Group News

SCS pincer paper by Reagan and Kaz

January 2022

Congrats to Reagan Hooper and Kazimer Skubi on their new paper in Inorganic Chemistry. Kaz came up with an inventive new SCS pincer that can be metallated through a C-H activation reaction, and Reagan did extensive characterization and computations. This turned out as a fabulous story that shows interesting information about proton binding to the ligand, and the balance of orbital energies with binding of a nearby alkali metal. Great work!

Welcome to undergraduate researchers

September 2021

Welcome to Maria Grillo, who is starting research in the group, and welcome back to Peter Cappaert, who did summer research with us a few years ago and is now back for senior research! They join Elena Urquiola and Quentin Bertrand, who are plugging away on their own research projects and adding excitement and verve to the group. Go team!

Comprehensive Organometallic Chemistry

July 2021

Three cheers for group members who have written chapters on nitrogen chemistry for the upcoming release of “Comprehensive Organometallic Chemistry IV.” Dan Wilson wrote a chapter about nitrogenases and model complexes, and Jeremy Weber, Sam Bhutto, and Alex Genoux teamed up on a chapter about the coordination chemistry and reactivity of N2 in coordination compounds. Great work!!

Welcome to Alex

March 2021

We’re very pleased to welcome Alexandre Genoux as a new postdoctoral fellow in the group. Alex will be working on N2 reduction electrocatalysis through the CHASE Solar Fuels Hub. We look forward to working with Alex!

Research of the Year

December 2020

Our research was listed in Chem. Eng. News “Year in Chemistry 2020” as one of the Sensational Syntheses of 2020. Earlier this year in Nature, we reported a reaction sequence discovered by Sean McWilliams and Danny Broere, and worked out in greater detail by Sam Bhutto, Connor Halliday, and Brandon Mercado, which converts benzene to aniline using N2

Welcome to new graduate students

November 2020

We are lucky this year to have three graduate students who have chosen the Holland Group for their Ph.D. studies. Alec Hegg comes to us from Knox College, Juan Serviano from Temple University, and Linda Zuckerman from Boston University. We look forward to their successes in graduate research, and they are already valuable members of the team!

Congratulations on graduations

October 2020

It is bittersweet to bid farewell to three group members who are graduating with their Ph.D. degrees. We will sorely miss them but of course recognize that they are on to more exciting chemistry in their careers! Dongyoung Kim in his graduate career moved our group into catalytic radical reactions of iron complexes, established multiple new collaborations with Phil Baran, Ryan Shenvi, and Rinaldo Poli, and was a source of enthusiasm and energy in the lab. He is going on to a postdoctoral position with Seung-Jun Hwang at POSTECH in his home country of South Korea. Daniel Kim also had a lot of success with the mechanistic elucidation of cobalt-catalyzed organometallic reactions, specifically alkene hydrosilylation and isomerization. His super hard work and endless ideas have been inspirational for his five years in the group. Daniel is moving on to a postdoc with Sukbok Chang at KAIST in his home country of South Korea. Last but not least is Gannon Connor, who was a joint student with Jim Mayer and enlivened both groups with deep insights and positive attitude. Gannon was the leader and progenitor of our now-thriving collaboration with Alex Miller and Alan Goldman, and also led numerous amazing outreach efforts with Common Ground, a local sustainability-based high school. Gannon is moving on to a consulting position, where he will share his great insights and encouragement with many others into the future. We are incredibly proud of all three of these awesome chemists, and look forward to their continued accomplishments.

Welcome to Dan and Erik

October 2020

We are very excited to welcome two new postdoctoral associates to the group! Dan Wilson comes to us from Oxford, where he did graduate research on synthetic inorganic chemistry with Jose Goicoechea. Erik Phipps arrived from Columbia University, where he did graduate research on catalytic methodology with Tomislav Rovis. We’re really looking forward to everything that these outstanding chemists will bring to our group efforts!

Welcome to Andrew and Quentin

September 2020

We’re happy to have two new researchers in the group, first-year undergraduate student Quentin Bertrand and third-year undergraduate student Andrew Qin. They will be working with Jeremy on PCET reagents for nitrogen reduction, an exciting area to push forward. It will be great to work with you!

Nature paper on N2-arene coupling

August 2020

We are gratified to report a milestone in our quest to form C-N bonds in organic products from N2: a paper that is appearing today in Nature and accessible at It was also covered in Chemical & Engineering News and Yale Today. This work, conceived and executed by Sean McWilliams and Danny Broere, shows that benzene and N2 can both interact with an iron complex to ultimately give a product with the components of both. Most importantly, it occurs through a new N2 migration mechanism that represents a new way of thinking about formation of organic products from N2. Support for the work came from Connor Halliday (visiting student from Edinburgh) and Sam Bhutto and Brandon Mercado, as well as financial backing from the Department of Energy.