Alessandro Bismuto

Alex completed his BSc and MSc at the University of Naples where he worked under the guidance of Prof. Ruffo in the field of homogeneous catalysis. In particular he worked with new chiral ligands derived from glucose and their employment in asymmetric epoxidation of alkenes. His CRITICAT CDT project will examine transition-metal free catalysts for hydrofunctionalisation under the supervision of Dr Michael Cowley and Dr Stephen Thomas at the University of Edinburgh. He enjoys playing football, volleyball, tennis and every kind of sports. He also enjoys listening to music and playing the guitar.

Giulia Buccolini

Giulia studied at the University of Camerino and graduated with a Masters Degree in chemistry and advanced chemical methodologies. She carried out research placements in the lab of Prof. Claudio Pettinari (working with ruthenium (II)-arene complexes) and at the Italian Institute of Technologies in Arnesano (synthesis and development of nanoparticles). Giulia practiced athletics for 10 years and likes reading and cooking (she is Italian!). Her PhD project will develop bimetallic catalysts to prepare high value added materials under the supervision of Prof. Paul Kamer (St Andrews) and Prof. Dieter Vogt (Edinburgh).

Antony Chan

Antony grew up in Edinburgh and graduated MChem (Hons) chemistry from Heriot-Watt University in 2014. He undertook his final year project with Prof. Alan Welch on the topic of metallacarboranes, and is currently in his first year of his PhD as part of the CRITICAT CDT programme. In his spare time, he enjoys baking, sketching and scale modelling. His PhD project, under the supervision of Prof. Alan Welch (Heriot-Watt) will focus upon developing metal complexes of bis(carboranes) and probing their activity in homogeneous catalysis.

Massimiliano Curcio

Max carried out his MSc at University of Naples Federico II, working on sugar-derived ligands for C-C bond formation under the guidance of Prof. Francesco Ruffo. After a few months at Italy's National Research Council, he joined the CRITICAT CDT under the supervision of Dr. Jason Love and Dr. Dimitri Mignard (Edinburgh), focusing upon the electroreduction of carbon dioxide. Outside of chemistry, Max enjoys adventure books and tennis/table tennis.

Peter Dabell

Peter graduated from University of St. Andrews in 2014 with an MChem in medicinal chemistry. For his final year project he worked with Prof. John Walton researching the role of the bicarbonate radical in synthesis and biology. He also carried out a summer placement in Lille designing and synthesising anti-cancer compounds. His CRITICAT PhD project will be supervised by Dr Steve Thomas and Dr Andy Lawrence (Edinburgh) and will focus upon the development of new catalytic methods for the utilization of renewable resources and the application of these methods in target orientated synthesis. Peter's hobbies include playing/watching sport (especially football and squash) and playing guitar.

Alberto Gonzalez

Alberto carried out his degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Granada (Spain), where he studied the production of high-purified Germanium for electronic purposes in his final year project. After working for six months at the University of Edinburgh as an intern in the field of carbon dioxide storage by biochar, he joined the CRITICAT CDT. His PhD project will focus upon metal-free hydrogenations under the supervision of Prof. Mark Keane (Heriot-Watt).

Ryan Kerr

Ryan graduated from the University of Strathclyde with an MChem in chemistry in 2014. During this programme he undertook a one year industrial placement at Syngenta (Jealotts Hill) as an organic research chemist using robotics for parallel synthesis. He carried out his final year Masters project with Dr Mark Spicer in the synthesis and characterisation of novel N,S-heterocyclic carbenes. His PhD project working with Prof. Andrew Smith (St Andrews) and Prof. Polly Arnold (Edinburgh) will develop homochiral bifunctional catalysts for a variety of applications in synthesis and polymerisation. Ryan's hobbies include shredding on the guitar, playing football and going to the gym.

Ajaya Malapati

Ajaya obtained his MSc in Organic Chemistry from Andhra University, India. He has worked in several industrial laboratories and has over ten year's practical laboratory experience. His CRITICAT CDT project will focus on C-H Bond activation & domino processes working with Dr Catherine Cazin. He is interested in protecting the environment, nature and shopping.

Rifahath Mon

Rifahath was born and brought up in Kerala in India. In 2005 he received his M.Sci degree in organic chemistry from the University of Pune in India. After this he worked as a Research Associate in Medicinal Chemistry department of Lupin Research Park, India for two years. He subsequently moved to the Process Research and Development unit of AstraZeneca, India in Aug 2007 and worked there till June 2014 as an Associate Research Scientist. He is currently interested in Homogeneous Catalysis and will carry out his CRITICAT PhD studies with Prof. Andrew Smith (St Andrews).

Stefania Musolino

Stefania comes from Italy and obtained her Masters degree in chemistry and pharmaceutical technologies from the University of Pisa in March 2014. She carried out her Masters thesis in organic chemistry where she developed the stereoselective synthesis of enantiomerically pure 2,5-dihydropyrrole ring systems under the direction of Prof. Paolo Crotti. Her PhD project is focused on the catalytic activation of carboxylic acids for amide bond formation, under the supervision of Dr James Taylor and Prof. Andrew Smith (St Andrews). Outside of chemistry she is interested in reading and scientific communication.

Gylen Odling

Before joining the CRITICAT CDT, Gylen completed his degree at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in June 2014. His final year undergraduate project involved the development of dyes for dye-sensitised solar cells under the supervision of Dr. Neil Robertson. As part of the CDT he chose to remain part of The Robertson Group (Edinburgh), but switched research projects to focus upon TiO2 mediated-photocatalysis. Outside chemistry Gylen is interested in fitness, including running, swimming and badminton.

Isabella Panovic

Issy completed her MChem degree at the University of Sheffield in 2014. In her final year project she worked with Prof. Iain Coldham and focused upon synthesising ketone precursors for nitrone dipole-mediated [3+2] cycloadditions for use in natural product synthesis. In her spare time she enjoys reading, baking, walking and going to the cinema. Her CRITICAT CDT project will involve the development of homogeneous catalysts for the processing of the biopolymer lignin working with Prof. Nick Westwood (St Andrews).

Ramprasad RR

Ramprasad was born in Trivandrum, Kerala. After obtaining his Chemistry from University of Kerala on 2012, he joined National Institute of Technology, Trichy for his M.Sc., where he did his final year project under the guidance of Dr. S. Anandan on Manganese Oxide/Graphene nanocomposite for supercapacitor applications. He was also selected as the Indian Academy of Sciences Summer Research Fellow on the year 2013, in which he worked with Dr. Gopalan Rajaraman of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. His CRITICAT project will emphasis on the development of MOFs as active and highly porous support for molecular catalysts under the supervision of Prof. Paul A Wright (St Andrews) and Dr. Matt L Clarke (St Andrews).

Samantha Russell

Samantha completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh where she graduated with a Masters in medicinal and biological chemistry. Her fourth year was spent at a research lab in Lille, France working with Prof. Thierry Loiseau, Dr Christophe Volkringer and Prof. Marc Visseaux where she synthesised metal-organic frameworks as pre-catalysts for isoprene polymerisation. Her CRITICAT CDT project will develop and utilise porous solids in catalysis under the supervision of Prof. Russell Morris (St Andrews). Outside chemistry, she enjoys watching stand-up comedy and musicals with friends as well as baking cakes (and eating them) and keeping fit through running, cycling and pilates.

Please reload

November 15, 2020

Virtual Explorathon

Virtual Explorathon Starts

December 14, 2020

Science Communication Speaker

Talk on Science Communication (Teams)

March 22, 2021

Annual Conference

Annual Conference (Teams)

Please reload

What's On


EPSRC Grant: EP/L016419/1

©2017 by CRITICAT. Proudly created with

+44(0)1334 463689


School of Chemistry,

North Haugh

University of St Andrews

Fife, KY16 9ST