Dr Louis Morrill was born in Wick on the north coast of Scotland in 1987. He obtained his MChem degree (1st Class Honours) from the University of St Andrews, including a one-year industrial placement at AstraZeneca (Charnwood). He completed his Masters research project in 2010 with Professor Andrew Smith, investigating Lewis base catalysed acyl transfer processes.
Louis completed his PhD at St Andrews under the direction of Professor Andrew Smith, producing a thesis entitled ‘Organocatalytic Functionalisation of Carboxylic Acids Using Isothioureas’, funded by a prestigious Carnegie-Caledonian Scholarship (2010–2014). This work expanded the utility of isothioureas in Lewis base catalysis, demonstrating the first intermolecular bond-forming reaction of carboxylic acid-derived C(1)-ammonium enolates.
For his postdoctoral research (and a change in weather!), he moved to UC Berkeley to join the research group of Professor Richmond Sarpong, entering the world of complex molecule synthesis. He was involved in developing highly efficient and concise total syntheses of complex diterpenoid alkaloid natural products.
In June 2015, he started his independent research career at Cardiff University, where he is currently Senior Lecturer in Synthetic Organic Chemistry. Research in the group is focused on inventing new reactions in organic chemistry and developing sustainable catalytic methodologies for synthesis.