The Jones Group


Welcome to the Jones Lab!
  - Our Research
  - Recent Publications
  - Current Group Members
     - Past Group Members

Enjoy your visit.

We are an active research group of inorganic and organometallic chemistry in the Chemistry Department at the University of Rochester.  6 graduate students, , and 1 undergrad currently work in the lab.

Fall 2016

Group Members

Here's another recent photo of the group, plus pix from 2014, 2013, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2003, and 2001.. 
Brad and Carl enjoy Halloween 2000 just a little bit too much…
And don’t forget to look at the Inorganic Picnic at Keuka Lake in 2001.

The Boss
The Jones Group thrives under the direction of our fearless leader: Bill Jones, the Charles F. Houghton Professor of Chemistry. CV here.   A proud father of three, Bill is also lucky enough to be married to a wonderful writer. Heather Jones' "Confessions of an Upstate New York Mother" is a hilarious collection of her writings, and her first novel Nano Man has been published "AND IS NOW AVAILABLE" , and Heather's second novel, Taco Salad Days, is almost ready to be sent out.. 

Bill won the 2003 ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry, and was awarded an Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award for 2009.  He is a Fellows of the American Chemical Society and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also received the Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2009 from the University of Rochester.  He has served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society since 2003.  He spent a month as "Professeur Invité" at the University of Toulouse in June 2008. He received the Royal Society of Chemistry Organometallic Chemistry Award in 2017. ,


none, currently.

Previous postdocs have moved on: Dr. Cassandra Hayes took a postdoc at the University of Lund in fall 2017. Dr. Naveen Kulkarni took a faculty position at Amrita University in India in summer 2017. Dr. Sumit Chakraborty took a job at Tennessee Eastman in 2015. Dr. Sarina Bellows took a job at SiGNa Chemistry in Rochester in 2016.   Dr. Ruth Rodrigo returned to Zaragosa in Feb. 2014.  Dr. Valentin Poirier returned to France in Jan. 2013. Dr. Taro Tanabe, from Kyoto University, is now working for TCI in Tokyo. Dr. Sabuj Kundu, from Rutgers, is now a professor at IIT Kanpur. Dr. Sébastien Lachaize, fromthe Laboratoire de Chemie de Coordination in Toulouse is working on C-CN cleavage of benzonitriles, is now a professor at Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse.  Dr. Nicole Brunkan, from UNC Chapel Hill, now working at DuPont.  Dr. Josemon Jacob is now an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi; Dr. Carl Iverson is at Dow Chemical in Houston; Dr. Tetsuya Satoh has returned to Japan as Associate Professor at Osaka University; and Dr. Christian Mueller is at the Free University of Berlin.  Michael Morton is chair of the chemistry department at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C.  Laurent Lefort is working at DSM Research in Geleen, Netherlands.

Faculty Visitors: Prof. Heng Zhang returned to Wuhan University in August 2016 after a 1-year sabbatical in the lab.   Prof. Rui-bo Xu returned to Huaihai Institute of Technology in July 2015 after a 1-year sabbatical in the lab.  Dr. Tsuyoshi Matsumoto from Nagoya University visited the lab for 2 months in the fall of 2012.  Sabbatical visitor Juventino Garcia is now back at UNAM after spending a year looking at C-N and C-CN activation.  Donna Brestensky (Ph.D. Indiana U.) was on sabbatical leave from St. Bonaventure and is working on C-C cleavage in allyl nitriles.

Current Students (Fall '17):

Hongmei Yuan (M.S. RIT, 2012-) is working on electrophilic cobalt chemistry.

Jing Yuwan (B.S. Wuhan U. 2013-) is working on C-H activation with first row metals and Tp’RhL chemistry.

Ningyu Liu (B.S. Nanjing U. 2015-) is working on nitrogenation reactions.

Andy Vanderweide (B.S. U. 2016-) is working on C-H activation with Cp*RhCl2 dimer.

Astrid Olivares (B.S. U. 2014-) is working on N-H activation with Tp'Rh(PMe3).

Tarah Dibenedetto (B.S. U. 2015-) is working on Ni coupling reactions.

Undergraduate Researchers (2017-18):

Georgia-Mari Spencer (visiting from Univ. Bristol) ‘17)

Visiting Students:

The group has had many visitors from Japan, Germany, Mexico, and China. 

Juanjuan Li visited for one year from Xiamen University in China. 

Gyeongshin Choi visited for 4 months from the University of Osaka.

Jorge Nieto visited for 6 months from UNAM in Mexico city.  He defended his thesis in Jan. 2009

Yoshi Terao visited for a few months from Osaka University.  He now works for Takeda, which is the biggest pharmaceutical company in Japan. 

Previous Group Members

Miles Marnell (B.S. SUNY New Paltz, 2012-) is now a faculty member at SUNY New Paltz nanoparticles in catalysis.

Lloyd Munjanja (B.S. College of St. Scholastica, 2012-2016) is working as Director of Diversity and Outreach at the NSF Center for C-H Functionalization in Atlanta.

Matt Sleck (B.S. Mesa State College, 2013-2015, MS) Graduated after working on vanadium oxidative routes to aniline and is now at Albany Molecular.

Aaron Walsh (B.S. SUNY Buffalo, 2010-2015, PhD) Recently graduated after  working on Lewis acid catalyzed C-C cleavage with nickel and is a postdoc at PNNL.

Jim Kovach (B.S. Bucknell Univ., 2004-2015, PhD) Graduated after working on rhodium and iridium pincer compounds for C-H activation as part of the NSF CENTC center. 

Keith Hilferding (B.S. Juniata College, 2012-2014, MS) worked on a joint project with Dan Weix on nickel based cross-coupling, and is now working at Chemicals Incorporated in Texas.

Yunzhe Jiao (B.S. Nankai U., 2010-2014, PhD) is working in Beijing for Syngaschem BV.

James Morris (B.S. Bard College, 2007-2013, PhD) is postdocing in England with Manfred Bochmann. 

Katryna Pellingra (M.S. RIT, 2012-2014, MS) was working on making a new category of soft MOFs, and now is in Fashion in NYC.

Kim Manbeck (B.S. Lebanon Valley College, 2011-2013, MS) is working in Pennsylvania.

Jennifer Rhinehart (B.S. Whitworth, 2006-2011, PhD) is a lecturer at UT Arlington. 

Meagan Evans (M.S. RIT, 2006-2011, PhD) is working at Dupont in Buffalo.

Matt Grochowski (M.S. UNC Charlotte, 2006-2010, PhD) is working at Colonial Chemical.

Ting Li (B.S. USTC, 2005-2010) is working at DuPont in Shanghai.

Brett Swartz (B.S. Lafayette College, 2004-2009) is postdocing at U of R with Todd Krauss.

Katherine Lai (B.S. Univ. Rochester, 2009-) is working in San Diego.

Ling Li (B.S. USTC, 2004-2009) is working at Merck.

Renée Becker (M.S. SUNY Albany, 2006-2008) worked on electrochemical C-H activation, and is now teaching at Valencia Community College in Florida. 

Ahmet Gunay (B.S. Bilkent University, 2002-2007) worked on C-C bond cleavage in alkynes using platinum complexes.  Now a postdoc with Marion Emmert at WPI.

Tulay Atesan (B.S. Bilkent University, 2002-2007) worked on thiophene C-S cleavage with rhodium and platinum.  Now teaching at U. Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Ryan Reith (B.S. Penn. St., 2004-2007) worked on the synthesis and reactivity of eta-2 ketone complexes of nickel(0).  He is now at Infineum in Linden NJ.

Andy Vetter (B.S. Alfred University, 1999-2005) looked at selectivity in alkane complexes leading to C-H activation.  Now working at Tennessee Eastman.

Karlyn Skugrud (B.S. Hamline University, 2000-2003) Examined new aspect of C-S bond cleavage, and now is teaching in Minnesota.  [e-mail: KSkugrud@SOUTHEASTMN.EDU]

Steve Oster (B.S. York University, 1998-2003) is now teaching at Middlebury College. [e-mail:]

Brad Kraft (B.S. Millersville University, 1998-2002) completed his postdoc at Stanford, got married, and is now a faculty member at St. John Fisher.  []

Brian Edelbach
Brian studied C-C bond activation using platinum, palladium and nickel. Brian received his B.S. from St. Cloud University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He is now teaching at Monroe Community College. [e-mail:]

David Vicic
David studyied C-S bond activation using platinum, palladium, and nickel. He received his B.A. in Chemistry from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, in May, 1994. His undergrad advisor was Prof. Alex Nickon. He is now on the faculty at Lehigh University.

Todd Northcutt
Todd finished his third year as a graduate student studying C-H bond activation using rhodium. He received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Washington in 1996. As an undergraduate, he worked in the laboratories of Prof. Jim Mayer. He is now working for IGN Entertainment in Southern California. 

John Kaeuper
John was an undergraduate who stayed for our 5-year M.S. program, working on C-C bond activation.  He is now a grad student at Berkeley.

For earlier group members, visit our comprehensive former members site.


Our research group has an interest in examining the reactions of homogeneous transition metal complexes with organic substrates with an emphasis on bond activation processes that are of potential interest to the chemical industry. We also are doing theoretical DFT modeling of this chemistry on the UofR Bluehive Cluster. The research support is provided by the following agencies and companies: 

(newer reports are no longer posted due to copyright restrictions)

1.    The U.S. Department of Energy (1982-2018)*

(Grant FG02-86ER13569):
"The Activation of the C-H and C-C Bonds of Hydrocarbons" for conversion to useful functionalized chemicals.
Report for 2007.
Report for 2006.
Report for 2005.
Report for 2004.
Report for 2003.
Report for 2002.
Report for 2001.
Report for 2000.
Report for 1999.
Report for 1998.
Report for 1997.
Report for 1996

2.    The National Science Foundation (2014-2018)*

(Grants CHE-1360985):
"Organometallic Chemistry of Heterocycles"

3.    The National Science Foundation CBC (2004-2017,completed)*:
Center Enabling New Technologies through Catalysis (CENTC)

"Electrophilic Alkane Functionalization,"
"Electrochemical Alkane Dehydrogenation,"
"Development of Catalytic Methods for Formation of Carbon-Nitrogen Bonds,"
"Development of a New Route to C4 Alcohols"
    Summary of Research.

4.    General Electric EFRC/ERD (2013-2014, completed):

Center for Electrocatalysis, Transport Phenomena, and Materials for Innovative Energy Storage

“Studies of Iron, Cobalt, and Nickel Electrocatalysts for Energy Storage”

5.    The National Science Foundation GOALI Program (Grant CHE-9616691, completed):

"Collaborative Industrial/Academic Research on Alternate Phosgene Chemistry for Environmentally Benign Chemical Synthesis and Processing."
Summary of Proposed Research

6.    The National Science Foundation (1994-2010, completed)*

(Grants CHE-9421727, 9816365, 0414325, 0717040):
"The Cleavage of C-S bonds in Thiophenes" and other organosulfur substrates as models for the hydrodesulfurization reaction.

Report for 2006-7.

Report for 2005-6.

Report for 2004-5.
Report for 2001.
Report for 2000.
Report for 1999.
Report for 1997.
Report for 1996.

Report for 1995.

*more recent reports are not yet posted as the work has not yet been published.

Recent Publications

Here you can find a link to the complete publications of the group.
Microsoft Word and Adobe's Acrobat Reader is required to view these. 

Contact Information

William D. Jones
University of Rochester
Department of Chemistry
Rochester, NY 14627

office:(585) 275-5493
FAX: 866-257-3505

page updated 10/23/17