Professor Russell Morris, FRS FRSE FRSC FLSW
St Andrews School of Chemistry, Bishop Wardlaw Professor
Russell Morris was born in St Asaph, North Wales and educated at Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy in Llanrwst. He studied Chemistry at Oriel College in the University of Oxford before embarking on a DPhil under the supervision of Professor Tony Cheetham FRS. On leaving Oxford he completed postdoctoral work at the University of California Santa Barbara before returning to the UK to take up a Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Fellowship at the University of St Andrews, where he still works.
His research interests lie in the synthesis, characterisation and application of porous solids. Framework solids have long been known to be important chemicals in both industry and academia and Morris has a long track record of creativity in developing new areas of science that have not only impacted fundamental porous materials science but have also changed approaches across a wide swathe of chemistry outside his own direct field. Morris has also been active in spinning out companies, with two startups developing the industrial applications of his science.
Morris’s specific contributions have been to overturn conventional thinking in several areas. His development of ionothermal chemistry has led to a whole new endeavour that has impacted on many aspects of chemistry outside his own specific field. He is a pioneer in the area of porous materials chemistry for biological/medical applications, initiating a field of BioMOFs and is responsible for exposing many physicians and biologists to the concepts involved. Morris’s recent work on the ADOR principle offers to significantly change the way synthetic chemists view what is possible – his preparation of ‘unfeasible’ materials solves a long standing problem and offers insight into how to avoid the limitations of solvent-based synthetic approaches in materials chemistry.