Aug. 25, 2021

Congratulations to Marissa L. Clapson for winning the Advances in Inorganic Chemistry Poster Award

Marissa L. Clapson has been awarded the Advances Inorganic Chemistry poster award at the Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition (CCCE) 2021

The Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition (CCCE) 2021 Inorganic Division has announced that the winner of one of the Advanced in Inorganic Chemistry Poster Awards is Marissa L. Clapson, a member of the Piers research group in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Calgary.

Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) are a global concern when considering the current climate crisis. However, carbon dioxide can be harnesses as a C1 feedstock to form value added products such as liquid fuels, polymers, and more complex molecules. Therefore, the activation and transformation of CO2 is of interested to many chemistry researchers.

Clapson’s research focuses on the application of PCP cobalt carbene species for the activation of small molecules, specifically carbon dioxide. Through her research, Clapson has shown that CO2 can be reduced via a bridging carboxylate species in which the carbon dioxide molecule is bound between two cobalt metal centers.

“This research helps to define the fundamentals of carbon dioxide activation and later reduction to value-added materials. The more we understand about the binding mode of CO2 to metal centers, the better we can understand their applications in further chemistry and how these activation pathways can influence the products made,” says Clapson.

Clapson has been an organometallic researcher in the Piers Group at the University of Calgary for the past five years. Much of her research has focused on the synthesis and characterization of PCP cobalt carbene complexes and their reactivity with small molecules, including hydrosilylation chemistry and N2O reduction. Clapson is also known for her chemistry education research focusing on developing chemistry games and activities for learning in undergraduate chemistry courses.

Clapson continues to finalize her laboratory research this September and transition to writing her thesis dissertation. She plans to defend her thesis in December 2021.

“I want to make sure that I thank Dr. Warren Piers for the guidance during my PhD as well as NSERC for helping to fund my research,” says Clapson. “I’m excited to start the next chapter of my research career, although it is really hard to say goodbye to such interesting chemistry!”.

More information on the chemistry performed in the Piers research group can be found at

View Marissa Clapson's research poster