Group Members

Research Scientist

Caleb Harris was born and raised in eastern North Carolina. He attended East Carolina University where he obtained both a B.A. and M.S. in Organic Chemistry. During his time there, he worked under the supervision of Prof. Shouquan Huo on the development of new cyclometallated platinum complexes for use in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). He then traveled to Atlanta, Georgia where he earned his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry working in Prof. Jake Soper’s lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). While in Atlanta, Caleb studied the correlation of electronic structure and reactivity in a series of cobalt complexes bearing redox-active ligands. In 2017, he joined the Berry lab as a postdoc working with the NSF Center for Selective Carbon-Hydrogen Bond Functionalization (NSF-CCHF). In 2020, Caleb was promoted to research scientist and currently has his hands on many projects.



6th Year Graduate Students

Trey Pankratz was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His pathway through undergrad was a bit tumultuous, starting at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in Grand Rapids, then doing a summer of research in the lab of Dr. Jeff Johnson at Hope college in Holland, Michigan. There he worked on a nickel-mediated coupling of boronic acids and phthalimides to produce ortho-substituted benzamides. From there, Trey went on to Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Allendale, Michigan and worked in the lab of Dr. Richard Lord. With Dr. Lord, Trey worked on using time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) to model the excited states of a series of nickel pincer complexes. He then graduated from GVSU and arrived at UW-Madison in the Berry lab at the end of 2018. In his spare time Trey is a huge movie fan, enjoys reading Stephen King, loves a fancy cocktail occasionally, and tries his best to run, but often finds himself lacking the motivation to do this, so usually does literally anything else.



5th Year Graduate Students

Milton Acosta was born in Waukegan IL. He went to Carthage College where obtained his B.A in Chemistry. Before attending UW-Madison he had the opportunity to intern in the pharmaceutical industry where he did computational research focused on finding intermediate and transition states for radiolabeling and stable isotope labeling of multiple substrates with deuterium and tritium. In his spare time, he likes to go to the gym, cook, and shoot pool.



4th Year Graduate Students

Samantha Stegman (she/her/hers) was born and raised in San Diego, CA. She attended the University of California Berkeley where she earned a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Astrophysics. Throughout her time as an undergraduate, Samantha conducted astrophysics research concerning supernovae under Dr. Alex Filippenko, and explored the growth and use of organic superconductors in the new lab of Dr. Kwabena Bediako. After graduating, Samantha spent 18 months at Argonne National Lab synthesizing and characterizing new actinide compounds under the direction of Dr. Richard Wilson. She then came to Madison to begin her Ph.D. studies in the fall of 2020 in the Berry research group. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys watching Star Trek, playing the drums, and hanging out with her cats, Ferrocene and Schrodinger.


3rd Year Graduate Students


James Harris was raised in the Harris County and Columbus area of Georgia. He attended the University of West Georgia and graduated with a BS in Chemistry. While at UWG, he worked with Dr. Spencer Slattery investigating the electronic and steric effects of a single substituent on the redox and spin state behavior of iron (II) bis-terpyridine complexes. With a love for coordination chemistry synthesis and spectroscopy, James moved to the considerably colder Madison and found his home as a joint student in the Berry and Wright labs near the end of 2021.In his somewhat rare spare time, James enjoys going for walks, exploring his new home state, spending quality time with friends, and drinking hot chocolate in a desperate search for warmth.


Rebecca Walde grew up in Warner Robins, GA. She did her undergrad in chemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GT) where she did research with Joseph Sadighi looking into the bonding and properties of low valent copper (I) and gold (I) species supported by N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) for CO reduction.  While in undergrad she also spent a summer at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab working with Brett Helms on infinitely recyclable plastics. After graduating from GT in the winter of 2020 she spent the spring and summer working with Dr. Sadighi on a new project developing copper (I/0) nanoclusters supported by NHCs. Ultimately, she landed at UW Madison to begin her Ph.D. studies where she joined the Berry group in late 2021. In her free time she likes to go hiking, read fiction, play video games, and cook or bake. 



2nd Year Graduate Students

Patricia Armenta grew up in Wilmington, California. Her undergraduate career started when she attended Los Angeles Harbor College and obtained an AS degree in chemistry, mathematics, physics, and an AA degree in math and natural sciences. During her transition from community college to a 4-year university, she did a NSF REU summer internship in Dr. Nicolai Lehnert’s laboratory at the University of Michigan where she focused on characterizing and elucidating the degradation pathway of a metallocarbenoid intermediate. After returning from Michigan, she made her way up to northern California and attended the University of California, Davis (UCD) as an ACS Scholar where she obtained her BS. During her time at UCD she worked in Dr. Philip P. Power’s lab and worked alongside a graduate student to synthesize bulky ligands and assisted in their transition metal tris-silylamides research. After finishing undergrad, she went into industry and worked in a drug testing company as a QA/QC and in a metals/ asbestos company as a metals analyst. She made her transition to Wisconsin and joined Dr. John Berry’s lab as a Bridge Fellow in 2022. In her spare time, Patricia likes to cook, listen to music, paint, and garden.


Catherine Getty was born and raised just outside Pittsburgh, PA. She received her B.A. in Chemistry from Bryn Mawr College. While there, she researched the synthesis and reactivity of molybdenum cofactor model complexes under Dr. Sharon Burgmayer. In 2022, she began her studies at UW-Madison and joined the Berry lab that December. Outside of the lab, she enjoys going to the gym, hiking, and finding new coffee shops to try.


Gaby Muñoz Sánchez grew up in Philadelphia and Puerto Rico. They studied at the University of Puerto Rico – Río Piedras and earned their B.S. in Chemistry at Temple University. As a MARC scholar, they worked under Dr. Michael Zdilla testing a novel experimental method of partial charge analysis using single crystal X-ray crystallography. Gaby is passionate about green chemistry and enjoys learning new ways to use their knowledge in chemistry to better the environment. When they are not in the lab, they can be found indulging in many non-scientific passions such as music, dance and Star Wars.









Undergraduate Students


Lab Alumni

Amelia WheatonPh.D, graduate student (2018-2023), currently a postdoctoral research scientist at Argonne National Laboratory

Alex Pavelic, undergraduate (2019-2022), currently a graduate student in the Peters group at Caltech

Mike Aristov, Ph.D, graduate student (2017-2022), currently a postdoctoral research scientist in the Goldsmith group at UW Madison

Mike Trenerry, Ph.D, graduate student (2017-2022) currently a postdoctoral research scientist in the Bailey group at UM Twin Cities

Kyle Hanauska, undergraduate (2019-2021)

Michael Roy, Ph.D, graduate student (2016-2021), Currently a postdoctoral research scientist in the La Pierre group at Georgia Tech

Sungho "Dima" Park, Ph.D, graduate student  (2015-2021), Currently a

Dan "Danimal" SantaLucia, Ph.D, graduate student  (2016-2021), Currently a postdoctoral researcher at Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Energiekonversion

Han Geng, undergraduate (2017-2021)

Dr. Christian Wallen, post doctoral researcher (2017-2020)

Ethan Hyland, undergraduate (2018-2020), graduate student at University of Chicago.

Jill Chipman, Ph.D, graduate student (2014-2019), currently a process engineer at Intel.

Dr. Partha Halderpost doctoral researcher (2018)

Dr. Jesse Guilletpost doctoral researcher (2018)

David Beshensky, undergraduate (2018), applying to medical schools

Tzuhsiung (Nick) Yang, graduate student (2015-2018), currently a post doctoral researcher at MIT (Kulik)

Ryan Pakula, Ph.D, graduate student (2010-2018)

Efrey Noten, undergraduate (2015-2018), graduate student at the University of Michigan

Alex Jambor, undergraduate (2015-2017), currently employed as a faculty assistant in the Chemistry Department prior to graduate school

Tristan Brown, Ph.D., graduate student (2010-2017), currently employed at a bioinformatics company in Houston, TX.

Bria Garcia, (2017 summer REU student), currently studying chemistry at Lincoln University

Wyatt Smith, (2017 summer REU student), currently studying chemistry at Lawrence University

Josephine Lange, undergraduate (2015-2017), currently serving in US Air Force in CO

Josh Powell, undergraduate (2016-2017), currently a graduate student at Texas A&M

Travis Sunderland, Ph.D., graduate student (2011-2016), currently at Dow Corning

Evan Warzecha, undergraduate (2016), currently a graduate student at Florida State

Amanda Corcos, Ph.D., graduate student (2010-2016), currently a post-doctoral researcher at Northwestern University (Dichtel)

Brian Dolinar, Ph.D., graduate student (2010-2016), currently a post-doctoral researcher at the Texas A&M (Dunbar)

Ritvind Suketana, undergraduate (2015)

Wes Brogden, Ph.D., graduate student (2010-2015), currently at P&G

Trung Nguyen, undergraduate (2015)

Burton Mandrell, M.S., graduate student (2013-2015)

Dr. Tim Berto, post doctoral researcher (2012-2014)

Drew Wiesmann, undergraduate (2014)

Michael Mortimer, undergraduate (2014)

Kyle Gustafson, undergraduate (2014)

Heather Jennings, undergraduate (2012-2013)

Kasia Kornecki, Ph.D., graduate student (2008-2013), post-doctoral researcher at the UC Berkely (Iglesia) (2013-2014)

Nick Yang, undergraduate (2012-2013), has since returned to Berry Lab, graduated, now a post-doc at MIT (Kulik)

Eugenia Turov, Ph.D., graduate student (2007-2012), currently associate lecturer at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.

George Timmer, Ph.D., graduate student (2006-2012)

Shu Yao, Ph.D., graduate student (2006-2012), post-doctoral researcher at the Univercity of Calgary (Trudel) (2012-2013)

Matt Mihas, undergraduate (2012)

Mandy Musch Long, Ph. D., graduate student (2006-2011), teaching faculty at U. Minnesota (2011-2012)

Michael Nippe, Ph.D., graduate student (2007-2011), post-doctoral researcher at UC Berkeley (Long) (2011-2014), currently faculty member at Texas A&M

Amanda Baum, undergraduate (2010 - 2011)

Pony Yu, undergraduate (2009 - 2011)

Sam Goodman, undergraduate (2009 - 2010)

Chris Hansen, undergraduate (2007 - 2010)

Jamie Snyder, undergraduate (2007 - 2010)

Amy Kolpin, undergraduate (2008 - 2010)

Dr. Paula Piccoli, post doctoral researcher (2009)

Eric Victor, undergraduate (2007 - 2009)

Matt Watt, visiting undergraduate from Bristol (2009)

Riley Houson, undergraduate (2008)

Dr. Josef Pap, post doctoral researcher (2007 - 2008)

Ian Hammond, graduate student (2006 - 2008)