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New Starters

Jo Russell

Hi, I'm Jo and I've just joined Warwick as the Undergraduate Programme Administrative Officer, working with the Teach and Learning team based on the 5th floor (or at least I will be eventually!).

I'm originall from East Yorkshire and moved to Birmingham in 2011. Since then, I've been working at Aston University in the School of Engineering as part of the work-based learning team. I administered several non-standard and degree apprenticeship prorammes, providing support to a range of students, academics, employers and external stakeholders. Prior to that I worked at Hull University in their Medical School.

Whilst working at Aston I was given the opportunity to complete a degree part time in Business and Professional Studies, and after 5 long years I graduated with first class honours – it’s definitely one of my biggest achievements as working and studying at the same time is tough! Outside of work I like to keep (fairly) fit and do a bit of cycling, running and swimming. I also like to travel (not including the vast trips back up north!) and go to the theatre, and do a little bit of arts and crafts when the mood takes me.


It’s exciting to be joining a new team and I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone.

Started May 2020

Portrait of Eleanor Edwards

Eleanor Edwards

Hi everyone, I’m Eleanor. I’m Naomi Grew’s replacement in the AS CDT and also have responsibility for PG programmes for Chemistry. I’ll be based at Senate House although I hope to be spending some time with colleagues in Chemistry as well.

Since coming to the UK, I’ve worked at Aldeburgh Music and Oxford University, and I have an MA in Early Modern History as well as a law degree. I’ve been a lawyer for the past 8.5 years working in medical negligence in a national firm. I’m very much looking forward to my new career in professional services at Warwick.

The fun facts about me are that I am Australian, which I’m told isn’t immediately obvious from my accent; I have an identical twin sister (in Australia, so you’re unlikely to have to tell us apart) and I’m a singer. I spend much of my spare time singing with professional and amateur classical groups.

Started April 2020

Mark Greenhalgh

Mark Greenhalgh

Hi Everyone! I’m Mark and have just joined in the Department of Chemistry as an Assistant Professor in Synthesis and Catalysis. I’m told my office is on the 5th floor (C5.25), although so far I’ve been working from my ‘other office’ in Dundee! When we’re back in the department please come by and say hello! I’ve spent my past five years at St Andrews as a PDRA, and before that was at the Universities of Edinburgh, Bristol, Sheffield and Wollongong as either part of my PhD or Undergraduate, so I’m looking forward to adding Warwick to the list!

My research interests are in organic synthesis and catalysis. My research group will be developing new catalytic methods for the synthesis of small molecules using earth-abundant elements (main group or transition metal). In particular I’m interested in developing catalytic methods that make use of some unusual, or poorly understood, reactivity as this just makes everything more interesting!

Away from the lab/office, I enjoy playing football so would be keen to hear if there are any 5-aside games I can involved in. I’m also interested in other sports, music, art, cooking, gardening and DIY, exploring the countryside and travelling (which I guess covers most things really!). I’m looking forward to getting to meet everyone soon and start getting to know the department!

Started April 2020

Clare Watters

Hello! I’m Clare. I am covering Lucy’s maternity leave as Teaching and Learning Manager working with the Teaching and Learning team and supporting students and staff to ensure we are keeping our services on the right direction until March 2021. I’m really excited to be part of a newly structured team and with such enthusiastic colleagues around me.

I’ve been working in professional services at Warwick since 2014. I also did a joint Masters in Italian Studies between Warwick and Birmingham. At Birmingham, I started a PhD, though life prevented me from completing, during which I also lectured, gave seminars and published. So I like to think in my own small way I’ve seen HE from a lot of different perspectives. By joining Chemistry, I’ve now worked in every Faculty and in central admin at Warwick. My role before secondment has been Assistant Registrar (Teaching and Learning) based in Education Policy and Quality and supporting Arts Departments in their teaching quality. Departments are definitely my preference. I’ve led the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) team, worked as an academic administrator in the School of Modern Languages and I’m really looking forward to using those skills to keep working well at this tough time.

I am a morris and sword dancer for my sins, so I’ll be missing the festival season this year. I’m on Warwick Folk Festival committee, leading on their marketing, so nice to be part of something local to me. I call ceilidhs (traditional British social dancing you often see at weddings), so if happy to be part of a party too (that’s right, Dianne!) – staff social, anyone?! I look forward to meeting everyone less virtually soon and being part of the team.

Started in April 2020


Adam Alcock

Hi everyone, my name is Adam and i've just joined the department as the Student Engagement and Experience Coordinator. I'll be based with the Teaching and Learning Team on the fifth floor, so do pop by and say hello.

I have worked at Warwick for 4 years now and i'm joining Chemsitry from Computer Science where I looked after a range of student experience communications, engagement initiatives and events - everything from open days and welcome week right through to graduation and everything in between. Before that I worked in Warwick Law School looking after all things admissions and scholarship related. I'm really looking forward to getting settled into my role and embracing some new challenges. I graduated with a Communications degree from Coventry University in 2003 and haven't strayed far since!

Outside of work I enjoy gym classes, going to the theatre (I probably saw around 30 plays/shows last year) and eating out.

Looking forward to meeting you all!

Started March 2020

James Hill

Hello, my name is James, but everybody calls me Jim. I have recently joined the department as a Core Technical Assistant in the teaching labs. 

I’ve been at the university for a few years now and have just transferred over from the technical team at Gibbet Hill, where I provided tech support for the School of Life Sciences and Warwick Medical School research labs.

Away from work, I studied marine biology, but I’m interested in most aspects of the natural world. I enjoy woodworking, real ales and watching movies, especially old cowboy films.

I am working in the teaching labs on the third and fourth floor, TL3 and TL4, or you might bump into me in the common room. Say hello, it’ll be great to meet you.

Started March 2020


Xuejian (James) Zhang

Hi! My name is Xuejian Zhang (James) - I just recently joined the Ward group as a research fellow.

I obtained my D.Phil at the University of Oxford in 2019. During the time in oxford, I was working on developing anion responsive lanthanide complexes in aqueous media and preparing some interlocked lanthanide architectures. I am currently working on developing methods to fasten the decomposition of chemical warfare agents.

When not in the lab I love playing basketball and working in the gym. I also like solving algorithmic problems on Leetcode and taking photos of the beautiful natural scenario.

I am based in the shared office on the 4th floor of the MAS building and please feel free to pop by for a chat.

Started March 2020

Livia Bartok-Partay

Hi, my name is Livia Bartok-Partay, I recently joined the Department of Chemistry as an assistant professor in computational chemistry.

I did my PhD in Budapest, Hungary, studying the structure of different liquid-vapour surfaces with computer simulation techniques. I moved to Cambridge in 2008 and worked at the Department of Chemistry as a Junior Research Fellow, working on developing new computational techniques to study potential energy landscapes. In the past three years I was working at the University of Reading as a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow. My current interests are in calculating phase transitions, thermodynamic and structural properties in a wide range of materials, such as clusters, metals, alloys and simple molecular systems.

In my free time I enjoy hiking with our two kids, I love baking (especially breads and brioches), gardening and doing all kinds of DIY projects, be it sewing or laying tiles.

I’m looking forward to meet everyone in the Department! If you’re around the G-block, pop in to say hello, I’m in office 201a.

Started October 2019

Seb Pike

Hello, my name is Seb – I’ve just arrived at Warwick as a Royal Society University Research Fellow. My office is on the fourth floor in the MAS building (4.11) so please drop by and say hello. I’ve spent the last three years at the University of Cambridge as a Herchel Smith Research Fellow, where I was able to start my own independent research. Before that I worked as a Post-doc at Imperial College London and completed my D.Phil at the University of Oxford in 2014.

My research sits at the interface between molecular and materials chemistry, I’m interested in making big cluster molecules or very small nanoparticles (depending on your point of view) and investigating how properties change with size. In particular, I’m interested in the way these systems can interact with light, in order to harness this energy source to promote useful reactivity. I’m developing new synthetic routes using organometallic chemistry and use lots of NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography to understand these systems.

I have a 10-month old son, whose first forays into science involve testing gravity by throwing his toys off his highchair. When I’m not tidying up after him, I enjoy cooking and exploring the countryside. Very much looking forward to meeting and working with all of you at Warwick.

Started October 2019