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Welcome to the McErlean Research Group website.

Our research efforts are centred on the development of reactions, processes and strategies to enable the efficient synthesis of organic molecules. Despite a growing perception that 'organic synthesis' is a mature discipline, many challenges remain. Overcoming these obstacles is central to any future developments in the sciences.


Our laboratory is situated within the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney, Australia's oldest university. The Chemistry Building is located on the Camperdown campus, within walking distance (or a short bus ride) from the scenic Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

The School of Chemistry is equipped with an outstanding array of cutting-edge scientific instrumentation that enables our group to tackle chemistry problems of international significance. These research projects also provide excellent training for the students and postdoctoral fellows who work in the group.bridge

We hope that you take the time to look around the website and learn more about the group. Please use the buttons on the left to navigate around this site.



January 2014 - Welcome to Cecile and Julian who are joining the group for their Honours year.

January 2014 - Congratulations to Carl for getting his work acccepted as a Featured Article into the Journal of Organic Chemistry.
Great effort!

January 2014 - Congratulations to Liam for getting a manuscript acccepted into the Journal of Organic Chemistry.
Well done Liam!

October 2013 - Congratulations to Katy for getting her manuscript acccepted into Chemistry - A European Journal.
Great work!

September 2013 - Congratulations to Dr Caroline Nesbitt on the conferral of her doctorate.

August 2013 - Congratulations to Phil for winning a poster prize at the 6th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry in Nottingham.

July 2013 - Congratulations to Katy for winning a poster prize at the 18th European Symposium on Organic Chemistry in Marseille.


Christopher S. P. McErlean

School of Chemistry, F11
The University of Sydney,
NSW, 2006
ph. +61 2 93513970
fax. +61 2 93513329

Synthesis of (+)-Luzofuran and (−)-Ancistrofuran. Carl Recsei, Bun Chan, and Christopher S. P. McErlean, J. Org. Chem., (2014) 79, 880–887.

Enantioselective synthesis of the strigolactone mimic (+)-GR24. Liam Bromhead, Johan Visser, Christopher S. P. McErlean, J. Org. Chem., (2014) 79, 1516–1520.

Extending the Stetter Reaction with 1,6-Acceptors. Katherine R. Law, Christopher S. P. McErlean, Chem.-Eur. J. (2013) 19, 15852-15855.

Ionic liquids are compatible with on-water catalysis. Kaitlin D. Beare, Alexander K. L. Yuen, Anthony F. Masters, Thomas Maschmeyer and Christopher S. P. McErlean,  Chem. Commun., (2013) 49, 8347-8349.