Group members



Dr Indrek Pernik

Indrek was awarded a DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2014 in the group of Prof. Andrew Weller. His project was concentrated on synthesising novel small bite angle rhodium catalysts for intermolecular hydroacylation reaction. Prior to this, Indrek gained a Master’s degree at the University of Bristol, with a year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During the studies he had opportunities to carry out projects under the supervision of Prof. Maurice Brookhart and Prof. Paul Pringle, followed by a year working at an industry. Before taking up the position at the Messerle group, Indrek worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Monash University at the group of Prof. Cameron Jones to get away from transition metals for a bit and gain some understanding of the main group chemistry. At the Messerle group Indrek is back to working on transition metal chemistry, in particular his project concentrates on bimetallic complexes and their deposition on surfaces. Outside the lab Indrek is trying to do his best to explore Australia and keep sporty, although the latter still needs a bit of work…

Ralph Ralph Lam ORCID

Ralph was awarded a BSc at UNSW after completing an Honours project in the Messerle group in 2014 and then started his Year 2 MRes at Macquarie Uni in 2015 with Prof. Messerle. Ralph began his PhD in 2016, initially investigating the catalytic and electrochemical properties of a range of metal complexes. Ralph has shifted his research focus to using CO2 as a building block in organic synthesis with the aid of transition metal catalysts. Outside the lab, Ralph spends most of his time training in the bush, and has (finally) decided to learn surfing.

Matt Peterson ORCID

Matt completed a BEng / BSc combined degree (Industrial Chemistry/Chem) at UNSW in 2012. During undergraduate studies he worked at a variety of companies within the University’s coveted Co-op Program (namely BlueScope Steel and Siemens Water Technologies). Since graduating he spent 12 months at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) in their Graduate Program, working on enabling new diagnostic radiotracers to reach the clinical environment. In 2014 he returned to the Messerle Group to complete his PhD, focusing on bimetallic catalysts, using both homogeneous and surface immobilised systems to catalyse tandem reactions. Outside chemistry, Matt’s current obsessions are coffee (coffee coffee!) and German Shepherds (despite his inner city apartment not allowing him to own one, yet).


Danfeng Wang

Danfeng is a proactive person full of passion for chemistry. Before joining Messerle’s group she worked at WuXi AppTec Co. Ltd, China, as a researcher. However, her passion for chemistry and an eagerness to learn cutting-edge chemistry became the driving force to become a PhD student. Danfeng joined the Messerle Group with the aid of a stipend from the Chinese Scholarship Council. Now with the organometallic chemistry she is learning, she aims to synthesise high-performance hybrid organometallic photo-catalysts aiming to lower energy consumption and environmental pollution, creating environmental-friendly and sustainable catalysts. Her hobbies are traveling, swimming and playing ping-pong, she also likes colourful things and imagining all the chemistry behind the colours!