Dr Justin Chalker

Senior Lecturer in Synthetic Chemistry

College of Science and Engineering

place Physical Sciences Building (3109)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Justin M. Chalker earned a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in the History and Philosophy of Science at The University of Pittsburgh in 2006. At Pittsburgh, he contributed to the total synthesis of several natural products under the direction of Theodore Cohen. Supported by a Rhodes Scholarship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Justin then completed his D.Phil. at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Benjamin Davis where he developed several tools for the site-selective modification of proteins. In 2012, Justin started his independent career as an assistant professor at The University of Tulsa where he established a diverse research program in organic chemistry, biochemistry and material science. In 2015, Justin moved to Flinders University as a Lecturer in Synthetic Chemistry and recipient of an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. In 2016, Justin was named Tall Poppy of the Year for South Australia in recognition of his achievements in research, teaching and science communication. In 2017, Justin was promoted to Senior Lecturer.

Lab Website: www.chalkerlab.com


Senior Lecturer, Flinders University (2017-present)

Lecturer in Synthetic Chemistry, Flinders University (2015-2017)

Assistant Professor, The University of Tulsa (2012 to 2015)

D.Phil., Organic Chemistry, Oxford University (2011) - Advisor: Prof. Benjamin G. Davis

B.S., Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh (2006) - Advisor: Prof. Theodore Cohen

B.A., History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh (2006)

Honours, awards and grants

MAJOR GRANTS AND FUNDING [> $1.2M since 2015]:

STEM Educator of the Year, SA Science Excellence Awards (2018) $10,000

Defence Innovation Partnership grant (2018) $150,000

Royal Society International Exchange Grant with University of Liverpool (2018) $22,000

Ogilvy and Mather, Brisa, Coca-cola water remediation project (2018) $26,000

David Solomon Award, RACI Academic Sharp Brain Competition (2017) $5000

Australian Government National Environmental Science Programme Emerging Priorities Funding (2016) $80,000

ARC Discovery Grant (DP170100452) (Raston, Chalker, Stubbs & Weiss) $575,000

ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DE150101863) $372,000


ChemSocRev Emerging Investigator (2018)

Eureka Prize Finalist - Early Career Researcher (2018)

RACI Youth Lecturer, Tasmania (2018)

Green Chemistry Emerging Investigator (2017)

Dream Chemistry Award Finalist (2017)

South Australian Tall Poppy of the Year (2016)

Tasmanian Alkaloid Visiting Lectureship, University of Tasmania (2016)

Vice-Chancellor's Award for Early Career Researchers (2015)

Fresh Science Finalist (2015)

F1000 Faculty Member of the Year in Chemical Biology (2012)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2008)

Rhodes Scholarship (2006)

Research expertise
Organic chemistry
Research interests

Research in our laboratory falls under the general purview of organic chemistry and its application to problems in chemical synthesis, chemical biology, and material science. One goal in our lab is to design reactions, reagents, and catalysts that streamline the synthesis of valuable materials such as pharmaceuticals and polymers. These efforts are closely linked to our commitment to develop sustainable and environmentally benign chemistry. A second goal in our laboratory is to invent chemical tools that are useful in the interrogation of biological systems. This research provides insight to fundamental biomolecular processes and also provides a foundation for novel therapeutic and diagnostic strategies. Prospective Ph.D. and Honours students are encouraged to contact Dr Chalker directly.

For more on our research, visit our lab's website: www.chalkerlab.com

For links to recent publications and bibliometrics, please follow the Google Scholar or LinkedIn icons at the top of this page.

Teaching interests

I am interested in all aspects of organic chemistry and allied fields of biochemistry and chemical biology. Currently I teach second and third year organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and a chemical biology Honours module. In these efforts, I aim to inspire students and convince them that organic chemistry is a valuable and interesting academic discipline in and of itself, but also a highly practical science intimately related to a variety of pursuits in biology, energy, materials, and medicine.

Topic lecturer
CHEM3711 Organic Synthesis and Mechanism
CHEM2702 Organic Reactions
CHEM3712 Introduction to Polymer Science
CTEC3101 Clean Technology (Project Supervisor)
CPES7721 Chemical Biology (Honours Module)
CPES3700 Research Project (Supervisor)
CPES8700 Research Project (Supervisor)
Supervisory interests
Chemical biology
Functional materials
Green chemistry
Organic chemistry
Organic synthesis
Protein chemistry
Sustainable chemistry