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Sea urchins to snowflakes

Public lecture to unravel the secrets of crystallization

By Kelly Foss

An international expert in crystallization will deliver the 31st Job Lecture at Memorial University.

On Wednesday, June 27, Dr. Fiona Meldrum, chair of inorganic chemistry at the School of Chemistry, University of Leeds, U.K., will present the public lecture, From Sea Urchins to Snowflakes: Unravelling the Secrets of Crystallization.

Crystallization is a fascinating phenomenon that touches everyone, every day of their lives,” said Dr. Meldrum.

“It governs the formation of our bones and teeth, ice on a window pane and scale in a kettle. It lies at the heart of a vast range of fields in science and technology, including pharmaceuticals, nanomaterials and foodstuffs, and environmental issues like weathering and carbon-capture.”

Her talk will show how we can gain inspiration from nature to control crystallization processes and to produce materials with complex morphologies, unusual colours and even properties to rival those of seashells.

The lecture will take place at 2 p.m. in the Science building, room SN-2109. A reception will follow.

Research talks

This year, in addition to the public lecture, three research lectures will take place with Dr. Meldrum. On Monday, June 25, she will deliver Bio-Inspired Approaches to Crystals with Composite Structures at 2 p.m. in C-2004.

On Tuesday, June 26, at 10 a.m., she will present Crystallization in Confinement: A Biological Perspective. At 1 p.m. the same day, she will deliver Synchrotron-Based Investigation of Crystallization Mechanisms. Both will take place in C-3033.

The first Job Lecture took place in 1972. The lecture series was funded through a bequest from the Job family of St. John’s, a historically prominent Newfoundland mercantile family. Each year a distinguished chemist of international repute is invited to visit the department for several days. In addition to the formal lectures, this gives faculty and students the opportunity to meet intellectually and socially with some of the most prominent chemists of the day.


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