Research Team Leader

Professor Deanna D'Alessandro

Deanna grew up in Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia. She attended James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland and earned a B.Sc. (studies in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Economics) with Honours in Chemistry (2000) and the University Medal. She earned her Ph.D. with E/Prof Richard Keene (2006), conducting part of her PhD. research at the University of Sydney (with Prof. Jeff Reimers and E/Prof. Noel Hush) and Northwestern University, USA (with Prof. Joe Hupp). She subsequently moved to the University of Sydney as a post-doctoral researcher with the Molecular Electronics group (2006). Deanna received post-doctoral research fellowships to study at the University of California at Berkeley, with internationally-renowned Metal-Organic Framework chemist Prof. Jeff Long (2007-2009). Here she held a Dow Chemical Company American-Australian Fellowship and an 1851 Royal Commission Fellowship. She returned to the University of Sydney in 2010 as an independent L'Oreal-UNESCO Australia For Women in Science Fellow and USyd Post-doctoral Research Fellow. From 2011-2016 she held an ARC QEII Fellowship, during which time she was promoted from Lecturer to Associate Professor. She was Deputy Head of School from 2017-2018, whereupon she was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship to focus on new research directions and industry collaborations (2018-2022). She was promoted to full Professor in 2021.  

Deanna has successfully supervised to graduation 25 Honours students, 15 Ph.D. students, and mentored 4 post-docs. As of 2024, she has published 177 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters which have received >12,000 citations, and is the author of 3 patents related to industry projects. Her group's research been recognised by a number of national and international awards. 

Brief Curriculum Vitae


James Cook University, Queensland, Australia 

Professional Career

*Career interruptions totaling 3 years due to maternity leave and transitions between part and full time employment 

Academic & Research Highlights: Selected Prizes and Awards

In recognition of outstanding basic chemistry research within 10 years post-PhD

For significant and innovative individual contributions to the field by researchers within 10 years post-PhD 

One of two awarded internationally by  Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) to recognise an emerging scientist in the early stages of their independent academic career

One of 3 awarded from 160 applications Australia-wide

One of five awarded for the past 10 years

One of five awarded world-wide for the most outstanding PhD theses in the chemical sciences

For the most outstanding PhD thesis submitted in chemistry in Australia

For the best overall performance and ability in undergraduate chemistry subjects

For the highest achievement in third year Organic Chemistry

For the best overall performance and ability in second year mathematics and physics subjects

For the best overall performance in second year chemistry subjects

For the best performance in first year chemistry subjects

As the most outstanding student in first year science and engineering disciplines

Major Grants Awarded

Teaching Highlights

Selected Major Invited Research Presentations

Other Research Presentations

Engagement, Service & Outreach

Formal Mentoring

Public Lectures

Professional Roles

Editorial Roles

Symposium Coordination and Reviewing

Other Roles