Dr Alison Edwards

Instrument Scientist
Phone - +61 2 9717 7247
Alison Edwards


Role at ANSTO


Dr Alison Edwards is a specialist in structural chemistry and chemical crystallography who pushes the limits of technical feasibility and applies critical analysis to extract structures from the data measured to advance our fundamental knowledge of the structure of chemical compounds – not all of which are new! Neutron single crystal chemical crystallography presents a rich largely untapped vein which, due to the renaissance in Laue diffraction methods (employing the un-monochromated beam), can now be tapped. The Laue neutron diffractometer KOALA , at ANSTO, has brought chemical crystallography within the scope of neutron diffraction studies and is leading to significant insights into materials of interest across a broad range of chemical sub-disciplines.


Alison has been mentored by colleagues of distinction in crystallography, including during her Ph.D. studies with Dr Bernard Hoskins at the University of Melbourne and then as a post-doctoral researcher with Prof. Keith Prout in the Chemical Crystallography Laboratory at the University of Oxford, where she was a core member of the team who pioneered the application of the combination of solid-state NMR and X-ray crystallography to characterise a range of structural dynamics occurring in the crystalline state. Now approaching 30 years experience as a chemical crystallographer, Alison is delighted to discover recurring themes in unexpected places and hopes to continue to contribute to the understanding of chemistry through crystallography.


Qualifications & Achievements


  • Bachelor of Science (Hons. 1) University of Melbourne 1985
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne 1990
  • With almost 100 publications across a broad range of chemistry, Alison is proud of the high levels of citation of the research in which she has had a leading role, and she also considers that she has been privileged to participate in significant studies led by others who have sought out her crystallographic expertise.

Committees, Memberships & Affiliations


  • Society of Crystallographers in Australia and New Zealand (SCANZ), Program Committee, CRYSTAL XXV
  • Member SCANZ

Selected publications

A nearly complete list of Alison's publications and citations are accessible here.

Publication Career Highlights

"Chinese Puzzle Molecule: A 15 Hydride, 28 Copper Atom Nanoball", A.J. Edwards, R. S. Dhayal, P.-K. Liao, J.-H.Liao, M.-H. Chiang, R.O. Piltz, S. Kahlal, J.-Y. Saillard, and C.W. Liu, Angew. Chem.-Int Edit. 126 (2014) 7214-7218. DOI

"Reduction of a Chelating Bis(NHC) Palladium(II) Complex to [{μ-bis(NHC)}2Pd2H]+: A Terminal Hydride in a Binuclear Palladium(I) Species Formed under Catalytically Relevant Conditions", P. Boyd, A.J. Edwards, M.G. Gardiner, C. Ho, MH Lemée-Cailleau, D. McGuinness, A. Riapanitra, J. Steed, D. Stringer, and B. Yates, Angew. Chem.-Int. Edit. 49(36) (2010) 6315-6318. DOI

"β-Diketiminate-Stabilized Magnesium(I) Dimers and Magnesium(II) Hydride Complexes: Synthesis, Characterization, Adduct Formation, and Reactivity Studies", S.J. Bonyhady, C. Jones, S. Nembenna, A. Stasch, A.J. Edwards, and G.J. McIntyre, Chem.-Eur. J. 16(3) (2010) 938-955. DOI

"'Crystals from an aged Merlin.' Corrosion deposits found in the engines of the historic Avro-Lancaster bomber G-for-George", G. A. Heath, A.J. Edwards, M Sterns, G. Bailey, and V. Otieno-Alego in Conservation Science 2002, Archetype Publications Ltd, Fitzroy Square, London, ISBN 1-873132-88-3.

"Superbowl Container Molecules", E.S. Barrett, J.L. Irwin, A.J. Edwards, and M.S. Sherburn, J.A.C.S. 126 (2004) 16747-16749.

"Separated and Aligned Molecular Wires in Solid State assemblies of Cyclodextrin [2] Rotaxanes", H. Onagi, B. Carrozini, G.-L. Cascarano, C. J. Easton, A.J. Edwards, S.F. Lincoln, and A.D. Rae, Chem. Eur. J. 9 (2003) 5971-5977.

"Simple method for the handling of crystals at low temperature: application to the X-ray structure determination of But2P(=NSiMe3)NHSiMe3 and [But2P(NSiMe3)2]Li.thf2". A. J. Edwards and E. Wenger, Aust. J. Chem. 55 (2002) 249-252.

"Diffuse X-ray scattering from Benzil, C14H10O2: an analysis via automatic refinement of a Monte Carlo model". T.R. /Welberry, D.J. Goossens, A.J. Edwards and W. I. F. David. Acta Cryst. A. 57 (2001) 101-109.

"Solid state NMR and X-Ray diffraction studies of structure and molecular motion in ansa-titanocenes". A.J. Edwards, N.J. Burke, C.M. Dobson, C.K. Prout and S.J. Heyes, J.A.C.S. 117 (1995) 4637-4653.

"The synthesis and X-Ray crystal structure of [K(18-crown-6)]+-[NCS.SO2]- (18-crown-6+1,4,7,10,13,16-hexaoxocyclooctadecane". A.J. Downs, A.J. Edwards, R.E. Martin and S. Parsons; J.C.S. Dalton (1994) 753-757.

"Combination of CP/MAS NMR and X-Ray Crystallography; Structure and dynamics in a low-symmetry molecular crystal, potassium penicillin V", J.Fattah, J. M. Twyman, S.J.Heyes, D.J. Watkin, A.J. Edwards, K. Prout and C.M. Dobson; J.A.C.S. 115 (1993) 5636-5650.

"Synthesis and X-ray crystal structures of Ni4 and Zn4 complexes of a macrocyclic tetranucleating ligand", M. Bell, A.J. Edwards, B.F. Hoskins, E.H. Kachab and R.Robson; J. Am. Chem. Soc. 111 (1989) 3603-3610.