Research News

2020 Keaffaber Scholar Award

The Keaffaber Scholar Award recognizes the overall excellence in research and academic scholarship of one of our senior chemistry majors.  To be eligible for the award, the undergraduate must be research active within the Department of Chemistry and committed to pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry. 

This year, the recipient of the Keaffaber Scholar Award is Caroline Coxwell. Caroline is a senior chemistry major with a minor in communications studies. Caroline decided she wanted a career in chemistry after taking organic chemistry in her sophomore year of college. In the fall of her junior year, Caroline joined Dr. Stephen A. Miller’s research group in polymer chemistry. Her specific project studies the effects of acetalization of polyvinyl alcohol with ketones and aldehydes to increase the functionality and thermal properties of the polymer. Caroline was accepted into the UF’s international REU in France for the summer of 2020 but could not attend due to COVID-19. Beyond academics, Caroline enjoys running stadiums, watching movies, and hanging out with her research group. After she graduates, Caroline plans to pursue a Ph.D in Chemistry with an emphasis on polymer chemistry.

Robin Kemperman Named the 2020 Sheridan Fellow

The UF Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that Mr. Robin H.J. Kemperman is named the Howard and Brenda Sheridan Fellow of 2020. Robin is a graduate of the HAN University of Applied Sciences and is currently finishing up his Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Yost. His dissertation research focuses on the fields of mass spectrometry and ion mobility; in particular, enhancing the confidence in metabolite identification and performing isomer separations on a millisecond time scale. 

Congratulations Robin! 

2020 Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarship

We are pleased to announce that Christopher Brewer has been selected as a recipient of the 2020 Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarship, which is one of the AVS National Student Awards.  This award is to recognize and encourage excellence in graduate studies in science that is of interest to AVS.  Christopher Brewer received his BS degree from Florida State University and is a current graduate student in Dr. Lisa McElwee-White’s group.  He studies the photochemistry of organometallic Ru precursors to be used for photoassisted chemical vapor deposition, in collaboration with Dr. Amy Walker at UT-Dallas.  He also studies the application of Ru precursors for focused electron beam induced deposition and has collaborated with Dr. Ivo Utke at EMPA and Dr. Petra Swiderek at University of Bremen.

As a student awardee, Christopher Brewer will be presenting his research during the AVS 67 Virtual Showcase held October 27 – 29, 2020.  His talk titled: “Ru precursors for photoassisted chemical vapor deposition: comparison of allyl and diene complexes” will be at 11:05 am on Tuesday, October 27th and registration is free.

Congratulations Chris!

2020 James and Laura Winefordner Summer Graduate Scholarship

The Analytical Chemistry Division is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 James and Laura Winefordner Summer Graduate Scholarship, Taylor Domenick. Taylor is a graduate of the College of Charleston and a member of Professor Rick Yost’s research group. Her dissertation research focuses on the development of ambient ionization techniques to investigate the metabolome of live microglial cells, as well as methodology to increase the confidence of metabolite and lipid structural identification, by ion mobility-mass spectrometry.

Congratulations Taylor!

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Eastman Chemical Fellowships

The award in analytical chemistry or polymer characterization goes to Taylor Domenick. Taylor received her BS degree from the College of Charleston and joined our program in 2016. She is a member of Prof. Yost’s research group. Her dissertation research focuses on the development of ambient ionization techniques to investigate the metabolome of live microglial cells, as well as methodology to increase the confidence of metabolite and lipid structural identification, by ion mobility-mass spectrometry.
The award in organic chemistry goes to Jacob Lessard who received his BS degree from the University of New Hampshire and began his PhD studies at UF in 2016. Jacob is a member of Prof. Sumerlin’s research group. His research has mainly focused on the synthesis of reprocessable thermosets, controlled radical polymerization, and the development of new polymerization methods.
Congratulations Taylor and Jacob!

We are pleased to announce Julia Rho is selected as a 2020 PMSE Future Faculty Scholar

This program aims to highlight up-and-coming postdocs and provide a platform for them to share their work at the ACS, which took place virtually this year. Julia is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Sumerlin group working in the area of polymer chemistry. Her research spans several projects, including the study of polymer self-assembly, complex coacervates, and cyclic polymers as vitrimers. Congratulations, Julia!”

Kari Basso: Selected as the female superstar in Mass Spec

This is a group within the American Society for Mass Spectrometry that brings together women in the field of mass spec. They hold virtual workshops with people around the world focused on supporting and mentoring women in science. They hold a virtual happy hour every two weeks that includes a speaker, often female CEO’s, or speakers on work life balance issues and then we have a break out session to network. Every month they spotlight one female super star in mass spec, this month the woman chosen is our own Dr. Kari Basso. When asked, Dr. Basso described being both shocked and honored to have been chosen.

Coray Colina Receives Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to Mexico for a Research/Teaching Appointment

The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board are pleased to announce that Coray Colina of University of Florida has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to Mexico. Colina will research/lecture at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico as part of a project to perform research on Molecular Chimeras for Opioid Receptor Modulators.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Colina will share knowledge and foster meaningful connections across communities in the United States and Mexico. Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions.

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Wei group published in Energy & Environmental Science

A research paper from the Wei group has been published in Energy & Environmental Science–the top leading journal in the energy field with a 2018 impact factor of 33.250 and five-year impact factor of 32.826. The article titled “Modulating Multi-Hole Reaction Pathways for Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation on Gold Nanocatalysts” reports a discovery that catechol molecules on Au/TiO2 heterostructures are able to directly trap and stabilize visible-light-generated hot holes on Au under steady-state reaction conditions (t ~ms–s). Those long-lived hot holes are further found to create a new reaction pathway in which the catechol-trapped holes cooperate with the newly generated holes on Au. The new mechanism boosted photoelectrochemical water oxidation on Au by one order of magnitude. Our study provides a molecular level understanding of the role of photo-generated hot holes in facilitating water oxidation, illustrating a strategy to assemble metal nanoparticles, semiconductors, and molecules to effectively separate charge carriers and harvest hot holes for driving photochemical reactions.

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, UF Graduate School Fellowship, Department of Energy Science Graduate Student award, Ann Stasch Summer Fellowship, Vala Research Excellence Award, and College of Liberal Art and Science (CLAS) Dissertation Fellowship funded by the Charles Vincent and Heidi Cole McLaughlin Endowment.

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