John Gilbertson

Associate Professor

Research Interests

Research in the Gilbertson lab is focused on scientific problems dealing with global climate change and CO2 utilization.  Our projects involve the integration of active-type (AT) and passive-type (PT) ligand-based reduction principles and motifs for small molecule activation. These projects are synthetic-inorganic in nature specifically aimed at the homogeneous reduction of CO2 into useable feedstocks and fuels. These projects involve the synthesis of coordination compounds composed of earth abundant metals and ligands with reaction directors and redox active sites engineered into both the primary and secondary coordination sphere.

Educational & Professional Experience

  • B.A. Chemistry, Augustana College, 2000.
  • Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry, University of Oregon, 2005.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Trinity University, 2005-2007.
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Augustana College, 2007.
  • Assistant Professor, Western Washington University, 2008-2014
  • Visiting Research Associate, UC Irvine, 2015-2016.

Selected Awards & Honors

  • Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award 2017
  • American Chemical Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry Undergraduate Research Award (Team) 2017
  • Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar (PUI Class) 2010.
  • National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award 2013.
  • Western Washington University Sustainability Award (AMSEC, SOLAR Team), Fa 2012.
  • Western Washington University Team Recognition Award (AMSEC), Fa 2010.
  • 5 University of Oregon Doctoral Research Fellowship, Sept ’05 (awarded but declined).
  • National Science Foundation IGERT Fellowship, Sept ’02 - Sept ’05.
  • Regional ACS Award, Sioux Valley Chapter, 1999.
  • Outstanding Laboratory Assistant, Augustana College, 1999.
  • Augustana Research and Artist’s Fund, Summer 1998

Recent Publications

Baumgardner, D. F.; Parks, W. E.; Gilbertson, J. D. Harnessing the Active Site Triad: Merging Hemilability, Proton Responsivity, and Ligand-Based Redox-Acitivty. Dalton Trans. 2020, 49, 960-965. DOI: 10.1039/C9DT04470A

Cheung, P. M., Burns, K. T.; Kwon, Y. M.; Deshaye, M. Y.; Aguayo, K. J., Oswald, V. F.; Seda, T., Zakharov, L. N.; Kowalczyk, T.; Gilbertson, J. D. Hemilabile Proton Relays and Redox-Activity Lead to {FeNO}x and Significant Rate Enhancements in NO2- Reduction. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 17040-17050. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b08520

Burns, K. T.; Marks, W. R.; Cheung, P. M.; Seda, T.; Zakharov, L. N.; Gilbertson, J. D. Uncoupled Redox-Inactive Lewis Acids in the Secondary Coordination Sphere Entice Ligand-Based Nitrite Reduction. Inorg. Chem. 201857, 9601-9610. DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.8b00032

Delgado, M.; Gilbertson, J. D. Ligand-Based Reduction of Nitrate to Nitric Oxide Utilizing a Proton-Responsive Secondary Coordination Sphere. Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 11249-11252. DOI: 10.1039/C7CC06541H