8 July 2024 – This week, James attended the annual meeting of the American Crystallographic Association and participated in a workshop on the Shelxle program for structure refinement. Thanks to Matthias Zeller, Ashley Weiland, Christian Hübschle, and Michael Ruf for leading the workshop, and congratulations to our collaborator Allen Oliver on his leadership of the event during his presidency of the ACA!

17 June 2024 – This week, James attended the 3rd International Conference on Noncovalent Interactions in Belgrade, Serbia. James presented an Invited Talk on use of tailored ligands to immobilize metal complexes on electrode surfaces. Thanks to Prof. Dr. Snežana Zarić for the invitation and the opportunity to re-connect with colleagues from around the world at this great meeting. 

2 June 2024 – This week, James, Emily, and Alex presented their research at the Gordon Research Conference on Inorganic Chemistry. James and Alex presented our latest uranium crown ether and bimetallic chemistry, and Emily presented our work with ANL on development of neptunium and plutonium diacetate salts as synthetic precursors. Thanks to Jacqueline Veauthier (LANL) and Ellen Matson (Rochester) for running a great meeting!

30 May 2024 – Congratulations to the newest Ph.D.'s to complete their degrees in the Blakemore Group, Dr. Riddhi Golwankar, Dr. Joe Karnes, Dr. Emily Mikeska, and Dr. Christian Nilles! Riddhi, Joe, and Emily all completed their degrees and defended their dissertations in April-May, while Christian wrapped up in December of 2023. Congrats to this tremendous group, which collectively produced a total of over 2,000 pages of text in the course of writing their dissertations!

20 May 2024 – Welcome summer undergraduate researcher Aidan Thomas to KU and the Blakemore Group! Aidan is studying immobilization of uranium complexes on electrode surfaces with co-mentor Natalie Lind this summer.

10 May 2024 – Congratulations to Colleen Thach, who has been named the recipient of a KU Undergraduate Research Award for Fall 2024! This award comes with a $1,000 scholarship to support Colleen, who is working on lithium cation speciation in organic solvents. Congrats, Colleen!

6 May 2024 – Graduate student Fynn Cooper has been named the 2024 SCI America Perkin Medal Scholar! This award, given by SCI America, has been bestowed upon Fynn on the occasion of Dr. Max McDaniel, eminent chemist and Senior Fellow Scientist at Chevron Phillips Chemical, being named the 2024 Perkin Medal recipient. Fynn was nominated for the Scholar award by Dr. McDaniel, who was given the opportunity to name a worthy graduate student for the award. Fynn is the graduate student in our group that currently leads the ongoing collaboration with CPChem, and will be presented with the award at the Perkin Medal dinner in Philadelphia in September. SCI America is a part of the Society of Chemical Industry’s international organization  Congratulations, Max and Fynn!

5 May 2024 – Our undergraduate Tej Gumaste has been named the recipient of an Honors Opportunity Award from the University Honors Program! Tej is studying applications of data science to understand the structural properties of fluorinated anions, and is working with our group from his background as a Computer Science student at KU. Tej is co-mentored in these efforts by graduate student Fynn Cooper. Congrats, Tej!

4 May 2024 – Congratulations to all the student members of the Blakemore Group that were honored this year with scholarships and prizes by the Department of Chemistry at KU! This year's recipients include Emily Mikeska, Alex Ervin, Davis Curry, Fynn Cooper, Natalie Lind, Cecilia Paranjothi, Celine Khalife, and Colleen Thach. All the award were announced at the Department Recognition Ceremony today; this ceremony is held annually and honors both award recipients and this year's graduates from our department's academic programs.

3 May 2024 – James presented our group's research in the area of actinide chemistry to the Chemistry Alumni Advisory Board (CAAB). In his presentation, he described our recent collaborative work in transuranic chemistry with Argonne National Laboratory in detail, including upcoming plans for joint student research supported by the SCGSR program. Thanks to the CAAB, and Chemistry Department Chair Tim Jackson, for the opportunity to share our research results and future plans!

2 May 2024 – Congratulations to senior Aditya Vargheese on being named a recipient of a Class of 1913 Award! Aditya was the Seminar Assistant in James's Fall 2023 First-year Seminar taught within the University Honors Program. The Class of 1913 Awards, part of the family of prestigious University Awards, are presented annually to two graduating students who show evidence of intelligence, devotion to studies, personal character and promise of usefulness to society. Way to go, Aditya!

2 May 2024 – Our collaborator Dr. Chelsea Comadoll has been named an Adjunct Research in the Department of Chemistry at KU. Dr. Comadoll is an Assistant Professor at Mid-American Nazarene University, but she will be in residence at KU this coming summer, working with our group on new ligand systems for binding and activation of actinyl cations.

25 April 2024 – The Blakemore and Thompson Research Groups have been named the recipients of the KU Department of Chemistry's Sutton Family Research Impact Award for February 2024. This award is given monthly to support outstanding research publications from our department, and our joint paper on the conductivity of carbon-dioxide-rich organic media that was published earlier this year in The Journal of the American Chemical Society earned the recognition in this case. Congrats to the research team involved, and thanks to Ward Thompson and his students Elle and Ashley for working with us on the project!

9 April 2024 – Congratulations to our graduate student Davis Curry, who has been named the recipient of a DOE Office of Science Graduate Research (SCGSR) Fellowship! This fellowship will support Davis during 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, starting in June. The fellowship is one of the SCGSR 2024 Solicitation 2 awards. Congratulations, Davis, and looking forward to kicking off the research later this year!

5 April 2024 – Congratulations to Cecilia Paranjothi on being named a 2024 Goldwater Scholar! The Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship given in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics in the United States.  Congratulations, Cecilia!

4 April 2024 – Congratulations to our former undergraduate researchers Jonah Stiel and Gabe Benitez on being named recipients of National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships! The NSF GRFP is among the most prestigious pre-doctoral fellowships in the country, and the program is designed to help ensure the quality, vitality, and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. Jonah is currently a doctoral student at UC Irvine in the group of Prof. Bill Evans, and Gabe will begin doctoral studies at Colorado School of Mines in Fall 2024. Congrats, Jonah and Gabe!

29 March 2024 – Our work on uranyl crown-ether complexes has been featured by ChemistryViews! Thanks to the folks at Chemistry Europe for highlighting our work in this nice piece!

29 March 2024 – Congratulations to our first-year graduate student Natalie Lind on having her research featured at the 2024 Capitol Graduate Research Summit! Natalie was one of only eight individuals from KU to be invited to participate at this event. Additionally, she is one of only four of the total of thirty seven presenters to have been recognized as a top presenter! Natalie was honored both for her exceptional research on electrodeposition of uranium oxide materials from non-aqueous solutions as well as for a poster presentation of outstanding quality.

26 March 2024 – Joe Karnes has been named the Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Month for April 2024! He was selected for this award by the Department of Chemistry, and was nominated for the award by a group of his students from the course General Chemistry II (CHEM 135). The award includes a gift from the department, a certificate of recognition, and a rotating spotlight in department media. Well done, Joe, and thanks for all you have done for your students this semester!

26 March 2024 – Congratulations to our undergraduate Colleen Thach, who has been named the recipient of a Chemistry Department Summer Undergraduate Research Scholarship for 2024. This scholarship includes a full stipend as well as funds for supplies and travel. With this support, Colleen will be continuing her studies of lithium cation speciation in non-aqueous solvents, along with co-mentors Fynn Cooper and Davis Curry. Way to go, Colleen!

3 March 2024 – Our undergraduate Celine Khalife has been named the recipient of an Honors Opportunity Award from the University Honors Program! Celine will use this award for work on her undergraduate thesis. Celine's project focuses on temperature-dependent studies of the use of phosphine oxide probe molecules to estimate the Lewis acidity of diamagnetic cations, and she will be co-mentored this summer by Jared Schaeffer and Davis Curry. Congrats, Celine!

6 February 2024 – Our undergraduate Cecilia Paranjothi has been selected by the University of Kansas to be nominated for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. As described by the Goldwater Foundation, this scholarship is "one of the oldest and most prestigious . . . in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics in the United States, [and] seeks to identify, encourage, and financially support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields." Cecilia is one of only four students nominated this year. Brava, Cecilia!

1 February 2024 - Congratulations to our undergraduate Colleen Thach, who has been selected to be a McNair Scholar at KU! Through this program, Colleen will receive support for conducting an original research project in our laboratory. Colleen's project will be using NMR spectroscopy to examine the behavior of lithium cations in non-aqueous media, a topic of relevance to lithium ion battery chemistry. Congratulations, Colleen!

22 January 2024 – This week, James is attending the GRC on Chemical Separations in Galveston, Texas. This meeting is focused on some of the biggest challenges in chemical science and engineering, including work on separation of critical elements and development of strategies for handling of carbon dioxide for storage or conversion. Thanks to Dr. Vanda Glezakou (Oak Ridge) and Dr. Mark Shiflett (KU) for their leadership on the meeting, and the invitation to serve as Discussion Leader on the topic of "Separation of Critical Materials."

12 December 2024 – Congratulations to our undergraduate student Cecilia Paranjothi, who has been named a recipient of an Undergraduate Research Award (UGRA) by the KU Center for Undergraduate Research. This UGRA funding, the second that Cecilia has received in her time at KU, will support her research on surface-immobilized uranium complexes and their speciation properties. Congrats, Cecilia!