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Gibson Group: Dr Tom Whale


Tom was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1989 moving to Wales in the late 1990s. He completed an MChem in Chemistry at the University of Durham from 2007-2011. During his degree Tom completed a Nuffield Undergraduate Research Bursary project on high pressure ice and a fourth year research project on carbon nanomaterials, both supervised by Dr Christoph Salzmann. Tom then moved to the group of Dr Ben Murray at the University of Leeds for his PhD, graduating in 2016 with a thesis entitled ‘Ice nucleation by feldspars and carbon nanomaterials’. He then undertook postdoctoral research in the Murray group looking at controlling ice nucleation in cryobiological systems. In 2018 Tom moved to the group of Professor Fiona Meldrum at Leeds to work on heterogeneous nucleation of inorganics. Tom is now a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Warwick working on the ‘Untangling chemical and topographical impacts on heterogeneous ice nucleation’ project.

Research Interests

Tom’s research has focused on improving understanding heterogeneous nucleation and applying knowledge of heterogeneous nucleation to applied problems. Tom has particularly focused on the nucleation of ice and the role of ice nucleation in atmospheric science and cryobiology.


  1. Whale, T. F. et al. The role of phase separation and related topography in the exceptional ice-nucleating ability of alkali feldspars. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2017, 19 (46), 31186-31193.
  2. Whale, T. F. et al. The enhancement and suppression of immersion mode heterogeneous ice-nucleation by solutes. Chemical Science 2018, 9 (17), 4142-4151.


University of Warwick


tom dot whale at warwick dot ac dot uk