Chemistry Colloquium Program

Day: Friday

Time: 3:30 PM CDT

Location: A101 Annex Auditorium, Life Sciences Building

Unless otherwise noted, seminars will be held on Fridays in the A101 Annex Auditorium at 3:30 PM. Check the individual notices posted on bulletin boards or your e-mail box for confirmation of times and locations.  

*Denotes Gameday Weekend


Fall 2024 Schedule

Jason Lejeune

Jason P. LeJeune, Ph.D.

Environmental Health & Safety Manager
LSU Environmental Health & Safety

Safety Seminar

Host: John A. Pojman


Matt Chambers

Matthew Chambers, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
Louisiana State University

Host: Justin Ragains

Dr. Hegelich

Manuel Hegelich, Ph.D

Associate Professor
Department of Physics
The University of Texas at Austin

"Miles to Meters – Can Laser-driven accelerators supplant large-scale facilities?"

Recent years have seen significant advances in laser-driven accelerator systems in terms of reliability and reproducibility as well as in terms of bunch energy, charge and emittance.  At UT Austin we have investigated and developed the underlying scientific principles. At TAU Systems, Inc., we aim to integrate those advances into a single system, allowing a transition from the laboratory to the market. We will present recent results on laser-driven particle acceleration and our current plans to utilize such laser systems to generate high-energy electron beams as drivers for table-top synchrotron-like x-ray sources, compact gamma-ray and neutron sources and even compact EUV/X free-electron laser systems. These systems can drive applications in semiconductor R&D and metrology, medical and material science applications as well as fundamental and applied nuclear physics, chemistry, biology and pharmacology. We will show recent advances in wakefield target technology, demonstrating for the first time > 10 GeV electrons from a laser wakefield accelerator and how this enables laser-driven XFELs, as well as recent progress on smaller, compact high repetition rate systems and a laser-based light source service center.


Joint Seminar: Chemistry with Physics & Astronomy

Host: Gerald J. Schneider

Dr. Kumar

Revati Kumar, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry
Lousiana State University

Host: Bin Chen

Dr. Mensah

Patrick Mensah, Ph.D. 

Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs-Research and Development
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Southern University and A&M College

Host: John A. Pojman

Haito Liu

Haitao Liu, Ph.D.

Professor and Department Chair Department of Chemistry
University of Pittsburgh

"Intrinsic surface properties of graphitic carbon materials"

Our research shows that the perceived hydrophobicity of graphitic carbons arises from the adsorption of airborne hydrocarbons on their surfaces. Additionally, this form of contamination significantly influences both the heterogeneous electron transfer rate constant and the double-layer capacitance of carbon electrodes. These findings underscore the critical role of surface cleanliness in characterizing and utilizing carbon materials in ambient conditions.

Hosts: Graça Vicente, Slava Baranets


Dr. Cao

Dongmei Cao, Ph.D.

Director, LSU Shared Instrumentation Facility 


"Opportunities at LSU’s Shared Instrument Facility"

Host: Gerald J. Schneider

Fall Break - No Colloquium

Dr. Miljanic

Ognjen Miljanic, Ph.D.

Department of Chemistry
University of Houston

"Cyclobenzoins: Uses in Energy and Environmental Studies"

Cyclobenzoins are organic macrocycles prepared in a single air- and moisture-tolerant step by the benzoin condensation of aromatic dialdehydes. Despite their simple structure, they are characterized by a range of interesting properties: electrochemical activity, porosity in the solid state, and well-developed derivatization chemistry. We have explored these properties in the context of energy-related uses. Cyclobenzil hydrazones have been shown to capture iodine from vapors, solutions, and interfaces, while cyclobenzils themselves have been employed as components of organic electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries. Meanwhile, acetylated cyclotetrabenzoin has been shown as a supramolecular host for linear pi-electron rich guests, including terminal alkynes and CO2. Together with the Zaworotko group at the University of Limerick in Ireland, we have also shown that cyclotetrabenzoin acts as a superior platform for the separation of C3 hydrocarbons, with the greatest affinity for propyne. Derivatization of cyclobenzoins into other macrocyclic species will also be discussed.


Host: Victor Garcia-Lopez

"Opportunities at SLMBR and Crystallography"


Dr. Cueto

Rafael Cueto, Ph.D.

Director, LSU Shared Laboratory for Macro and Bio-Macromolecular Research

The LSU Shared Laboratory for Macro and Bio-Macromolecular Research (SLMBR) provides advanced equipment for characterization of macromolecules, supramolecular assemblies, colloids, complex fluids, and related materials. This facility was previously known as the Polymer analysis Laboratory (PAL)

The following techniques will be discussed:

  • Thermal analysis: Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA), and Rheology.
  • Gel Permeation Chromatography: Multi Angle Light Scattering GPC (GPC-MALS) and  Conventional Calibration GPC.
  • Dynamic Light Scattering and Zeta Potential.

Frank Fronczek

Frank Fronczek, Ph.D.

Manager, X-ray Crystallography Facility

A brief outline of structure determination by single-crystal X-ray diffraction will be given. Our diffractometers and software will be described, with emphasis on the advantages and drawbacks of each of our three radiation sources, Ag, Cu and Mo.


Host: Daniel Kuroda

Fereshteh Emami



Fereshteh Emami, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor of Chemistry
Southeastern Louisiana University

"Assessment of Chemical Contaminants in Lake Maurepas"

Lake Maurepas in southeastern Louisiana (USA) is a vital aquatic ecosystem with significant ecological, recreational, and economic value. Recently, concerns have arisen regarding the deterioration of aquatic and water quality within the lake, largely attributed to the industrial activities. Our study aims to investigate the chemical contaminants and the quality of water, sediment, and aquatic samples collected from various locations and depths of the lake. The primary objectives of this study are to assess the current state of organic pollutants, nutrients and heavy metal concentrations, and to identify the monthly concentration trends and spatial contaminants distribution patterns throughout the lake. The behavior of these chemicals was analyzed and forecasted using parametric and non-parametric statistical analyses, as well as machine learning-based modeling. The findings of this study contribute to the understanding of aquatic ecosystems and provide insights into the effects of pollution on the ecosystem.

Host: John A. Pojman

Dr. Fatila

Elisabeth Fatila, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Departments of Chemistry, Molecular Science and Nanotechnology
Louisiana Tech University

Hosts: Natalie Stewart, Noémie Elgrishi, Matthew Chambers

Dr. Colvin

Vicky Colvin, Ph.D. 

Professor & Dean, College of Engineering
Louisiana State University

Host: John A. Pojman


Thanksgiving - No Colloquium 

Student Awards Ceremony

Students will be awarded the:

Mary Jo Pribble Inorganic Chemistry Award

Timothy S. Evenson Macromolecular Chemistry Award

H. Dupont Durst Organic Chemistry Award 

Neil Kestner Physical Chemistry Award 

Dow Chemical Macromolecular Award 

Kiran Allam International Award

James G. Traynham Teaching and Research Award

Hosts: David Spivak, Kandace Hurst


Student Award Presentations

Host: David Spivak

SPRING 2025 Schedule

Jason LeJeune

Jason P. LeJeune, Ph.D.

Environmental Health & Safety Manager
LSU Environmental Health & Safety

Safety Seminar

Host: John A. Pojman

Dr. Talenquer

Vicente A. Talanquer, Ph.D. 

Distinguished Professor
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of Arizona

Host: Zakiya S Wilson-Kennedy

Dr. Head-Gordon

Martin Head-Gordon, Ph.D.

The Kenneth S. Pitzer Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley

Host: Kenneth Lopata

Shiv Halasyamani

P. Shiv Halasyamani, Ph.D. 

Hugh Roy and Lille Franz Cullen Distinguished Chair and Graduate Chair
Department of Chemistry
University of Houston

Host: Slava Baranets

Gina Frey

Gina Frey, Ph.D. 

Ron and Eileen Ragsdale Endowed Chair in Chemical Education
Department of Chemistry
The University of Utah

Host: Zakiya S Wilson-Kennedy

Sidney Kreutz

Sidney Creutz, Ph.D. 

Mississippi State University

Host: Clifton Wagner

Dr. Joseph Schlenoff

Joseph Schlenoff, Ph.D. 

Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor
Distinguished Research Professor
Leo Mandelkern Professor of Polymer Science
Florida State University

Host: Amy Xu

Erin McCauley

Erin McCauley, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor and Interim Director
Office of Undergraduate Research
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
California State University, Dominguez Hills

Hosts: Jose M. Garfias, Fatima Rivas

Scott Snyder

Scott Snyder, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor of Radiology & Imaging Sciences
School of Science
Indiana University

Host: Fatima Rivas

Dr. Stefan

Mihaela C. Stefan, Ph.D. 

Eugene McDermott Professor Department Head-Chemistry and Biochemistry
The University of Texas at Dallas

Host: David Spivak

"Opportunities created by the Mass Spectrometry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facilities at LSU Chemistry and Beyond"



Fabrizio Donnarumma, Ph.D.

Director, LSU Mass Spectrometry Facility

The LSU College of Science Mass Spectrometry Facility (MSF) is a cost center located on the main campus in Baton Rouge, LA. The facility currently houses six mass spectrometers that are available for organic, inorganic and biological mass spectrometric applications. The facility is directed by Dr. Fabrizio Donnarumma, Ph.D., and employs Dr. Isabel Vitorino Maia as research associate. The team is responsible for operating the instrumentation, maintenance, sample preparation and data analysis. In addition, the MSF provides assistance in experiment design, teaching activities that include mass spectrometry as well as grant writing and design support.


Thomas K. Weldeghiorghis, Ph.D.

Manager, LSU NMR Facility

The LSU NMR Facility has six instruments with magnetic fields of 400, 500, and 700 MHz, offering both solution and solid-state capabilities. These instruments support routine 1H, 13C, and 31P 1D and 2D experiments, useful for research in chemistry, engineering, biology, and other fields. For more complex needs, the Bruker pulse sequence library and advanced NMR hardware provide enhanced capabilities. We'll explore some of the non-routine experiments possible with our instruments and the research questions they can help address.

Host: Robert Cook

Spring Break - No Colloquium

Chris Mundy

Chris Mundy, Ph.D. 

Lab Fellow, Physicist
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Host: Revati Kumar


Good Friday - No Colloquium

Kelly Ayres

Kelly Ayres

"Introduction to Topics in Crime Scene Investigation"


Dr. Xia

Yan Xia, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry
Stanford University 

Joint Seminar: Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Hosts: Anthony Engler, Donghui Zhang