BSc (Flinders) PhD (Flinders)
Associate Professor in Organic Chemistry
+61 7 336 53530

After completing my BSc (Hons) and PhD (1997) at Flinders University of South Australia I was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany from 1997-1999 and an Australian National University Post-doctoral Fellow at the Research School of Chemistry (1999-2000), Canberra, Australia. Appointment to my first academic position was in 2000 at the University of Queensland and now I hold the position of Associate professor curently supported by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship.

Brief Research Description: 
Organic Chemistry - Synthesis and isolation of complex natural products, method development, medicinal and physical organic chemistry
Research Focus and Collaborations: 

Our research focus concentrates on three areas: 1) investigating strategies towards the total synthesis of very complex natural products (including for example the Vibsanin family, Diterpene Alkaloids, and tetranortriterpenes), and 2) designing and discovering novel biologically active molecules for use as medicines (design and synthesis of novel entities for the treatment of cancer, in collaboration with Prof. Peter Parsons Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Alzheimer’s in collaboration with A/Prof. Helen Cooper of (QBI) and A/Prof. Peter Dodd (SCMB), and Pain in collaboration with Prof. Maree Smith (UQ Pharmancy,TetraQ). Research area 1 is viewed as a medium to exercise and increase scholarly learning in that extremely complex targets are approached, which ultimately prepare the group for solving problems and producing successful outcomes for research area 2. In addition, we 1) design and develop new synthetic methods for new modes of constructing chemical bonds that are synthetically useful; 2) enjoy dabbling in physical organic and computational chemistry; and 3) have a strong industrial collaboration with EcoBiotics Ltd in the area of natural product isolation/elucidation. Collaborators in these spaces include:

 Prof. Tim Clarke (Uni Erlangen, Germany) DFT Calculations

Prof. Marc Maudit ( ) Organometallic reagents

Prof. Huw Davies (Emory, US) Synthetic methods

Prof. Richard O'Hair (Uni Melbourne) Reaction mass spectrometry

Prof. Charles Zercher (Uni New Hampshire, US) Organometallic reagents

Prof. Stefan Bräse (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany) Synthetic methodology

Dr.s Paul Savage, John Tsanaktsidis, Oliver Hutt (CSIRO) Drug development and syntheticmethodology

Dr.s Victoria Gordon and Paul Reddell (EcoBiotics Limited)

Dr. Elizabeth Krenske (SCMB) DFT Calculations




  • Organic Chemistry
  • Synthesis and Retro synthesis in organic chemistry
  • Advanced Synthesis and Retro synthesis in organic chemistry
Significant Professional Activities and Awards: 
  • "
  • Faculty OH&S Committee Member
  • Recent past Chair School OH&S Committee Member
  • Consulting to local Biotechnology industry.
Smith, M.T., Brown, L., Harvey, M.B.P. and Williams, C.M. (2003) ‘Methods and compositions including nitric oxide donors and opioid analgesics for pain relief’, PCT Int. Appl.
Recent research support

1) ARC Discovery Project

Linking Chemical Synthesis with Protein Discovery to Reveal Key Biological Pathways

total value of grant: $420,000

2) ARC Future Fellowship

Introducing the Cubane Ring System as a Surrogate to the Benzene Ring: An Evolutionary Step in Pharmaceutical and Agrochemical design principles.

total value of grant: $817,000

3) ANR Discovery project (France)

Sequential 1,6/1,4-Asymmetric Conjugate Addition and Tandem Enolate Trapping: Applications in Total Synthesis of Natural Products

total value of grant: $432,000 (Euros)

4) ARC Discovery Project

Chemically re-engineering bioactive natural products using fragment based drug design

total value of grant: $400,000.00

Selected Publications: