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Group in November 2023. Left to right: Soumalya, Connor, Ed, Martin, Dan, Becky, Ben,
Justin, Mark, Sam, Amy, Sam, Adam. Absent Xiaoxuan

Postdoctoral Fellows

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Soumalya Bhattacharyya

Soumalya comes from West Bengal, India. He did his bachelor's degree at the University of Calcutta followed by an M.Sc. in Chemistry from IIT Madras. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore under Prof. Partha S Mukherjee on 'Photoresponsive supramolecular architectures and their applications.' He loves watching cricket and the Premier League. He also likes to play cricket.

PhD Students

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Martin Black - Fourth Year 

Martin completed his MSci in chemistry at the University of Nottingham in 2020. In his third year research project he worked in the Nortcliffe group in collaboration with GSK to synthesise novel anti-asthma drugs. Martin did his final year project in the Champness group working on the synthesis of pillar[6]arene based rotaxanes. In his spare time he enjoys playing squash and rock climbing.

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Sam Wharvell - Fourth Year 

Sam completed both his BSc and MSc and the University of Leicester in Chemistry and Biological Chemistry respectively. In his spare time he plays dodgeball, water polo and enjoys attending and being a part of theatre productions.

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Amy Naylor Randles - Third Year 

Amy completed her MChem at the University of Liverpool in 2021. During this time she spent a year in industry at Unilever Port Sunlight in the advanced materials and surface science group designing novel sustainable surfactants. In her final year Amy joined the Claridge group working on Quasicrystal growth and XRD. In 2021 Amy joined the CDT in Sustainable Chemistry at UoN and is now working on a collaborative project between the Irvine, Pilgrim and Stockman groups (Faculty of Enginnering & School of Chemistry). In her spare time Amy enjoys gymnastics, reading and travelling to sunny countries.

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Adam Holt - Second Year

After graduating with 1st Class Honours (Chemistry) from Bangor University in 2018 Adam spent several years exploring possible careers including teaching and The Royal Navy. Returning to academia in the October of 2021 he completed a Masters by Research (Chemistry) degree at the University of Lincoln under the tutorage of Dr Guzmán Gil-Ramírez. This course included a two week internship at the University of Granada under Drs Victor B. Suárez and Aeaceli G. Camaña From here Adam was accepted onto a funded PhD program (Chemistry) at the University of Nottingham which he commenced in the October of 2022. Adam's project is funded by the EPSRC and is a collaborative project between the Pilgrim group and Prof. Mike George's group (School of Chemistry) and Dr Lyudmila Turyanska's group (School of Engineering). In his free time Adam enjoys outdoor pursuits and has led multi day hiking expeditions across the Isle of Skye and Snowdonia National Park.

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Ed Smale - Second Year

Ed is starting the first year of his PhD in the Pilgrim group after completing his Masters at the University of Loughborough. His research project in Loughborough was based around the synthesis of sulfimide derivatives and their properties. He loves wildlife and has claimed his girlfriend's German Shepherd as his own. In his spare time he weightlifts most days as well as liking paddle boarding and generally being in the sea whenever he can be, and if not he’ll probably be found drinking coffee somewhere.

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Connor Bergin - First Year

Connor joined the Pilgrim group after completing his MChem at Sheffield Hallam University in 2023. His research project for his masters was the synthesis of a potential inhibitor for the PTP1B enzyme to tackle the rising issue of obesity and its related comorbidities. In his spare time, Connor enjoys playing cricket and golf as well as attending football matches.

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Xiaoxuan Su - First Year

Xiaoxuan earned his Master's degree in Chemistry from the University of Sheffield in 2021. He then returned to China and worked as a research assistant for two years before deciding to pursue his PhD on a joint project between the Pilgrim group and Dr Matt Cliffe's group. During his spare time, he enjoys reading and playing board games.

MRes Students

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Yucong Fan (writing up)

Yucong comes from Ningxia, China. He started his MRes degree in the University of Nottingham in 2022. In his spare time, he loves watching F1 races, travelling, and playing video games.

Justin Joseph

Justin was born in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and moved to Leeds at the age of 13. He completed his BSc in Chemistry at the University of Bradford, with his dissertation entitled 'The supramolecular self-assembly of lysozyme to form 3D scaffolds'. He enjoys all types of games, and spends most of his time studying and creating strategies to beat whatever game or sport that manages to keep hold of his attention.

MSci Students

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MSci Students

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Daniel Barnes

Dan is currently studying towards an MSci in Chemistry at the University of Nottingham, where he hopes to graduate in the summer of 2024. He has developed a keen interest in specific areas of chemistry throughout the course including supramolecular and medicinal chemistry. Outside of chemistry, he represents UoN at hockey and also enjoys going to the gym, watching football and playing cricket.

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Mark Hewlins

Mark is studying for his MSci in Chemistry at the University of Nottingham hoping to graduate in the summer of 2024. He really enjoys the chemistry of self-assembly as well as biological chemistry. In his spare time, he loves all things mountains including rock climbing and mountaineering. He is also part of the committee for the university mountaineering club running trips to Scotland, Snowdonia and abroad. 

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Rebecca Robinson

Becky comes from Wiltshire and is in her final year working towards a master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Nottingham, with a hope for a future in Medicinal Chemistry. Outside of work, she loves reading, going out with friends, and swimming.

There are currently no visiting students. If you are interested in visiting please contact Ben.

Intern Students


Sam Watson

Sam is from the Wirral, Merseyside, and is currently in the second year of his Biochemistry degree. Alongside his course, this year he will be an intern in the Pilgrim group as part of the ‘Excel in Science’ programme. In his spare time he plays for the MechSoc Rugby team in the IMS league.

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