Liam read undergraduate chemistry at the University of Bristol, conducting final-year research with Dr Chris Russell in the field of main group synthesis. Upon completion of his MSci in 2009, Liam began Ph.D. studies under the co-supervision of Dr Chris Russell and Prof. Guy Lloyd-Jones FRS. During this time, his research concerned the development and mechanistic investigation of gold-catalysed coupling methodologies. In December 2013, Liam relocated to Edinburgh to conduct post-doctoral research with Prof. Guy Lloyd-Jones FRS on mechanistic aspects of palladium catalysis. Liam was appointed to the post of Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry at the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham, in July 2015.
The exploitation of mechanistic insight to inform the development of efficient, catalytic approaches to carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond-formation is a central research theme in the Ball… read more
The exploitation of mechanistic insight to inform the development of efficient, catalytic approaches to carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond-formation is a central research theme in the Ball group. Although accurate prediction of molecular function from structure alone remains a challenge across all areas of synthetic chemistry, it is particularly difficult in the field of homogeneous catalysis: any given feature of a catalyst that benefits one step of a cycle, such as its ligand sphere or oxidation state, may have a lesser or an opposing effect in subsequent steps. Our approach is to use the tools of physical organic chemistry - including isotopic labelling, kinetic studies and analysis of structure-activity relationships - to gain an understanding of a reaction's mechanism and to quantify the requirements of the catalyst. This insight provides the basis for both informed catalyst optimisation and, ultimately, de novo reaction design.
Please see the group web-site for further information.