Saint Andrews, United Kingdom
Saint Andrews, United Kingdom

The University of St Andrews is a public research university in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. It is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland, and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world . It was founded between 1410 and 1413 when the Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII issued a Papal Bull to a small founding group of Augustinian clergy.St Andrews is made up from a variety of institutions, including three constituent colleges and 18 academic Schools organized into four Faculties. The university occupies historic and modern buildings located throughout the town. The academic year is divided into two terms, Martinmas and Candlemas. In term time, over a third of the town's population is either a staff member or student of the university. The student body is notably diverse: over 30% of its intake come from well over 100 countries, 15% from North America. The University's sport teams compete in BUCS competitions, and the student body is known for preserving ancient traditions such as Raisin Weekend, May Dip, and the wear of distinctive academic dress.National league tables currently rank St Andrews as the third best university in the United Kingdom. The Schools of Physics and Astronomy, International Relations, Computer Science and Mathematics are ranked first in the United Kingdom by The Guardian. International league tables rank St Andrews less highly, due in part to its small size, though The Times Higher Education World Universities Ranking names St Andrews among the world’s Top 20 Arts and Humanities universities. St Andrews has the highest student satisfaction amongst all multi-faculty universities in the United Kingdom.St Andrews has many notable alumni and affiliated faculty, including eminent mathematicians, scientists, theologians, philosophers, and politicians. Recent alumni include the former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond; Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon; United States Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell; Olympic gold medalist Chris Hoy; actor Crispin Bonham-Carter; and royals Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. It boasts five Nobel Laureates: two in Chemistry and one each in Peace, Literature and Physiology or Medicine. Wikipedia.

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-01-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 10.01M | Year: 2017

Europe has become a global leader in optical-near infrared astronomy through excellence in space and ground-based experimental and theoretical research. While the major infrastructures are delivered through major national and multi-national agencies (ESO, ESA) their continuing scientific competitiveness requires a strong community of scientists and technologists distributed across Europes nations. OPTICON has a proven record supporting European astrophysical excellence through development of new technologies, through training of new people, through delivering open access to the best infrastructures, and through strategic planning for future requirements in technology, innovative research methodologies, and trans-national coordination. Europes scientific excellence depends on continuing effort developing and supporting the distributed expertise across Europe - this is essential to develop and implement new technologies and ensure instrumentation and infrastructures remain cutting edge. Excellence depends on continuing effort to strengthen and broaden the community, through networking initiatives to include and then consolidate European communities with more limited science expertise. Excellence builds on training actions to qualify scientists from European communities which lack national access to state of the art research infrastructures to compete successfully for use of the best available facilities. Excellence depends on access programmes which enable all European scientists to access the best infrastructures needs-blind, purely on competitive merit. Global competitiveness and the future of the community require early planning of long-term sustainability, awareness of potentially disruptive technologies, and new approaches to the use of national-scale infrastructures under remote or robotic control. OPTICON will continue to promote this excellence, global competitiveness and long-term strategic planning.

Nolan S.P.,University of St. Andrews
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2011

Gold has emerged as a powerful synthetic tool in the chemists arsenal. From the early use of inorganic salts such as AuCl and AuCl3 as catalysts, the field has evolved to explore ligands that fine-tune reactivity, stability, and, more recently, selectivity in gold-mediated processes. Substrates generally contain alkenes or alkynes, and they usually involve straightforward protocols in air with solvents that can oftentimes be of technical grade. The actual catalytic species is the putative cationic gold(I) complex [Au(L)]+ (where L is a phosphorus-based species or N-heterocyclic carbene, NHC). The early gold systems bearing phosphine and phosphite ligands provided important transformations and served as useful mechanistic probes. More recently, the use of NHCs as ligands for gold has rapidly gained in popularity. These two-electron donor ligands combine strong f-donating properties with a steric profile that allows for both stabilization of the metal center and enhancement of its catalytic activity. As a result, the gold-NHC complexes have been used as well-defined precatalysts and have permitted the isolation of reactive single-component systems that are now used instead of the initial [Au(L)Cl]/silver salt method. Because some are now commercially available, NHC-containing gold(I) complexes are gathering increasing interest.In this Account, we describe the chronological development of this chemistry in our laboratories, highlighting the advantages of this family of gold complexes and reviewing their synthesis and applications in catalysis. We first outline the syntheses, which are straightforward. The complexes generally exhibit high stability, allowing for indefinite storage and easy handling. We next consider catalysis, particularly examining efficacy in cycloisomerization, other skeletal rearrangements, addition of water to alkynes and nitriles, and C-H bond activation. These processes are quite atom-economical, and in the most recent C-H reactions the only byproduct is water. State-of-the-art methodology now involves single-component catalysts, precluding the need for costly silver co-catalysts. Remarkably, the use of an NHC as a supporting ligand has permitted the isolation of [Au(L)(S)]+ species (where S is a solvent molecule such as a nitrile), which can act as single-component catalysts. Some improvements are still needed, as the single components are most often synthesized with a silver reagent. Owing to the stabilizing effect of NHC coordination, some NHC-containing systems can catalyze extremely challenging reactions (at temperatures as high as 140 A°C) and react at very low loadings of gold (ppm levels). Our latest developments deal with C-H bond functionalization and hold great promise.We close with a selection of important developments by the community with gold-NHC complexes. As demonstrated by the turns and twists encountered during our own journey in the gold-NHC venture, the chemistry described here, combining fundamental organometallic, catalytic, and organic methodology, remains rich in opportunities, especially considering that only a handful of gold(I) architectures has been studied. We hope this Account will encourage young researchers to explore this emerging area, as the adage the more you do, the more you have to do surely holds true in gold-mediated catalysis. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Boyd I.L.,University of St. Andrews
Science | Year: 2012

Ecological models have limited predictive power, but can provide insights into what makes an ecosystem vulnerable to disturbance.

Janik V.M.,University of St. Andrews
Current Opinion in Neurobiology | Year: 2014

The cetaceans are one of the few mammalian clades capable of vocal production learning. Evidence for this comes from synchronous changes in song patterns of baleen whales and experimental work on toothed whales in captivity. While baleen whales like many vocal learners use this skill in song displays that are involved in sexual selection, toothed whales use learned signals in individual recognition and the negotiation of social relationships. Experimental studies demonstrated that dolphins can use learned signals referentially. Studies on wild dolphins demonstrated how this skill appears to be useful in their own communication system, making them an interesting subject for comparative communication studies. © 2014.

Dholakia K.,University of St. Andrews | Zemanek P.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Reviews of Modern Physics | Year: 2010

The light-matter interaction has been at the heart of major advances from the atomic scale right to the microscopic scale over the past four decades. Confinement by light, embodied by the area of optical trapping, has had a major influence across all of the natural sciences. However, an emergent and powerful topic within this field that has steadily merged but not gained much recognition is optical binding: the importance of exploring the optically mediated interaction between assembled objects that can cause attractive and repulsive forces and dramatically influence the way they assemble and organize themselves. This offers routes for colloidal self-assembly, crystallization, and organization of templates for biological and colloidal sciences. In this Colloquium, this emergent area is reviewed looking at the pioneering experiments in the field and the various theoretical approaches that aim to describe this behavior. The latest experimental studies in the field are reviewed and theoretical approaches are now beginning to converge to describe the binding behavior seen. Recent links between optical binding and nonlinearity are explored as well as future themes and challenges. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Walton J.C.,University of St. Andrews
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2014

ConspectusSelective syntheses are now available for compounds of many classes, based on C-centered radicals, exploiting a diverse range of mechanisms. The prospect for chemistry based around N- and O-centered radicals is probably more favorable because of the importance of heterocycles as biologically active materials. Heteroradical chemistry is still comparatively underdeveloped due to the need for safe and easy ways of generating them. Oxime esters appeared promising candidates to meet this need because literature reports and our EPR spectroscopic examinations showed they readily dissociated on photolysis with production of a pair of N- and O-centered radicals. It soon became apparent that a whole suite of benign oxime-containing molecules could be pressed into service. The bimodality of the oxime motif meant that by suitable choice of functionality the reactions could be directed to yield selectively products from either the N-centered radicals or from the O-centered radicals.We found that on one hand photolyses of acetophenone oxime esters of carboxylic acids yielded alicyclics. On the other hand, aromatic and heteroaromatic acyl oximes (as well as dioxime oxalates) afforded good yields of phenanthridines and related heterocycles. Easily prepared oxime oxalate amides released carbamoyl radicals, and pleasingly, β-lactams were thereby obtained. Oxime carbonates and oxime carbamates, available via our novel 1,1'-carbonyldiimidazole (CDI)-based preparations, were accessible alternatives for iminyl radicals and hence for phenanthridine preparations. In their second modes, these compounds proved their value as precursors for exotic alkoxycarbonyloxyl and carbamoyloxyl radicals.Microwave-assistance was shown to be a particularly convenient procedure with O-phenyl oxime ethers. The iminyl radicals generated from such precursors with alkene, alkyne, and aromatic acceptor substituents furnished pyrrole, quinoline, phenanthridine, benzonaphthiridine, indolopyridine, and other systems. Microwave irradiations with 2-(aminoaryl)alkanone O-phenyl oximes enabled either dihydroquinazolines or quinazolines to be obtained in very good yields.The fine quality of the EPR spectra, acquired during photolyses of all the O-carbonyl oxime types, marked this as an important complement to existing ways of obtaining such spectra in solution. Quantifications enabled SARs to be obtained for key reaction types of N- and O-centered radicals, thus putting mechanistic chemistry in this area on a much firmer footing. Surprises included the inverse gem-dimethyl effect in 5-exo-cyclizations of iminyls and the interplay of spiro- with ortho-cyclization onto aromatics. Insights into unusual 4-exo-cyclizations of carbamoyl radicals showed the process to be more viable than pent-4-enyl 4-exo-ring closure. Another surprise was the magnitude of the difference in CO2 loss rate from alkoxycarbonyloxyl radicals as compared with acyloxyl radicals. Their rapid 5-exo-cyclization was charted, as was their preferred spiro-cyclization onto aromatics. The first evidence that N-monosubstituted carbamoyloxyls had finite lifetimes was also forthcoming.It is evident that oxime derivatives have excellent credentials as reagents for radical generation and that there is ample room to extend their applications to additional radical types and for further heterocycle syntheses. There is also clear scope for the development of preparative procedures based around the alkoxyl and aminyl radicals that emerge downstream from oxime carbonate and oxime carbamate dissociations. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Nelson D.J.,University of St. Andrews | Nolan S.P.,University of St. Andrews
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2013

The use of N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) in chemistry has developed rapidly over the past twenty years. These interesting compounds are predominantly employed in organometallic chemistry as ligands for various metal centres, and as organocatalysts able to mediate an exciting range of reactions. However, the sheer number of NHCs known in the literature can make the appropriate choice of NHC for a given application difficult. A number of metrics have been explored that allow the electronic properties of NHCs to be quantified and compared. In this review, we discuss these various metrics and what they can teach about the electronic properties of NHCs. Data for approximately three hundred NHCs are presented, obtained from a detailed survey of the literature. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Whiten A.,University of St. Andrews
Nature | Year: 2014

The adoption of a new form of tool use has been observed to spread along social-network pathways in a chimpanzee community. The finding offers the first direct evidence of cultural diffusion in these animals in the wild. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-2016-STG | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2017

One of the most active challenges of modern solid state physics and chemistry is harnessing the unique and varied physical properties of transition-metal oxides. From improved electrodes for solar cells to loss-less transmission of power, these compounds hold the potential to transform our daily lives. Subtle collective quantum states underpin their diverse properties. These complicate their physical understanding but render them extremely sensitive to their local crystalline environment, offering enormous potential to tune their functional behaviour. To date, the vast majority of work has focussed on transition-metal oxides based around cubic perovskite building blocks. In contrast, exploiting the layered traingular network of the delafossite structure, the QUESTDO project aims to establish delafossite oxides as a completely novel class of interacting electron system with properties and potential not known in more established systems. Its scope bridges three of the most important current themes in condensed matter, investigating and controlling the delicate interplay of (i) frustrated triangular and honeycomb lattice geometries, (ii) interacting electrons, and (iii) effects of strong spin-orbit interactions. It brings together advanced spectroscopic measurement with precise materials fabrication. Through these studies, QUESTDO promises critical new insight on the quantum many-body problem in solids, and will advance our understanding and demonstrate atomic-scale control of the physical properties of delafossites. Ultimately, it seeks to establish new design methodologies for the targeted creation of emergent and topological phases in this little-studied family of transition-metal oxides, paving the route for their further study and ultimate application.

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 2.08M | Year: 2017

The aim of this proposal is to establish a Core Activity within the UK Centre for Advanced Materials for Energy Generation and Transmission along the lines of the national Supergen Consortia in Energy Engineering. We anticipate being one of three Cores comprising an overall Centre activity and expect to play an important role in delivering such a Centre. Here, we build our case around the most critical element in many manifestations of Energy Materials applications, the interfaces between the active elements. The interface between active components and, indeed, the surface are usually of great importance in determining the functionality of any energy materials application. For example, the critical region determining the performance and lifetime of most electrochemical systems is normally at the electrode side of the electrode/electrolyte interface. The proposal is split into three components: (1) Platform Research within the Core (60%); (2) Flexible Funding for collaborative research with University & Industry Partners outside the Core (30%), using which we will seek to build up capability through pump-priming and proof of concept studies. Thirdly, this will be strongly supported through interactions and collaborations through (3) Networking and Outreach (10%). The grouping not only offers strong expertise in a broad range of Energy Materials, but also brings together diverse skills and disciplines in a highly complementary manner to address exciting research challenges at Energy Materials interfaces.

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