Green Chemistry @ MUN

Group Members


Dr. Kerton is Professor of Green Chemistry at Memorial University. She was born in the ‘Steel City’ of the UK (Sheffield) to Welsh parents, leading to a love of the Yorkshire countryside and fanaticism for Welsh rugby. Her family moved via Nottingham to the South East of England with her Father’s work. She obtained her first class B.Sc. Hons degree (Chemistry Major, Environmental Science Minor, 1995) at the University of Kent in the UK. This is the main university in the area in which she grew up – ‘The Garden of England’ . She performed research supervised by Dr. Mike Went in the area of thio-macrocycle synthesis and coordination chemistry. She then moved to the University of Sussex to obtain her D.Phil. degree (1999) under the supervision of Dr. Gerry Lawless, and co-supervision by Dr. Steve Armes. Her two major achievements were (i) the isolation and structural characterisation of the first titanocene, and (ii) the first synthesis of a conducting polymer in a supercritical fluid. She then moved to Canada to perform postdoctoral research (lanthanide chemistry, ligand design and small molecule activation) with Dr. Mike Fryzuk before returning to her homeland to take up an academic position at the University of York. Here she shared lab space with Dr. Robin Perutz and became more heavily involved with Green Chemistry including collaborations with Dr. James Clark, Dr. Jeff Hardy, Dr. Gideon Grogan and Dr. Chris Rayner (Leeds). She also received a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship in September 2002. In September 2005, she moved back to Canada and took up a position as an assistant professor at Memorial University and was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 2010 and full professor in 2015. In June 2007 and 2013, she received Canada Foundation for Innovation Leaders Opportunity Fund Awards for research in the field of Green Chemistry. In July 2012, she was featured in the ‘Meet Our Authors’ section of the Green Chemistry journal’s blog and in 2013, their research was featured on the inside cover of the same journal. In 2009, Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing published her text on Alternative Solvents for Green Chemistry and the second edition was published in 2013. In  2013, she received funding from Hebron for her research into renewable chemicals. She currently collaborates with Chris Kozak (incl. CFI LOF 2013 for polymer analysis equipment), Kelly Hawboldt (Engineering), Christina Bottaro, Chris Rowley (All at Memorial Univ) and Yann Sarazin (Rennes) and Ning Yan (Singapore). She was an invited North American New Horizons Fellow in 2014 and attended an exciting, interdisciplinary meeting in Mexico City sponsored by the US Academy of Sciences, Mexican Academy of Sciences (Academia Mexicana de Ciencias) and the Royal Society of Canada. She was awarded the Dean of Science’s Distinguished Scholar Award and Medal in September 2016, and received a third CFI award in 2017 (in collaboration with Chris Kozak)


Dr. Kozak obtained his first class B.Sc. Hons degree (Biological Chemistry) at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, known as the “Steeltown” in the “Golden Horseshoe” of Lake Ontario. He performed research supervised by Dr. Mike McGlinchey (currently Emeritus Prof. at University College Dublin) in the area of indenyl-phosphine ligands. In 1997 he moved to the University of British Columbia in beautiful Vancouver to obtain his PhD degree under the supervision of Dr. Mike Fryzuk, where he studied dinitrogen activation by niobium complexes. In 2002 he moved to the UK to perform postdoctoral research at the University of York with Dr. Simon Duckett (Para-hydrogen induced polarization NMR techniques for quantum computing), followed by an NSERC PDF with Dr. Philip Mountford at Oxford University and a Junior Research Fellowship at Wolfson College, Oxford. His work at Oxford involved early transition metal catalysts for polymerization. In 2004, he moved back to Canada and took up a position as an Assistant Professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. In September 2005 he moved to his current position at Memorial University. In June 2008, he received a Canada Foundation for Innovation Leaders’ Opportunity Fund Award for research in the area of Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis. Chris was promoted to the position of Associate Professor (with tenure) at Memorial University in 2011. Also that year, he received the Terra Nova Young Innovator Award, sponsored by Suncor Energy. In January 2012 he became an Honorary Visiting Researcher at Imperial College London in the group of Dr. George Britovsek. In 2013, Dr. Kozak and Dr. Kerton received CFI LOF funding for their research in green polymers and carbon dioxide activation. In 2017, they received another collaborative CFI award – this time to purchase a dual-source single crystal X-ray diffractometer.


Our 11 Current Graduate Students:

George Margoutidis (MSc Uni. York, UK) – visited University of Bath on a Royal Society of Chemistry Travel Grant, now writing thesis

George in the student office

George in the student office

Hart Plommer (5th Yr PhD, BSc(Hons) Thompson Rivers University, Canada) – NSERC PGS-D scholarship holder

Hart in Gros Morne (West Coast of Newfoundland)

Hart in Gros Morne (West Coast of Newfoundland)

Kenson Ambrose (5th Yr PhD, BSc(Hons) St. Mary’s University, Canada)

Kenson preparing samples for MALDI-TOF MS analysis in C5006

Kenson preparing samples for MALDI-TOF MS analysis in C5006

Jennifer Murphy (5th Yr PhD, Kerton group, co-supervised with Kelly Hawboldt, Engineering, B.Sc.(Hons) Memorial) – – NSERC CGS-D scholarship holder

Jen enjoying the NL countryside and views of icebergs

Jen enjoying the NL countryside and views of icebergs

Tim Anderson (4th Yr PhD, B.Sc.(Hons) Mt. Allison, Canada)


Tim listening to some tunes in the office, Nov 2016

Kori Andrea (2nd Yr PhD, Kerton group, B.Sc.(Hons) Cape Breton University, Canada) – Vanier scholarship holder


Kori enjoying the NL summer and views of icebergs


Juliana Vidal (2nd Yr PhD, Kerton group, M.Sc. Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brasil)


Ju with her friend Cigano

Courtney Laprise (2nd Yr MSc, co-supervised by Kozak and Kerton, B.Sc.(Hons) Memorial University, Canada), NSERC CGS-M scholarship recipient


Courtney in the Bruneau Centre on MUN’s St. John’s campus

Keegan Start (2nd Yr MSc, Kozak group, B.Sc.(Hons) Lakehead University, Canada)

Keegan Start website photo

Keegan will be working with Chris on iron catalyzed reactions

Dr. Kerton also supervises students in the Environmental Science and Interdisciplinary PhD programs at MUN

Recent Graduates: Jue Gong (MSc 2018, now PhD candidate at Western), Erika Butler (MSc 2018, now chemist at Solid State Pharma Inc., NS), Ali Elkurtehi (PhD 2018), Kaijie Ni (PhD 2018, progressed to postdoctoral researcher at Western University, ON), Yi Liu (PhD 2017, progressed to researcher, Integer Resources, NL; and postdoctoral researcher at Marine Institute), Katalin Pressing-Devaine (PhD 2017, now teacher in Hungary), Dalal Alhashmialameer (PhD 2017, now Assistant Professor in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabian Scholarship Holder, co-supervised by Dr. Hattenhauer), Coralee Ridder (MSc 2017, Research Chemist, Sialco, BC), Yi “Charlene” Liu (MSc 2016, now PhD student at McGill University), Valerie Parsons (MSc 2015, now analytical chemist at Vale, Kerton group, co-supervised with Christina Bottaro), Greg Curtis (MSc 2014, now Lead Scientist, Soma Labs Scientific, BC), Qing He (MSc 2014), Hua Chen (MSc 2013), Nduka Ikpo (PhD 2013, progressed to Postdoctoral researcher at U. Alberta), Khaled Omari (PhD 2012, progressed to Postdoctoral researcher at CBU/B.W. Bioenergy Inc. 2013, NSERC Visiting Fellow 2014-2015 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, now Laboratory Supervisor, Testmark Laboratories Ltd., Sudbury, Ontario), Rebecca Dean (PhD 2012, progressed to Postdoctoral researcher at UBC), Samantha Payne (MSc 2012, progressed to instructional assistant at Memorial Univ.), Elliott Chard (MSc 2012, progressed to graduate student in Medicine), Kamrul Hasan  (PhD 2011, progressed to Postdoctoral researcher at U. Sherbrooke and U. de Montreal), Zhenzhong Hu (PhD 2011, progressed to Postdoctoral researcher at McGill Univ.), Hassan A. Kalviri (PhD  2011, progressed to Postdoctoral researcher at U. Ottawa, now Chemist at Sussex Research, Ottawa), Uttam K. Das (MSc 2010, progressed to PhD candidate at U. Ottawa), Xin Qian (MSc 2010, progressed to PhD candidate at Ecole Polytechnique, Paris; now postdoc at Oxford University), Nduka Ikpo (MSc 2008, progressed to PhD candidate at Memorial Univ.), Rajoshree Roychowdhury (MSc 2007, progressed to PhD candidate at U.Windsor)


Get in touch with the Profs if you are interested in undergraduate research.

See “where are they now?” section of site


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