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.  10 graduate students, one postdoc, and 3 undergrads currently work in the lab.

Left to right: Brandon Daehn, Keith Hilferding, Lloyd Munjanja, Miles Marnell, Ruth Rodrigo,Bill Jones, Juanjuan Li, Aaron Walsh, Kim Manbech, Jim Kovach, Hongmei Yuan, James Morris, Yunzhe Jiao, Jim Shanahan, Katryna Pellingra

Winter 2013

Group Members

Here's another recent photo of the group, plus pix from 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.  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 just 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 year as "Professeur Invité" at the University of Toulouse in June 2008.


Dr. Ruth Rodrigo arrived in January 2012 from Spain.

Previous postdocs have moved on: 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 apostdoc at Penn. State. 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 Eindhoven University of Technology.  Michael Morton is chair of the chemistry department at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C.  Laurent Lefort is now working at DSM Research in Geleen, Netherlands.

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 (January '13):

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

James Morris (B.S. Bard College, 2007-) is working on a new direct synthesis of aniline as part of the NSF CENTC center. 

Aaron Walsh (B.S. SUNY Buffalo, 2010-) is working on Lewis acid catalyzed C-C cleavage with nickel.

Yunzhe Jiao (B.S. Nankai U., 2010-) is working on Tp'Rh(PMe3) chemistry.

Kim Manbeck (B.S. Lebanon Valley College, 2011-) is working on electrophilic chemistry of rhodium.

Lloyd Munjanja (B.S. College of St. Scholastica, 2012-) is working on thiophene activation with palladium.

Miles Marnell (B.S. SUNY New Paltz, 2012-) is working on new C-C cleavage reactions with iridium.

Katryna Pellingra (M.S. RIT, 2012-) is working on making a new category of soft MOFs.

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

Keith Hilferding (B.S. Juniata College, 2012-) is working on a joint project with Dan Weix on nickel based cross-coupling.

Undergraduate Researchers (January '13):

Jim Shanahan (B.S. '14)

Carina Luck (B.S. '13)

Brandon Daehn (B.S. '13)


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

Most recently, 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

Jennifer Miller (B.S. Whitworth, 2006-) is postdocing with Dr. Brian Long at Univ. Tennessee, Knoxville. 

Meagan Evans (M.S. RIT, 2006-2011) is postdocing at Univ. Chicago with Rich Jordan.

Matt Grochowski (M.S. UNC Charlotte, 2006-2010) is postdocing with Ayusman Sen at Penn. State.

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 now a postdoc with Mark Biscoe at CUNY.

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 UW-Whitewater.

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 Pall Chemical Co. in Cortland, NY.

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 our CCLab cluster. The research support is provided by the following agencies and companies: 

  1. The U.S. Department of Energy (1982-2010)*

(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

  1. The National Science Foundation (1994-2010)*

(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.


  1. The National Science Foundation CBC (2004-2012)*:
    Center Enabling New Technologies through Catalysis (CENTC)

"Collaborative Research on non-Shilov Metal Complexes for C-H Bond Functionalization," Summary of Proposed Research.

"Direct Formation of Aniline from Benzene via Homogeneous Catalysis"

  1. 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

*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 2/26/13