Oxford University Crest

The Armstrong Research Group
Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory

Third floor ICL, rooms: T7–T12, T17
Phone: T12 (Fraser’s office): +44 (0)1865 272647
e-mail: fraser.armstrong@chem.ox.ac.uk

Fraser Armstrong
Fraser Armstrong

Fraser Armstrong is Professor of Chemistry and a Fellow of St John’s College. His interests are in biological chemistry, bioenergetics and in the mechanisms and exploitation of enzymes related to energy production. He has received a number of awards including the European Award for Biological Inorganic Chemistry, the Carbon Trust Innovation Award, the Max Planck Award for Frontiers in Biological Chemistry and the Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Interdisciplinary Chemistry. He travels widely giving invited lectures on topics including catalysis, bioenergetics and renewable energy. He is co-editor of Energy … beyond oil which focuses on alternative energy-generating technologies.

Outside of the office, Fraser can be found with his group at the Lamb & Flag Thursday nights in term time.

Fraser has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society.

Post-Doctoral Researchers
rhiannon Rhiannon Evans

I completed my PhD in Chemistry at Cardiff University in 2010 investigating various aspects of dihydrofolate reductase catalysis. My interests involve relating enzyme structure and function, with a particular focus on how we can explore and exploit differences in environmental optima. Since joining forces with Fraser my work has mainly focused on the differences of oxygen tolerant and oxygen sensitive hydrogenases and how we can take advantage of conserved differences in their amino acid compositions. The ultimate aim is to use site directed mutagenesis to learn about the mechanistics of dealing with oxygen attack, whist still having a functional enzyme to study using physical chemistry techniques such as protein film electrochemistry and EPR. I have a keen interest in relating the research we conduct in the group to the public and have been involved in national science festivals such as the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition and Oxfordshire Science Festival. I have recently become a Junior Research Fellow of Wolfson College here in Oxford. Outside of the lab I enjoy catching up on series that I spend the rest of the time trying to avoid spoilers from.

ThomasEsterle Thomas Esterle

I completed my PhD in electrochemistry at the University of Southampton on the templated electrodeposition of mesoporous materials. My research involved the electrodeposition of metals and alloys for supercapacitors and batteries but also to investigate specific active sites exemplified by voltammetry. In Fraser’s group, my project focused on the understanding of electrocatalytic voltammetry through examples using the technique of protein film electrochemistry. Another focus of my research is on the miniaturisation of biofuel cells.

bonniemurphy Bonnie Murphy

Bonnie Murphy hails from the Canadian prairies. She received her B. Sc. (Biology and Chemistry) from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada, and her D.Phil. (Inorganic Chemistry) in the Armstrong group at Oxford. She is working on a number of projects with the aim of better understanding the factors determining hydrogenase electrocatalytic properties, as well as working to develop new molecular tools for the study of metalloenzymes. In her free time, she mostly enjoys cycling around the Oxfordshire countryside (when it's sunny) and cooking (when it rains).

Lab Technician
elena Elena Nomerotskaia
I am the group’s lab technician, and my work mainly involves large-scale purification of enzymes for use in electrochemical and EPR experiments. I am also responsible for ensuring the lab is kept clean, tidy and well stocked!
Doctoral Students
philip Philip Wulff

I’m a fourth year DPhil student at St. John’s College. I received my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biotechnology from the RWTH in Aachen, city of engineers and long-dead emperors. My work is based around the question of how special biological hydrogen catalysts react with oxygen while maintaining hydrogen cycling activity. Understanding and eventually reproducing this ability is essential for the development of versatile and robust synthetic catalysts from abundant materials. Outside lab I play Badminton, read, enjoy cycling around Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds (but not in winter - that’s ghastly) and whatever else presents itself.

lang Lang Xu

I am a thid year graduate student from St John’s College. Before I joined the Armstrong Group, I read chemistry at Nanjing University and Brown University. My current research project is to construct high power-density and mediatorless enzyme-based biofuel cells. In my spare time I like to read a lot of books, as the Chinese saying goes, ’Read ten thousand books, travel ten thousand miles‘.

andreas Andreas Bachmeier

I’m a third year DPhil student from St. John’s College. Prior to starting at Oxford, I received a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Erlangen, Germany, and conducted my Masters thesis on artificial photosynthesis in the laboratory of Heinz Frei in Berkeley. After graduation, I spent just over a year working for a large chemical corporation, initially carrying out a research project on heterogeneous catalysis in Novara, Italy. Later on, I worked in the business development function, mainly covering battery materials for electric vehicles and energy storage systems. In the Armstrong laboratory, I am currently studying the mechanisms of charge transport in artificial photosynthetic systems comprising enzymatic fuel-producing catalysts. Using electrochemistry, I am also exploring the interaction of reversible electrocatalysts with semiconducting light-absorbers. In a third, mechanistic project, I am investigating the inhibition of [FeFe]-hydrogenases by aldehydes.

Here is my Google Scholar profile.

lang Yiduo Wang

I am a third year DPhil student attached to St. Cross College. I am currently researching enzymatic fuel cells with Lang. Before coming to Oxford, I received my bachelor’s degree at Shandong University, China.

I like swimming, hiking and traveling in my spare time. I miss Chinese food a lot here in Oxford.

lang Shams Afroza Islam (Tania)

My name is Tania. I completed my B.Sc. and M.S. in Applied Chemistry and Chemical Technology from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, with top positions in both before joining as a faculty member of that department. As Assistant Professor, my job was to conduct classes, both theoretical and practical. Two years ago I joined Fraser’s group as a Doctoral student and have been assigned to the CO-dehydrogenase project.

When not in the lab, my time is taken up by my two children, one aged 3+ and the other 2-, and matters related to them. I enjoy my spare time with my husband, usually chatting or watching TV, or on the more active side, by going on walks or shopping!

lang Bhavin Siritanaratkul

I’m a third year DPhil student from Thailand. Before coming here, I studied in Japan for 7 years and received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tokyo. Previously I did some research on photocatalytic water splitting by using semiconductor powders, and I hope to combine that knowledge with the use of enzymes to construct systems for CO2 reduction under visible light. I am also looking at the behaviour of enzymes in non-aqueous environments.

In my free time, I like to read (scifi, fantasy) and play all kinds of games (card, board, PC, console). I also enjoy basketball and table tennis.

Emily Emily Brooke

I am a first year DPhil student with St. John’s college. Before joining Fraser’s group, I received my MChem from the University of York, during which I did a research project on the PFE of a set of biotechnologically-relevant copper enzymes called the lytic polysaccharide mono-oxygenases. My project is focused on the site-directed mutagenesis of the oxygen-tolerant hydrogenase enzymes Hyd-1, from E. coli, and to elucidate mechanistic details using techniques such as PFE and EPR spectroscopy.

My free time is mostly spent knitting, reading crime novels, talking about cats to anyone who will listen and on occasion going for a run/to the gym!!

Part II Students
Selina Selina Badiani

I’m Selina and I’m a Part II student from Univ and I am working on enzyme-catalysed oxygen reductions with the hope of making the reaction reversible.

In my spare time, I like shopping and helping out at charity events. I also hope to do a lot more baking this year - and a lot more eating!

Matthew Matthew Fisher

I’m a fourth year undergraduate masters student from St Catz, originally hailing from rural Oxfordshire. My project involves using site directed mutagenesis to create mutant hydrogenases and characterizing them electrochemically and spectroscopically with a view to helping elucidate the mechanism.

Outside the lab, I enjoy learning new languages, travelling, authentic Chinese food and playing dominoes.

Deborah Deborah Higgs

I’m a Part II student from St Hugh’s College, researching how enzymes can be used in photobiocatalytic redox systems to perform synthetically useful transformations. I particularly study old yellow enzyme and its substrates.

Outside of work I enjoy taking part in several Oxford societies, my main hobbies being badminton and music.

Harry Harry Lee

Since joining the Armstrong group, I have being spending my part II using electrochemistry to look into the variation of efficiency of oxygen-tolerant hydrogenases.

A country bumpkin at heart, I mostly spend my free time in deepest thought, strolling through the vast expanses of Port Meadow, seeking a new source of purpose to my life. Or in Parkend.