Graduate Students

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.

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.

Jory McIntosh
B.Sc. Pacific University, 2017

As an undergraduate Jory worked on functionalizing glass slides with silver nanoprisms under Dr. Paige Hall. While not in the lab he plays games, tennis, reads, and spends time with family.

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.

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.

Rachel Siegel
B.S. St. Lawrence University, 2021

As an undergraduate, Rachel worked with Dr. Samantha Glazier to determine the mechanism of a polymer TNT sensor. Outside of the lab, Rachel enjoys reading, crocheting, and baking.

James Vesto
B.A. Reed College, 2021

At Reed, James completed his undergraduate thesis on a kinetic study of condensed phase terpene-derived hydroxynitrates with Dr. Rebecca LaLonde (Reed College) and Dr. Anthony Carrasquillo (Williams College). Outside of the lab, you can usually find James playing with his dog, solving puzzles, painting, or writing code.

Tianle Wang
B.S. University of Maryland &
China Agricultural University, 2019

As an undergraduate student, Tianle did research focusing on quantitatively analyzing isoflavone content in food samples using HPLC-MS. During his spare time, he likes jogging, cooking and sleeping.

Postdoctoral Scholars

We are hiring! Contact Prof. Berben with your CV.

Solar Fuels Project Manager

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.

Undergraduate Students

Marcos Aceves
Class of 2023

Eric DelAguilla
V-TEC Intern
Class of 2024

Kenneth Arellano
V-TEC Intern
Class of 2023

Sergio Torres
Class of 2023


Graduate Students


Visiting Scholars

Undergraduate Students

High School Students