Current Members



Dr Yuechao Xu /yuechao-xu-98176b151

YuechaoYuechao received his PhD from Dalian University of Technology mid-2017. He joined us as a postdoctoral research fellow in August. His research focuses on developing catalytic systems for the ring opening polymerization of novel monomers to form a diverse range of functional polyesters. He has been trying to understand why people in Scotland can drink to midnight without tasty dishes.
Dr Mitch Perry /mitch-perry-0616979b
mitchMitch completed his PhD in 2017 at the University of British Columbia working with Laurel Schafer. He focused on the development of novel amine-containing monomers and polymers through hydroaminoalkylation and ring-opening metathesis polymerization, respectively. He is currently a post-doc in the Shaver group working on the synthesis of biodegradable polyesters.



 Utku Yolsal /utku-yolsal-b13841115

utkuUtku was born and raised in Cyprus, completed his Chemistry (BSc) degree in 2016 at the University of Durham. Following amazing 3 years in Durham, he decided to pursue his Masters there under the supervision of Professor Lian Hutchings. Lian introduced him to Schlenk line and fancy glassware for the first time ever there. He joined the Green Materials Laboratory in October and currently working on poly(frustrated Lewis pairs).




SammieSammie is an honorary member of the Team, who made the long journey across the Atlantic with Mike. He is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, but is Canadian born. He loves Edinburgh because he gets to run off-lead on the beaches of Limekilns and drink in pubs (his favourite are the Cloister’s Bar and the Salt Horse!). But he still misses the deep snow and enticing skunks of PEI – although it does mean fewer baths!
callie2Callie is an honorary member of the Team. She’s a former racing greyhound and we rescued her from Greyhound Rescue Fife. She was born in Durham and, while she’s super-duper fast, she wasn’t up to the high standards of evil greyhound racers. So now she is part of our family! She loves sleeping and meeting new people. In fact, she’s a registered TheraPet, working at care homes to brighten up people’s lives. She’s a pretty mellow girl unless there are bread rolls or squirrels involved!

Dan Coward /danielcoward

dan2Dan joined the group in April 2015 after completing his undergraduate degree at Durham University. He is a member of the Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces Centre for Doctoral Training (SOFI CDT) which is managed by the Universities of Edinburgh, Durham and Leeds and his project concerns the investigation of the controlled polymerisation of vinyl monomers. Hailing from the South East of England, Dan is a keen football supporter with a season ticket at Hibernian (Scottish Cup Winners 2016!), and enjoys a beer and a weekly game of badminton.
Meng Wang /meng-wang-4b9b15a9/enmengMeng obtained his BSc degree from the University of Sheffield and completed his master’s degree in polymer science at the same institute in 2015. After that, he moved to the University of Edinburgh and joined our group. He is currently a third year PhD student and continuing his work on polymeric based frustrated Lewis pairs for application of novel responsive materials and catalysis.
Geraint Langford /geraintlangford
gerryGerry completed his Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery undergraduate degree in 2015 at the University of Dundee, including an industrial placement at Ferring CT in Glasgow. Finishing his tour of Scotland, he started his PhD at the University of Edinburgh in September 2015 working on novel swellable polymers for sensing applications. Born and raised in Kent by Welsh and Austrian parents, he is a keen Welsh rugby fan and likes hillwalking. He loves Edinburgh because he gets to run off-lead, drink in pubs and travel on buses.
Mohammed Alkattan /mohammedalkattan
mo2Mohammed graduated in 2009 with a BSc in Chemistry from the Damascus University in Syria. After a supervisory role there, he worked at Oubari as an analytical chemist. In 2012 he obtained an MSc in Drug Chemistry from Newcastle University. After some time in the CDT at the University of Nottingham he started his PhD at the University of Edinburgh in September 2015. Co-supervised by Joelle Prunet at the University of Glasgow, his project will develop cross metathesis as a tool to make functional polyethers and polyesters including making some novel biodegradable and biomimetic polymeric materials.
Joanne Dunne /joanne-dunne-8b8934bb
joanneJoanne began her PhD in October 2016 after graduating from the University of Dundee with a degree Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery. She spent three months working as a medicinal chemist in the Drug Discovery Unit at the University where she worked on synthesising compounds to aid genetic skin diseases. Co-supervised by Stephen Thomas, Joanne’s research involves looking at radical mechanisms in metal catalysis and how their applications can be applied in synthesis and polymerisation. During the week she is committed to pushing electrons around, at weekends she can be found outside, probably trying to train her pack of dogs.
Eszter Fazekas /eszterfazekas
eszter2Eszter completed her BSc and MSc degrees in Pharmaceutical Chemical Engineering at the Budapest University of Technology in Hungary. She joined the Shaver group in March 2017 to work on new catalyst systems for ring opening polymerisation. In her freetime she enjoys eating and playing with her hedgehog, Rozi.
Panos Kolyvakis
panos2Panos graduated form the university of Edinburgh, receiving the 2017 BSc award. He did his undergraduate project in the Shaver group, working with Meng on boron chemistry. He started his PhD on July 2017 and is currently working under the supervision of Prof. Michael Shaver and Prof. Neil McKeown. His project involves the development of novel polymeric adsorbents for water purification. Another Shaver group member trying to make the world a better place!
Weronika Gruszka


Anand Jay Gaston 
jayJay completed his MSci in Natural Sciences in 2017 from the University of Nottingham, which included a year studying abroad at the University of Maryland in USA. Following a Master’s project in chemical biology he began his PhD in September 2017. Co-supervised by Jennifer Garden, Jay’s research involves using multifunctional salen ligands for polymer catalysis.