Minty (Undergraduate Project Student 2021-2022)

Annika Wegner-Repke (Undergraduate Project Student 2021-2022)

Shane Barrett Kavanagh (Visiting Student 2021 – Trinity College Dublin)

Lewis Halsall (MSc Project Student 2021)

Rosie Street-Jeakings (Research Student 2018-2020)

Mária Štiblariková (Visiting PhD Student 2020-2021 – Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava)

Panagiotis Kalomenopoulos (Undergraduate Project Student 2020-2021)

Baekman Kim (Undergraduate Project Student 2020-2021)

Sujlesh Sharma (MSc Project Student 2020)

Eilidh Matheson (Undergraduate Project Student 2019-2020)

Kristian Chambers (Undergraduate Project Student 2019-2020)

Naruhiro Gondo (Visiting Student 2019 – Kyoto University)

Elliot Davenport (Undergraduate Project Student 2018-2019)

Charlotte O’Donnell (Undergraduate Project Student 2018-2019)

Chenfei He (Undergraduate Project Student 2018-2019)

Farjana Afroj (MSc Project Student 2019)

Victor Borba (Visiting Student 2019 – University of Ottawa)

Fraser Milne (Undergraduate Summer Student 2019)

Jake Stuart (Undergraduate Project Student 2017-2018)

Maciej Kucharski (Undergraduate Project Student 2017-2018)

Tomas Vieira De Castro (Undergraduate Project Student 2017-2018)

Ioanna Nakou (MSc Project Student 2017)

Koen Rietdijk (Undergraduate Project Student 2016-2017)

Catherine Connolly (Undergraduate Project Student 2016-2017)

Rhiann Ankers (Undergraduate Project Student 2015-2016)

Connie Buettner (Undergraduate Project Student 2015-2016)

Duncan MacDonald (Undergraduate Project Student 2015-2016)

Rebecca Burns (Undergraduate Project Student 2014-2015)

Becky Gerrard (Undergraduate Project Student 2014-2015)

Kiera Mehigan (Undergraduate Project Student 2014-2015)