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Jonathan McMaster

Professor of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

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Biography

Professor Jonathan McMaster obtained his B.A. in Chemistry from St. Anne's College, University of Oxford in 1992. He completed a PhD at the University of Manchester under the supervision of Professor C. D. Garner in 1995 before being appointed as Visiting Assistant Professor in Inorganic Chemistry at Brown University, RI, USA for one year. Subsequently, Dr. McMaster spent three years as a postdoctoral research associate with Professor John H. Enemark at The University of Arizona, USA. He was appointed Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Nottingham in 1999, and is currently an Professor of Chemistry in the School and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC).

Teaching Summary

Professor McMaster's teaching interests are in general Inorganic Chemistry and the roles of transition metal centres in biological systems in particular. This teaching is informed by the research… read more

Research Summary

Professor McMaster is a Biological Inorganic Chemist with interests in the roles of d-transition metals in biology. The recent progress in protein X-ray crystallography and spectroscopy has lead to… read more

Selected Publications

Professor McMaster undertakes the following administrative roles within the School:

  • Admissions' Tutor for BSc Chemistry (F100), MSci Chemistry (F101), MSci Chemistry with an International Study Year (F103) and MSci Chemistry with a Year in Industry (F105) undergraduate courses. Please visit Studying Chemistry at Nottingham for more details about the undergraduate courses offered by The School of Chemistry.
  • Head of Year 1
  • Staff President of the University of Nottingham Student Chemical Society (ChemSoc)
  • Deputy Head of Molecular Bonding and Spectroscopy

Professor McMaster's teaching interests are in general Inorganic Chemistry and the roles of transition metal centres in biological systems in particular. This teaching is informed by the research carried out in Professor McMaster's research group and builds upon general principles of inorganic chemistry developed in year one courses in Chemistry. In addition to his lectures, the McMaster group usually welcome two or three MSci 4th year students into the group each year to work on their final year research projects. PhD students working in the McMaster group also demonstrate in Inorganic Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories.

Undergraduate Courses:

  • F13PFB - Protein Folding and Biospectroscopy
  • F13BMC - Bioinorganic and Co-ordination Chemistry
  • F13DLI - Distance Learning Inorganic Chemistry
  • F11SPC - An Introduction to Structure, Periodicity and Coordination Chemistry

In addition, Professor McMaster typically holds tutorials for students taking: F11SPC, F12GIN, F13BMC and F13CAT, and demonstrates in Year 1 Inorganic Laboratory.

Postgraduate Courses:

  • Professor McMaster also delivers an intensive postgraduate course on d-orbital theory and spectroscopy which is targeted towards year one and two postgraduate research students with research interests in the field of transition metal chemistry.

Current Research

Professor McMaster is a Biological Inorganic Chemist with interests in the roles of d-transition metals in biology. The recent progress in protein X-ray crystallography and spectroscopy has lead to detailed static pictures for the structures of the active sites of numerous metalloproteins. As a result, a major challenge for the bioinorganic chemist is to understand the properties and functions of metalloenzymes within this well-defined structural framework. Ultimately, insight into the properties of biological metal centres derives from a description of the electronic structure of the active site and how other enzyme motifs perturb it. Parallel with the advances in physical methods has been the constant discovery of new biological systems containing metal ions in environments that have no precedent in coordination chemistry. Consequently, not only is the field becoming more detailed but its breadth is also increasing, providing new challenges for the synthetic inorganic chemist.

The McMaster Group is currently engaged in:

  • The development of analogues of the active sites of the [NiFe] hydrogenases as potential catalysts for the production of dihydrogen.
  • The preparation of metal complexes of novel sterically hindered ligands capable of supporting thiyl or phenoxyl radicals bound to transition metal centres.
  • Understanding the mechanism of electron transfer between the prosthetic groups in the Mo-containing hydroxylases and oxotransferases, deriving an electronic structure description for the molybdenum cofactor in the Mo-containing hydroxylases and oxotransferases through spectroscopic studies of Mo and W complexes with S ligands.
  • The use of electrochemical methods, electron paramagnetic and magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopies and theoretical calculations to probe the electronic structures of transition metal compounds.

School of Chemistry

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