Graduate Students and Postdocs

Neo Bao
B.S. UC Santa Cruz, 2019

Neo joined the Lab in January 2021. Before coming to UC Davis, he worked on silver MOFs and Ga/Al alloys under the guidance of Dr. Scott Oliver and Dr. Bakthan Singaram at UCSC. Outside chemistry, he is a film and digital media producer, who also enjoys calligraphy and acrylic painting.

Amanda Bohanon
B.S. Creighton University, 2018

Amanda joined the group in January 2019. Her undergraduate research focused on the synthesis of cationic frameworks with lanthanides and neutral organic molecules to perform anion exchange. In her free time, she enjoys sleeping, watching/playing sports, exploring new places, and searching for the best Mexican food.

Cassondra Brayfield
B.S. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2015
M.S. Partial, Arizona State University, 2019

Cassondra joined the Berben Lab in Summer 2020. As an undergrad, Cassondra studied Material Science and Engineering working on synthesizing phosphors for full spectrum lighting and anode morphologies for Li ion batteries. She then worked for Corning Inc. and Intel. She enjoys hiking, reading, cooking, wine tasting, ballet, and movies.

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.

Kevin Lee
B.S. University of California Riverside, 2019

Kevin joined the group in January 2021. His undergraduate research involved photon upconversion with Ming Lee Tang using CdSe nanoparticles. Outside of the lab, he enjoys hiking, gaming, staying up late, and occasionally stargazing on a roof.

Leo Parsons
B.S. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 2017

Leo joined the Berben group in Winter 2019. As an undergraduate, his research focused on the synthesis of small organic molecules and polymers. His current interests lie in non-innocent ligand complexes. When not in the lab, Leo enjoys soccer, all things outdoors, and Southern cooking.

Dr. Santanu Pattanayak
B.Sc. (Hons) Vidyasagar University, 2010
M.Sc. University of Pune, 2012
Ph.D. National Chemical Laboratory Pune, 2018

During his Ph.D. with Dr. Sayam Sen Gupta at NCL-Pune (India), he studied the reactivity of high valent oxoiron(V) intermediates. His current work explores iron carbonyl clusters for electrocatalytic CO2 or H+ reduction. He enjoys gaming, reading, watching movies, and playing cricket.

Nathan Phan
B.S. University of Portland, 2016

Nathan conducted undergraduate research with Dr. Eugeneijus Urnezius working on nickel complexes with redox-active hydroquinone ligands. He joined the Berben group in January 2017 to research redox-active Al complexes. He enjoys watching films, being a sports fan, and drinking coffee.

Dr. Jong-Hwa Shon
B.S. & M.S. Sogang University, 2010 & 2012
Ph.D. University of Houston, 2020

Following his M.S., Jong-Hwa joined OCI Co. developing carbon materials and redox flow batteries. During his Ph.D. with Dr. Thomas Teets, he studied catalyst development and photocatalytic reactions of molecular photosensitizer. In the Berben lab he studies electrocatalytic CO2 reduction by iron clusters. He likes to listen to music, watch sports, eat awesome food, and play games.

Dr. Xiujing Xing
B.S. Sichuan University, 2015
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 2020

During her Ph.D. with Dr. Neil Tomson Xiujing focused on phosphinimine-based pincer nickel complexes. Her research in the Berben lab is hydride and H atom transfer with py-containing ligand-metal complexes. Outside the lab, she enjoys running marathons, cooking Chinese food, and spending quality times with her kittens--Philly and Marty.

Undergraduate Students

Jeffry Martin
Class of 2021
joint with Koski lab

Keyan Li
Class of 2021

Miranda Lu
Class of 2022

Andranik Avedisyan
Class of 2023


Graduate Students


Visiting Scholars

Undergraduate Students

High School Students