PhD Students

Nathan Andersen – Fourth Year

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 – Third 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.

Martin Black - First 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.

Sam Wharvell - First 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.

MSci Students

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George Earl

George recently finished his year in industry at Eurofins Agroscience Services where he trialled new pesticides and crop varieties. In his free time he likes to run, read and enjoys going bird watching.

Taylor Monckton

I have been at Nottingham Uni since 2017 studying for my MSci in Chemistry with a particular interest in supramolecular chemistry. In my spare time I enjoy running, cycling and hill walking/scrambling.  

Honorary Group Member


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).