Graduate Students and Postdocs

Amela Arnold
B.S. University of California Berkeley, 2013

Amela joined the group in January 2015 after working for a year in process chemistry at Gilead Sciences. Her undergraduate research in the Toste lab spanned supramolecular chemistry and enantioselective fluorination. She now works with redox-active Al complexes. Amela also paints, and loves family time.

Cody Carr
B.S. University of California Davis, 2013

As an undergraduate, Cody joined the Berben group where he worked on the synthesis of redox active aluminum complexes. He continues to study non-innocent ligands paired with aluminum and their reactivity towards small molecules. He finds jubilation in doing research, playing paintball, watching NBA, snowboarding, and gaming.

David Cluff
B.S. University of Utah, 2014

David has come to UC Davis from the Das group where, as an undergraduate, he worked on C-H functionalization with a Ni catalyst. David has now started work on eletrocatalytic CO2 reduction using iron clusters. When not in the lab he enjoys cycling, running, getting lost reading, watching plays, and learning something new.

Ryan Dougherty
B.S. & M.S. Cal State University Fresno, 2013 & 2015

Ryan joined the Berben Lab in the Fall of 2015. While at Fresno State he performed research with Dr. Melissa Golden, where his main project involved the synthesis and characterization of NiN2S2 model complexes. His current research focus is the synthesis and electrochemistry of iron clusters. Ryan also enjoys hockey, cooking, and spending time with his family.

Christopher Knell
B.S. St. Mary's College of Maryland, 2016

Chris researched graphene and Europium-based metal-organic frameworks as an undergraduate. He joined the Berben group in winter 2017 to study covalent electrode surface strategies for electrocatalysis. When he's not in the lab, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing guitar, listening to music and reading.

Talia Loewen
B.A. Williams College, 2012

Talia joined the Berben group in January 2014 to research the synthesis and electrochemistry of small iron clusters. In her spare time she enjoys knitting, quilting, and cooking

Nathan Phan
B.S. University of Portland, 2016

Nathan conducted his undergraduate research with Dr. Eugeneijus Urnezius where he synthesized nickel complexes attached to redox-active hydroquinone ligands. He joined the Berben group in January 2017 to research redox-active aluminum complexes and their reactivity toward small molecules. He enjoys watching films, being a sports fan, and drinking coffee.

Toby Sherbow
B.S. University of Oregon, 2012

Toby's undergraduate research with Dr. David R. Tyler, involved the synthesis, characterization and reactivity of ruthenium phosphine complexes towards catalytic cyanohydrin hydration. Since Fall 2013 Toby has been optimizing the catalytic reactivity of aluminum complexes synthesized in the Berben Group. Outside of school, Toby enjoys skiing, hiking, backpacking and traveling.

Dr. Atefeh Taheri
B.S. & M.S. Sharif University of Technology, 2006 & 2008
Ph. D. The Johns Hopkins University, 2013

Atefeh's Ph.D. with Prof. Gerald J. Meyer was on the formation of I-I chemical bonds with visible light and studies of I- oxidation. Atefeh now studies electrocatalytic reactions mediated by iron clusters. She enjoys dancing and baking. Favorite quote: Top results are reached only through pain. The more difficulties you have along the way the more you enjoy your success.

Undergraduate Students

Shiela Angulo
Class of 2017
UC Davis

Sheila Kulkarni
Class of 2018
UC Davis

Taruna Neelakantan
Class of 2019
UC Davis


Graduate Students


Visiting Scholars

Undergraduate Students