Chemistry Bumper Cars, 2019

Hello everyone! I’m happy to be able to help facilitate this year’s New & Relocated Faculty List, also known as Chemistry Bumper Cars. This has been a tradition since it first appeared on Chembark and, most recently, Just Like Cooking — since SAO is getting a little busy these days, I figured I’d step in and host the list until he has the bandwidth to resume.

Alright, so here’s how it works: we’re looking to keep track of new hires in chemistry departments worldwide, both at the assistant faculty level and for senior hires. Please do leave a comment or DM me on Twitter if you hear about such a new hire and I’ll add it to the list!Image result for new arrival


Things I will be doing differently this year:

Since hiring decisions, especially at the senior level, are such a sensitive subject, I will be a little more judicious about what constitutes “confirmation” than in years past and what bar something has to pass to be put on the actual post. If there’s a webpage stating it, I can confirm with the actual candidate, or I have a suitably authoritative source, I’ll put it up there, otherwise I’ll do a little more digging!

Also, if you would like me to include a link to your lab webpage, please let me know!

Last updated Wednesday, May 20, 2019 – those added in most recent update are in bold.


  • Jacobi von Wangelin (Regensburg to Hamburg) Lab website
  • Ulrich Hennecke (Münster to VUB) source – thanks Joachim!
  • Dave Leitch (GlaxoSmithKline to University of Victoria) source
  • Ramesh Giri (UNM to Penn State) source – thanks Mike!
  • Frederic William Patureau (Technische Universität Kaiserslautern to RWTH Aachen) source
  • Emily Pentzer (Case Western to Texas A&M) source
  • Vlad Gevorgyan (UIC to UT Dallas) source
  • Timothy Berkelbach (Chicago to Columbia) source
  • Michael Mock (PNNL to Montana State) source – thanks Demyan!
  • Sarah O’Connor (John Innes Center to Max Planck Institute) source
  • Matthew Becker (U. Akron to Duke) source
  • Amir Hoveyda (Boston College to Strasbourg) source
  • Douglas Weibel (UW Madison to Amazon) source 
  • David Martin (UC Riverside to Iowa) source
  • Baron Peters (UC Santa Barbara to UIUC) source
  • Eric Davis (Azusa Pacific to Whitworth University) source
  • Florence Williams (Alberta to U. Iowa) source
  • Erin Whitteck (Saint Louis University to U. Missouri Saint Louis) source
  • Marilyne Stains (U. Nebraska to UVa) source
  • Cliff Stains (U. Nebraska to UVa) source
  • Paul Robustelli (D.E. Shaw to Dartmouth) source
  • Samuel Pazicni (UNH to University of Wisconsin) source
  • Alanna Schepartz (Yale to UC Berkeley) source


New Hires

  • Thomas Osberger (Cal Poly Pomona) source
  • Gabriel Rudebusch (Eastern Michigan University) source – thanks Jeff!
  • Christopher Teskey (RWTH Aachen) Lab website
  • Meg Breen (Furman University) source
  • Ben Brandsen (Creighton University) source – thanks Scott!
  • PA Champagne (NJIT) source
  • Demyan Prokopchuk (Rutgers) source
  • Caitlin McMahon (UNC Asheville) Confirmed by direct message with Caitlin
  • Kate Waldie (Rutgers) source
  • Levi Ekanger (TCNJ) source
  • Eric Nacsa (Penn State) source
  • Marcus Drover (Windsor) source – thanks Christine!
  • Amanda Bongers (Queens University) source
  • Maia Popova (UNC Greensboro) source
  • Rachel Saylor (Oberlin) source, unconfirmed
  • Courtney Roberts (UMinnesota) source
  • Rose Kennedy (Rochester) source
  • Doran Bennett (SMU Dedman) source
  • Daniel Tabor (Texas A&M) source
  • Julian West (Rice) source
  • Junqi Li (Iowa State) source
  • Alexander Gundlach-Graham (Iowa State) source
  • Dianne Xiao (University of Washington) source
  • Alex Zhukhovitskiy (UNC) source
  • Andy Nguyen (University of Illinois Chicago) source
  • Steven Pellizzeri (Eastern Illinois University) source
  • Michael Beck (Eastern Illinois University) source
  • Matt Golder (University of Washington) source
  • Chenjie Zheng (University of Florida) source
  • Keith Searles (University of Florida) source
  • Steven Harris (University of Florida) source
  • Stefanie Habenichts (University of Florida) source
  • Alix Rexford (University of Florida) source
  • Nicole Lapeyrouse (University of Florida) source
  • Alexander Forse (University of Cambridge) source
  • Valerie Vassier Welborn (Virginia Tech) source
  • Emily Mevers (Virginia Tech) source
  • Amanda Turek (Williams College) source
  • Patti Zhang (WPI) source
  • Kyle Biegasiewicz (Arizona State University) source
  • Mark Levin (U. Chicago) source
  • Ramon Miranda Quintana (University of Florida) source
  • Sid Creutz (Mississippi State University) source
  • Fei Zhang (Rutgers Newark) source
  • Yang Yang (UW Madison) source
  • Ka Un Lao (Virginia Commonwealth University) source
  • Farnaz Shakib (NJIT) source
  • George Burslem (UPenn) source
  • Anya Gryn’ova (Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies) confirmed with Anya via DM
  • Martin Peeks (UNSW) source (it’s in the news on the right, which for some reason can’t be directly linked to)
  • Gang Li (Utah State University) confirmed by DM with USU faculty member
  • Jihye Park (University of Colorado Boulder) source
  • Suchol Savagatrup (U Arizona) source
  • C. Michael McGuirk (Colorado School of Mines) source
  • Brian Gold (University of New Mexico) source
  • Stephanie Valleau (University of Washington) source
  • Byoungmoo Kim (Clemson University) source
  • Jonathan De Roo (University of Basel) source
  • Christine Le (University of New Mexico) source
  • Maggie He (U Arkansas) source
  • Ariel Furst (MIT) source
  • Tim Su (UC Riverside) source
  • Mei Shen (UIUC) source
  • Angad Mehta (UIUC) source
  • Joslynn Lee (Fort Lewis College) source
  • Silvana Konermann (Stanford) source
  • Andrew Kehr (Loras College) source
  • Caitlin Davis (Yale) source
  • Tatiana Mishanina (UCSD) source
  • Mark Herzik (UCSD) source
  • Xiao Su (UIUC) source
  • Julia Widom (University of Oregon) source
  • James Eagan (U. Akron) source
  • Fardin Khabaz (U. Akron) source
  • Chunming Liu (U. Akron) source
  • Weinan Xu (U. Akron) source
  • Eloise Dray (UT San Antonio) source
  • Young Kwon (UT San Antonio) source
  • James Daley (UT San Antonio) source
  • Bernard Fongang (UT San Antonio) source
  • Diana Ceballos (Boston University) source
  • Ben Thuronyi (Williams) source
  • Jarrett Wilcoxen (UW-Milwaukee) source
  • Julian Silverman (Manhattan College) source
  • Alex Pinto (Manhattan College) source
  • Chao Luo (George Mason University) source


Dear readers, friends and friendly visitors,

Some updates and news:

  1. As no small number of you have heard, I will be leaving Springer Nature next week. Ultimately it was a difficult decision, but I have a unique opportunity to make an impact on open access publishing that I couldn’t pass up (more on that in a moment). The team at Nature Chemistry has been phenomenal to work with and I have been blessed to have the chance to learn from some really brilliant people. Of all the things I’ll miss about the job, that will really take the most getting used to.
  2. Starting Monday, September 25th, I will be taking up my new role as the Publishing Manager for ChemRxiv. If you haven’t heard, the American Chemical Society and its strategic partners have recently launched a preprint server, and honestly the response already has been great. I’m looking forward to working with Darla & co to develop ChemRxiv into a truly powerful tool for research dissemination!
  3. This blog is officially retiring. As part of a way to stop making excuses for not posting more often and to centralize my online identity, I will be launching a new blog as part of an upcoming personal website, so more content will be forthcoming, just in a new home. I’ll post here one last time once it’s ready for you all to check out!


Thank you to everyone who has supported me in the past 18 months with Nature Chemistry, and I hope I can make you all very proud as ChemRxiv continues to grow!


I am currently running a marathon

Dear all,

I have made the questionable decision to participate in the Illinois Marathon today back in Champaign, IL (home of my alma mater). I say “participate” because I “run” much in the way that a wounded water buffalo “runs” from a lion, but I digress.

By the time this post goes live, the race will have started, or will have nearly started, and so if you would like to tweet at me (@organometallica) or send text messages, I will be able to view these on my smart watch during the run. I can’t promise that I’ll respond in a timely fashion, but I will read them.

Wish me luck, as I think I’ll need some quantity of it. More to come later.

Magic: the Gathering

[[Happy April Fool’s Day everyone! I’ll be resuming making decisions on Nature Chemistry papers that are not at all based on the outcomes of digital card games on Monday. Have a nice weekend!]]

Let’s talk card games—specifically Magic: the Gathering. At this point, I imagine some number of my readers/Twitter followers have discovered that I do enjoy playing the nearly 25 year old card game. Magic is one of the most popular card games worldwide, and so it’s not entirely surprising that I’ve built a deck or two. In fact, I have had the opportunity  to attend major tournaments in multiple countries and have had modest success at these events. My connection with the game is a bit deeper than that, though.


In particular, I got really into Magic about the same time that my career in chemistry was just barely kicking off. While I had played as a child on the school bus, it was April 2013 when my now-colleague David Schilter bumped into me in the UIUC NMR room and casually asked me if I would like to go play some Magic over the weekend — at the time I thought he meant he was going to a magic show, but I had jack all to do and really, really needed to get out of the lab, so I agreed to go. After getting past the initial confusion, I was hooked. Over the next few years, Magic went from being a way to socialize and blow off steam to a real competitive endeavor and an actual revenue stream, as it turns out people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for individual Magic cards. While most people characterize the game as a needlessly complex diversion from Dungeons & Dragons, I believe that it is really an important distraction from life itself — I mean, seriously, if your reaction doesn’t work, what’s more satisfying than using a giant, book-loving Elder Dragon to kill a legendary flying hippo?

So, given my tradition of announcing career transitions on this blog,  I am proud to announce that I am leaving my position as Editor of Nature Chemistry to become a professional Magic: the Gathering player. I realized that this announcement was important to deliver before the ACS meeting, for the sake of transparency (and the hope of the odd pick-up game of Commander). The transition really makes sense for me; upon reflection, my favorite part of my transition to editorial work is the increased amount of time I had available to play Magic. Indeed, most of my decisions recently have been made by logging into Magic: the Gathering Online and playing a game of Legacy with Goblin Charbelcher — if I win, the paper goes out to review, and if I lose, the authors get a reject letter. By taking on Magic full-time, I realize that I can detach my success rate from this fickle game called “science” and really focus on honing my craft, a craft which I expect will bring me far more recognition than I ever had for my endeavors in chemistry. I look forward to working with the Magic community and you, dear readers, in this new role. I hope you’ll take a moment to visit the website for my newly formed Magic team (I’m still looking for new members, if you’d like to join Team FeCoNi!) and leave a comment here.