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Professor Mike Whittlesey



The Boss. The Main Man.  Mike joined the University of Bath in 1999 as a lecturer and was appointed as Professor in 2012. As well as organometallic chemistry, Mike loves blasting Metallica in the lab and has an introductory schedule to any new group member to allow them to be fully exposed to all their songs! If not in the lab, Mike can be found either on the golf course or with the latest Whittlesey recruit; his beloved new car Robin.

Will Blackaby

2nd Year PhD


Will joined the group full-time in 2015 after he graduated from the University of Bath with a Masters in Chemistry. He has already spent a year in the Whittlesey group, during his final year MChem project on ruthenium-NHC chemistry under the supervision of Mat. He is now working on synthesis and characterisation of low-coordinate Ni(I) species bearing ring-expanded N-heterocyclic carbenes (RE-NHCs) for the purposes of magnetic applications and the search for single molecule magnets (SMMs). Will also enjoys a dip in the Olympic standard swimming pool on campus.

Dr Sara Sabater



Sara joined the group in 2016 after getting her PhD from University Jaume I in Castellón under Prof. Eduardo Peris and Dr. Jose A. Mata. Apart from her love for NHC chemistry, Sara is hooked on the gym and all kinds of outdoor sports such as jogging, hiking, skating… but what she likes most is to practice extreme activities such as climbing, skydiving and paragliding. 

Our adventurous girl moved to Switzerland first for a short stay at the University of Bern in Martin Albrecht’s group. Unless she keeps saying abnormal carbenes are very interesting we all know that the main reason of going to the Alps was because she wanted to ski in the best place of the world! In some months she will be ready to join our group to discover the fascinating world of magnetism and to delight us with her extraordinary singing skills. Bath, get ready because earthquake Sara is coming!

Jonathan Hall

1st Year PhD


Jonathan joined the group full-time in 2016 after undertaking one of his MRes projects within the group as part of the Catalysis CDT training. Before this he studied at the University of Bath with his MChem project under the supervision Dr Ruth Webster. He is now investigating the catalytic properties of low-coordinate Ni(I) species bearing ring-expanded N-heterocyclic carbenes (RE-NHCs). In addition, the main part of the PhD will focus on continuing Lee’s work on low coordinate Cu(I) systems and exploring their catalytic viability. In his spare time Jon enjoys cycling, playing and watching rugby, and going on holiday…

Mateusz Cybulski

Final Year PhD


Originally from Poland, Mateusz graduated from the University of Bath with a Masters in Chemistry. Apart from delving deep into the world of ruthenium-NHC chemistry, Mateusz’s other interests include skiing, buffing up at the gym and sandwiches! With the ability to always eat everyone else’s leftovers, entertainment is in no short supply when Mateusz is around, supplying us with numerous memorable quotes and his comedic genius!


Former PDRAs


Dr Suzanne Burling (2003-2006)

Dr Paul Slatford (2004-2007)

Dr Elena Mas-Marzá (2008-2010)

Dr Tracy Nixon (2007-2010)

Dr Michael Page (2008-2011)

Dr Leonid Schwartsburd (2012-2013)

Dr Ian Riddlestone (2013-2016)

Former PhD students


Lee Higham (1996-1999)

Sam Kirkham (1997-2000)

Matt Hargreaves (1999-2002)

Rodolphe Jazzar (1999-2002)

Jose Goicoechea (2000-2003)

Belinda Paine (2002-2005)

Susie Douglas (2002-2005)
Sarah Chatwin (2004-2007)

Andy Kirk (2004-2008)

Olly Saker (2005-2009)

Steve Reade (2005-2009)

Araminta Ledger (2007-2011)

Charlie Ellul (2007-2011)

Tom Martin (2007-2011)

Nicola Bramananthan (2010-2014)

Caroline Davies (2010-2014)

Rebecca Poulten (2011-2015)

Lee Collins (2012-2016)

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