Current members

Dr Eszter Fazekas

Eszter got her BSc and MSc degrees in Pharmaceutical Chemical Engineering in Hungary. Her PhD at the University of Edinburgh focused on the design of organometallic complex catalysts for polymerisation and CO2 coupling, working with Jenni Garden and Prof. Mike Shaver. After a postdoc position at Heriot-Watt University, she returned to the Garden Group to work on block copolymers. In her free time, Eszter likes to bombard everyone with unsolicited photos of her african pygmy hedgehog (Celestina) and her lesser tenrec (Rataxes).

Weronika Gruszka

Weronika graduated with MChem in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh in July 2017. In her fourth year, she spent a year in Prof Paul Dyson’s research laboratory at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland where she worked on the catalytic synthesis of methanol from carbon dioxide and diols via cyclic carbonates. This sparked her interest in upcycling of carbon dioxide in chemical synthesis and upon her return to Edinburgh, she undertook her final year project with Dr Jennifer Garden, looking at the catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygenated polymeric materials.

Her PhD research focuses on the synthesis of novel homo- and hetero-metallic complexes for the ring-opening polymerisation of cyclic esters as part of the EPSRC CRITICAT Centre for Doctoral Training. In her spare time away from chemistry, Weronika likes to test out new recipes in the kitchen, explore new places and keep active by swimming and going to the gym.

Yali Zhou

Yali graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2018 with an MSc in Medicinal and Biological Chemistry. In her Master’s thesis project she worked on quantum mechanics calculations and molecular dynamics simulation to investigate catalysed reactions. Being greatly interested in catalysis, Yali decided to join the Garden group for a PhD. Her research project focuses on the design and synthesis of heterometallic catalysts for carbon dioxide/epoxide copolymerisation. Yali enjoys playing the piano and ukulele, doing photography and road tripping during her spare time.

Phoebe Lowy

Phoebe graduated from Cardiff University in 2019 with an MChem in Chemistry. In her third year she spent a year with Dr Victoria Blair at Monash University, Melbourne where she worked on the synthesis of phosphindoles and their alkali metal mediated metalation reactions. Phoebe joined the Garden group through the SOFI2 CDT. She is developing the synthesis of heterotrimetallic salen complexes for ring-opening (co)polymerisation. Outside of the lab Phoebe enjoys eating, walking and baking.

Anna Lykkeberg

Anna graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MChem in Chemistry in 2020. In her final year she spent a year on placement with Croda working on metal oxides for sun care. After completing a short summer project in the Garden Group in 2019, she returned to the Garden Group in 2021 for her PhD through the SOFI2 CDT.  Her PhD is also funded by Croda and involves working on environmentally degradable hard/soft block copolymers. In her free time, she enjoys boardgames, dancing Lindy Hop and taking her dog for walks.

Ibrahim Alkhaibari

Ibrahim obtained his B.Sc. degree in Chemistry from Qassim University (Saudi Arabia) in 2014. He continued his chemistry studies at Arkansas State University (ASU) in the USA, where he graduated with a Master's degree in Chemistry in 2018. His M.Sc. project was focused on synthesizing novel pyrazole & thiazole derivatives as antimicrobial and anticancer agents. In May 2021, he joined the Garden group as a Ph.D. student. His research project focuses on developing cooperative heterometallic catalysts for the ring-opening polymerization of cyclic monomers. In his free time, Ibrahim loves to travel, play football, go to the cinema or for a jog.

George Rudman

George graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemistry from Loughborough University in June 2020. In his third year, he spent a year in industry at AkzoNobel working on the development of polymer crosslinking technologies. He started as a PGT student on the Materials Chemistry course at the University of Edinburgh in September 2020 and joined the Garden group to work on his MSc project, which involves the synthesis of monometallic Zn and Cu salen complexes as catalysts for the ring-opening (co)polymerisation of lactide. George is a keen runner, competing for the university and his home athletics club in cross country, track and road races across the UK.