PhD Students


Nathan Andersen – Writing Up

Nathan arrived at Nottingham in 2017 after completing his MChem at Nottingham Trent University, where, during his final year, he worked within the Cave group on surface modified silica gels and their chromatographic properties. He joined the Champness group as a part of the first Low-Dimensional Materials and Interfaces EPSRC cohort, where he works on various supramolecular structures, including simple [2]Rotaxanes, through to Molecular Handcuffs involving motifs such as pentacene and rylene diimides, with the aim of investigating the occurrence of singlet fission between solid state dimers. More recently, he joined the Pilgrim group for his final year of study, where his research has focused primarily on newly designed ‘Half-Handcuff’ [2]Rotaxane structures. In his spare time, he enjoys learning to code and develop games, learning how to draw, and keeping-up with football.


Marysia Tarnowska – Fourth Year

Marysia started their MSci in Chemistry at Nottingham in 2013. As a second year undergraduate they completed a summer research project with the Stockman group, working on the manipulation of non-symmetrical 3D molecules synthesised from linear substrates for the purposes of contributing to the Joint European Compound Library. The following year, they partook in a further summer placement in the Thomas Group and investigated the synthesis of a polymer based implant coating. Marysia completed their MSci, working on the synthesis of rotaxanes and catenanes based on pillar[5]arene and imidazole-containing alkane chain systems, as well as their manipulation, leading to very basic molecular machine properties. In 2018 Marysia joined the Champness group to begin a PhD. Their research, now continued in the Pilgrim group, focuses on supramolecular handcuff structures based on pillar[5]arene, perylene diimide (PDI) and imidazole-containing systems. Marysia also has a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Chemistry, and is engaged in teaching and outreach activities within the school of chemistry.

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Martin Black - Second 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 - Second 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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Taylor Monckton - First Year (Previously MSci in group)

Taylor completed his MSci in chemistry at the University of Nottingham in 2021. Taylor’s MSci project was a review on the ‘stability of metal-organic cages in a range of conditions’ and a project where he was attempting to synthesis novel organic ligands for use in cage synthesis. Taylor completed his MSci project under the Pilgrim group and decided to stay at the University and continue working with metal-organic cages for his PhD. Taylor is funded by the EPSRC and is a collaborative project between the Pilgrim group and Prof. Mike George's group in the School of Chemistry and Dr Lyudmila Turyanska's group from the School of Engineering. In his spare time Taylor is a keen runner, cyclist, and hiker.

MSci Students

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Emma Bowley

Emma is currently in her fourth year of her integrated masters in Natural Sciences specialising in Chemistry and Maths and has a keen interest in supramolecular chemistry. In her free time she enjoys climbing, playing the bugle and flute, and playing board games.


Ethan Powell

Ethan started their Msci at Nottingham in 2018 and joined the group in 2021 for their final year project. Their academic interests primarily involve supramolecular chemistry and reactive metal complexes, with a more general interest in metal chemistry. In their spare time, they enjoy medieval re-enactment with the university’s medieval combat society and they play several instruments.

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Thomas Dixon

Thomas has been studying for an MSci at the University of Nottingham since 2018, and in that time has developed an interest in inorganic and supramolecular chemistry. In his spare time, he enjoys origami, playing music, and creating digital artwork.

Honorary Group Member

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Newton arrived as an Honorary Group Member in September 2020. His research interests include disassembly, chaotic and disordered systems, and tying knots in his lead. He likes to attend as many group events as he can, but is disappointed that not all of them have sausages.