Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Dr Valentina Estarova

Research interests:

My research focus is on the use and development of molecular modelling techniques for the study of minerals, materials and interactions at their interfaces.

In 2019 I started Chancellor’s Fellowship on Materials and Manufacture, at the University of Edinburgh. My aim is to generate a geoenvironmental knowledgebase, combining molecular modelling with geochemical data to guide the design of sustainable materials for drug-pollution sequestration.

Career history:

June 2019 – Chancellor’s Fellow in Materials and Manufacture, School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh

2017 – 2019 PDRA, “Combining Molecular Modelling and solid-state NMR for the Study of Organic Crystals”, group of Dr Paul Hodgkinson, Chemistry Department, Durham University

2015 – 2017 PDRA, Research co-investigator, “Molecular Modelling of Low Order Oxide Surfaces for Catalytic Reactions” in the group of Prof Chris Greenwell, Earth Sciences Department, Durham University and Visiting Researcher in the group of Prof Dermot O’Hare, Chemistry Department, University of Oxford.

2013 – 2015 PDRA “Mineral Assisted Formation of Protobiomolecules” in the group of Prof Chris Greenwell, Earth Sciences Department, Durham University and Visiting Researcher in the group of Prof Don Fraser, Earth Sciences Department, University of Oxford

2012 – 2013 Knowledge Transfer Partnership Research Fellow, group of Prof Mark Wilson, Chemistry Department, Durham

Active research projects:

Mineral-mediated prebiotic formation of molecules of life

Natural minerals for pollution sequestration

Interaction of pharmaceuticals with soils

Creation of high-surface materials from natural and synthetic layered double hydroxides

Recent publications:

V Erastova* , K Ruengkajorn*, JC Buffet, HC Greenwell & D O’Hare, “Aqueous Immiscible Layered Double Hydroxides: Synthesis, Characterisation and Molecular Dynamics Simulation”, ChemComm, 2018

S Tian, V Erastova, S Lu, HC Greenwell, T Underwood, H Xue, F Zeng, G Chen & C Wu, “Understanding model crude oil component interactions at kaolinite silicate and aluminol surfaces: towards improved shale oil recovery”, Energy and Fuels, 2017

V Erastova , MT Degiacomi, DG Fraser & HC Greenwell, “Mineral Surface Chemistry Control for Origin of Prebiotic Peptides”, Nature Communications, 2017

V Erastova , MT Degiacomi, D O’Hare & HC Greenwell, “Understanding Surface Interactions in Aqueous Miscible Organic Solvent Treated Layered Double Hydroxides”, RSC Advances, 2017

T Underwood, V Erastova & HC Greenwell, “Clay adsorption at smectite clay mineral surface”, Clays and Clay Minerals, 2016

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