Blakemore Group, Summer 2023

The Blakemore Laboratory

Inspired by the pursuit of sustainability, our group studies mechanisms of redox-induced chemical reactions, particularly those involving actinides, lanthanides, and carbon dioxide. We draw on perspectives from inorganic/organometallic chemistry, molecular electrochemistry, and surface science.


10 November 2023 – James is the keynote speaker at the 2023 Chemistry and Biochemistry Undergraduate Research Showcase at Wichita State University. James completed his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at WSU in 2007, and got his start in chemistry research at WSU as a member of Dr. Francis D'Souza's research group. Thanks to Dr. Jim Bann for the invitation to visit, and the opportunity to see old friends and make new ones on this visit. Dr. Bann was James's instructor for "Introduction to Biochemistry" way back in the spring semester of 2007, but he still remembers all his amino acids and many of their properties!

7 November 2023 – Graduate student Riddhi Golwankar has been named a Finalist in the KU Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition! Riddhi's 3MT presentation has the title "Unlocking Uranium's Potential" and describes our work regarding tuning of the electrochemical properties of uranium, which has an eye on applications in next-generation approaches to nuclear fuel recycling. Congratulations, Riddhi and good luck in the finals next week!

3 November 2023 – Today, our group was happy to join with the KU Department of Chemistry in welcoming Prof. Bill Evans of UC Irvine to campus and our department to deliver the 22nd Annual Brewster Lecture in Inorganic Chemistry. Bill is a leader in the field of the organometallic chemistry of the rare earth and actinide elements, and spoke in his lecture about how synthetic chemistry can contribute to the interdisciplinary arena of quantum science. Thanks to Bill for a great visit, a tremendous presentation, and enlightening conversations about the chemistry of the heavy elements!

12 June 2023 – Congratulations to our graduate student Emily Mikeska, who has begun a year of collaborative research in transuranic redox chemistry with Dr. Richard Wilson in the Heavy Element Chemistry and Separation Science Group at Argonne National Laboratory! Emily is being supported for her research by the DOE SCGSR program, as part of the 2022 Solicitation 2 round of awards. First off, we will be doing some neptunium and plutonium electrochemistry to learn new lessons about controlling actinide speciation through redox. Congratulations, Emily, and good luck with the research!

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You cannot step into the same river twice, for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you. – Heraclitus