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The Team


Fall 2023

Back row: Alison Chang (G6) with Appa, Amanda Cook (PI) with Pyewacket, Melanie Kascoutas (G3) with Wesley

Middle Row: Lilly Granados (UG3), Grace Inman (UG3) with Otis, Allison LaSalvia (G2)

Front row: Kiera How (UG4), Leeza Borst (UG3), Audrey Klein (G1)

Amanda K. Cook


Assistant Professor

Email: akcook_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Phone: (541) 346-7692

Office: 432 LISB

Faculty Page at University of Oregon

ORCiD Profile

Education and Research Experience

2015-2018, ETH Zürich, Christophe Copéret (post-doctoral fellow)

2010-2015, University of Michigan, Melanie Sanford, Ph.D. in Chemistry

2014, ICIQ, Antonio Echavarren (visiting graduate student)

2008-2010, CSU Fullerton, Christopher Hyland, B.S. in Chemistry

2009, University of Utah, Matthew Sigman (REU visiting undergraduate student)

2005-2008, Saddleback College, transfer to CSU Fullerton

Leadership and Outreach

2018-present, Faculty chair for the chemistry camp of UO's Summer Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL)

2020-present, Faculty chair for the Near-Peer Mentoring Program (NPMP)

2020-present, Faculty co-chair for UO's Alliance in Diversity in STEM (ADSE) chapter


Amanda grew up in sunny southern California, where she discovered her love of hot, dry weather. She started college at Saddleback College, and then transferred to California State University Fullerton, where she graduated with a B.S. in chemistry in 2010. During her undergrad, she worked for Christopher Hyland on gold-catalyzed cyclization reactions of cyclopropenyl amines, and was bitten by the organometallic bug. She spent the summer of 2009 working for Matt Sigman at the University of Utah, and realized how cool palladium is. Naturally, she then went to the University of Michigan to work for Melanie Sanford to work on palladium-catalyzed C-H activation reactions, and after braving five long, dark, cold winters and discovering what snow is, she received her Ph.D. Amanda then decided to move to Switzerland, where she was a post-doctoral fellow in the group of Christophe Coperet, worked on heterogeneously catalyzed hydroamination reactions, and decided that snow isn't so bad, if you have mountains to ski on.  Amanda moved back to the west coast to begin her independent career at the University of Oregon, where she is learning to keep plants alive and to love IPAs (not really) and pinot noir (definitely). The research in her group will use the tools of physical organic chemistry, bridge organometallic and surface chemistries, and develop new catalysts for the transformation of organic molecules.

Alison S. Chang

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Born and raised in the searing hot and sunny Austin, TX, Alison received a B.S. in Chemistry at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN in 2018. In Amanda Cook’s lab, she is working on synthesizing Ni complexes to observe its catalytic properties for small molecule transformation. She enjoys getting involved in the greater Oregon community by volunteering and teaching the great curiosities of science and promotes diversity in STEM as President of ADSE. Outside of chemistry, Alison deeply enjoys exploring the outdoors, hanging out in her hammock along the river, taking a dip into fresh bodies of water, petting sweet pups, and drawing.

Melanie A. Kascoutas

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Graduate Student (3rd year), PhD Candidate
Email: mkascout_at_uoregon_dot_edu
Office: 317A Klamath


Education and Research Experience
2022, University of Oregon, M.S. in Chemistry
2021, Cal Poly SLO, B.S. in Chemistry, research with M. Taylor Haynes II


2023, Honorable Mention GWIS National Fellowship Program
2023, Miller Family Graduate Award in Technology and Science
2023, UO General University Scholarship
2021, UO Scholar by the Oregon Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS)
2020, Outstanding Student Assistant, winter and spring quarters, Cal Poly SLO


Leadership and Outreach
2023, Board Member, Chemistry & Biochemistry Graduate Representative Advisory Team
2022-present, Program Organizer and Mentor, Near-Peer Mentoring Program
2022-present, Module Leader and Program Coordinator, Student Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL) Chemistry Summer Camp
2022-present, Mentor, Graduate Undergraduate Joint Mentorship Program


Melanie grew up in San Marcos, California before attending Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. During that time Melanie worked with Dr. M. Taylor Haynes II studying copper catalyzed oxidation reactions. After graduating with a B.S. in Chemistry in June 2021, she joined UO for its emphasis on physical organic chemistry research. In Amanda Cook’s lab, she is studying dual catalysis for remote functionalization. Outside of lab, Melanie enjoys exploring the outdoors with camping, hiking, and skiing.

Allison D. LaSalvia

Allison Lasalvia Pic.HEIC

Graduate Student (2nd year)

Email: alasalvi_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Office: 317A Klamath

Education and Research Experience

2022, Knox College BS in Chemistry, BA in Creative Writing, research with Helen Hoyt


2022, Collegiate Scholar, Illinois Heartland American Chemical Society
2021, Baker-Velde Research Award, Knox College

Leadership and Outreach

2023- present: GTFF Chemistry Steward

2023- present WGS Fundraiser Co-chair
2023- present:  Module Leader and module volunteer, Summer Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL) Chemistry Summer Camp



Allison grew up in Swansea, Illinois before attending Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. During that time she worked with Dr. Helen Hoyt studying iron catalyzed hydrosilylation reactions. After graduated with a BS in Chemistry and Creative Writing in June 2022, she came to UO and joined the Cook Lab where she is studying catalytic systems using surface organometallic chemistry. Outside of lab, Allison enjoys being involved in the GTFF Union and WGS, writing poems, and hanging out outside with her dog, Amelia.

Audrey M. Klein

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Graduate Student (1st year)

Email: audreykl_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Office: 317A Klamath

Education and Research Experience

2023, Cal Poly SLO, B.S. in Chemistry


Audrey grew up in Torrance, California near Los Angeles. She went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo graduating with a B.S. in Chemistry in winter of 2023. She is excited to be learning a lot of air-free synthesis in her rotation. Outside of lab Audrey likes to hike, sew, and play flute.

Grace E. Inman


Undergraduate Student (3rd year)

Chemistry major

Email: gei_at_uoregon_dot_edu


Grace grew up in Portland, Oregon and is attending the University of Oregon while majoring in Chemistry. She joined the Cook Lab to study a Palladium and Nickel dual catalysis system under the guidance of graduate student Melanie Kascoutas. She is planning on attending graduate school after she graduates in June of 2025. Outside of school Grace enjoys coaching the UO Triathlon Team and is a tutor for the Tutoring and Academic Engagement Center for the University.

Leeza A. Borst


Undergraduate Student (3rd year)

Biochemistry major

Email: eborst2_at_uoregon_dot_edu


Leeza was born and raised in Portland, Oregon before moving down to Eugene to attend the University of Oregon. She is currently working on her B.S. degree in Biochemistry, while working alongside Melanie in the Cook Lab. Outside of lab, Leeza enjoys playing soccer with her friends, enjoying the outdoors, or cooking a delicious meal.

Lilly H. Granados


Undergraduate student (3rd year)

Biochemistry major with Spanish minor   

Email: lillyg_at_uoregon_dot_edu


2023 WGS Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarship 


Outreach and Leadership

Fall 2022 – present, Chemistry FIG Assistant, FYE Programs.  

Spring 2023 – present, Peer Advisor, PeerLink Advising in the Office of Academic Advising 


Originally from Sonoma County, CA, Lilly is now working towards a B.S in Biochemistry with a minor in Spanish. In Dr. Amanda Cook’s lab, she largely works on organic synthesis projects while simultaneously exploring other interests, such as organic catalysis. Outside of the lab, she enjoys getting involved within her community, albeit with the Muxeres cultural club on campus or working with advising to help others reach their academic goals. In her free time, Lilly enjoys reading novels, listening to music, adding to her crafts collection, playing volleyball, and visiting the coast.

Group Alumni

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Taylor Knoble

REU Student, summer 2019

Current position: Undergraduate student, Juniata College

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Allison R. Van Cleve

Graduate Student, M.S. 2020

Current position: Particles Production Chemist; Thermo Fisher Scientific; Eugene, OR

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Daryl J. Martin

Undergraduate Student, B.S. 2021

Current position: Chemist 2; VR Analytical; Bend, OR


Parker T. Morris

Undergraduate Student, B.S. 2021

Current position: Graduate student, UCSB

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Robel Clifton

REU Student, summer 2021

Current position: Undergraduate student, Boise State University

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Michael R. Hurst

Graduate Student, Ph.D. 2022

Current position: Content Development Editor (Americas); RSC; Washington, D.C.

Victor M. Salpino

Undergraduate Student, B.S. 2022

Current position: Graduate student, University of Oregon

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Shiva Moaven

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Current position: Post-doctoral fellow; University of Oregon


Marco A. Meza

Undergraduate Student

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Kiana E. Kawamura

Graduate Student, Ph.D. 2022

Current position: Senior Scientist; VR Analytical; Bend, OR

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Max Bogdanov

Undergraduate Student, B.S. 2022 

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Quinn P. Valentine

Graduate Student, M.S. 2022

Current position: Graduate student; University of Oregon


Kiera I. How

Undergraduate Student

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Hayden S. Henness

Undergraduate Student, B.S. 2022

Current position: School of Law, UO

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Rachel M. Thomas

REU Student, summer 2022

Current position: Undergraduate student, Rockhurst University

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Jack C. Greene

Graduate Student, M.S. 2022


Alex L. Bender

REU Student, summer 2022

Current position: Undergraduate student, Ursinus College

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Lucas S. Thigpen

Undergraduate Student, B.S. 2022

Current position: Knight Campus Industrial Internship Program, UO


Cailey M. Carpenter

REU Student, summer 2022

Current position: Undergraduate student, Georgia Tech


Marcus P. Mullen

Undergraduate Student


George Piepgras

REU Student, summer 2023

Current position: Undergraduate student, Fort Lewis College

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