Developing novel nanomaterials that provide an enhanced understanding of basic actinide chemistry and the mobility of nuclear materials in environmental systems.

News Archive


04/29/2019 - Welcome summer students:  Alessandra Dutra, Maguire Kasperski, Eric Thomas, and Samantha Kruse

05/21/2019 - New publication: J. L. Bjorklund, M. M. Pyrch, M. C. Basile, S. E. Mason, and T. Z. Forbes. "Actinyl-cation interactions:  Exerimental and theoretical assessment of [UO2Cl4]2- and [Np(VI)O2Cl4]2- in solid state and aqueous solutions." DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.9b00044

04/29/2019 - Congrats to Allison Peroutka for winning an ACS Inorganic Chemistry Award!

04/29/2019 - Congrats to Lindsey and Mikaela for successfully completing their comprehensive exam!

04/11/2019 - Congrats to Dr. Mo Payne for successfully defending his Ph.D. and accepting an offer to become a postdoctoral scholar at Sandia National Laboratory.

03/20/2019 - New publication with the Mason group: J. L. Bjorklund, J. W. Bennett, T. Z. Forbes, and S. E. Mason. "Modeling of the MAl12 Keggin reactivity by anion adsorption." DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.9b00044

01/23/2019 - New publication: A.S. Jayasinghe, L. C. Applegate, D. K. Unruh, J. Hutton, T. Z. Forbes. "Utilizing autoxoidation of solvents to promote the formation of uranyl peroxide materials."DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.8b01735


12/10/2018 - New publication with the Alessi group at U Alberta: S. L. Flynn, K. von Gunten, T. Warchola, K. Snihur, T. Z. Forbes, G. G. Goss, M. K. Gingras, K. O. Konhauser, D. S. Alessi. "Characterization and implications of solids associated with hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water from the Duvernay Formation, Alberta, Canada." DOI: 10.1039/C8EM00404H

10/04/2018 - Congrats to Shohel for winning the University of Iowa Graduate Collect Post-Comprehensive Research Fellowship for Spring 2019!!

08/30/2018 - New publication with UC Berkeley: K.P. Carter, J. Jian, M.M. Pyrch, T. Z. Forbes, R. J.Abergel, W. A. de Jong, J. K. Gibson. "Reductive activation of neptunyl and plutonyl oxo species with a hydroxypyridinone chelating ligand." DOI:  10.1039/C8CC05626A

08/23/2018 - New publication: M. K. Payne, M. M. Pyrch, M. Jubinsky, M. C. Basil, and  T.Z. Forbes. "Impacts of oxo interactions within actinyl metal organic materials:  highlight on thermal expansion behaviour." DOI: 10.1039/c8CC05240a

06/14/2018 - New publication with the Haes group:  G. Lu, A. J. Haes and  T.Z. Forbes. "Detection and identification of solids, surfaces, and solutions of uranium using vibratioanl spectroscopy." DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2018.07.010

05/21/2018 -  Congrats to Shohel for winning the Best Graduate Student Paper Award at the Regional GSA meeting in April!

05/09/2018 - New publication with the Haes and Cwiertny group:  G. Lu, A. J. Johns, B. Neupane, H. T. Phan, D. M. Cwiertny, T.Z. Forbes, A. J. Haes. "Matrix-Independent Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Detection of Uranyl using Electrospun Amidoximated Polyacrylonitrile Mats and Gold Nanostars." DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.8b00655


11/28/2016  -New publication: Eric S. Eitrheim, Dustin May, Tori Z. Forbes and Andrew W. Nelson "Disequilbrium of Naturally Occuring Radioactive Materials (NORM) in Drill Cuttings from a Horizaontal Drilling Operation."  Environmental Science and Technology Letters

11/23/2016 - Congrats to Mo Payne for recieving the Iowa Space Grant Consortium Fellowship!

11/18/2016 - Congrats to Erica Cole for receiving a DOE Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship!  Erica will be spending the next few months at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

11/15/2016 - Congrats to Dr. Andrew Knight on his successful Ph.D. defense and his new postdoc position at Sandia National Laboratory!

10/26/2016 - New publication:Ashini S. Jayasinghe, Samuel Salzman, and Tori Z. Forbes "Metal substituion into metal organic nanotubes:  impacts on solven uptake and stability" Crystal Growth and Design

08/09/2016 - New publication with the Haes Group:!divAbs...

06/16/2016 - Professor Forbes has been promoted to Associate Professor of Chemistry.

06/08/2016 - Erica Cole featured on Iowa Now!

06/07/2016 - We want to welcome all of our summer students:  Steven Tucker, Lindsey Floryance, Vincent Parra, Rachel Roberman, Maggie Schnell, Jeffrey Nassif, David Lafayette, and Mackenzie Cole.

05/17/2016 - Congrats to Dr. Joshua de Groot for successfully defending his Ph.D and for his new position as a lecturer at Northwest Missouri State University.

04/26/2016 - Congrats to both Madeline and Mo for passing their comprehensive exams.

04/06/2016 - Congrats to Andrew Knight for being awarded a Ballard Seashore Dissertation Fellowship from the UI Graduate College.

04/03/2016 - Professor Forbes was named a University of Iowa Dean's Scholar

03/30/2016 - Congrats to Mo Payne for his Honorable mention for both the NSF Graduate Student Fellowship Program and the Ford Foundation Fellowship!!

3/01/2016 - New publication with the Schultz and Bettis Research Groups:  Andrew W. Nelson, Adam J. Johns, Eric S. Eithreim, Andrew W. Knight, Madeline Basile, E. Arther Bettis III, Michael K. Schultz, and Tori Z. Forbes "Partitioning of naturally-occuring radionuclides (NORM) in Marcellus Shale produced fluids influenced by chemical matrix."!divAbs...

02/08/2016 - Congrats Erica on her first publication!  New publication: Erica Cole, Erin Flores, Madeline Basile, Ashini Jayasinghe, Joshua de Groot, Daniel K. Unruh, and Tori Z. Forbes*.  "Directing dimensionality in uranyl malate and copper uranyl malate compounds." Polyhedron


12/08/2015 - Welcome Jennifer Bjorklund and Taylor Fetrow to the Forbes Research Group!

12/08/2015 - New publication with the Haes Research Group: Grace Lu, Tori Forbes, and Amanda Haes.  "Evaluating Best Practices in Raman Spectral Analysis for Uranium Speciation and Relative Abundance in Aqueous Solutions." Analytical Chemistry

08/07/2015 - New publication: Katie W. Corum, Melissa Fairley, Daniel K. Unruh, Maurice K. Payne, Tori Z. Forbes*, and Sara E. Mason*.  "Characterization of Phosphate and Arsenate Adsorption onto Keggin-Type Al30 Cations by Experimental and Theoretical Methods."  Inorganic Chemistry

07/07/2015 - New publication: Ashini S. Jayasinghe, Daniel K. Unruh, Andrew Kral, Anna Libo, and Tori Z. Forbes*.  "Structural Features in Metal-Organic Nanotube Crystals That Influence Stability and Solvent Uptake."  Crystal Growth & Design

06/29/2015 - New publication: Melissa Fairley, Katie W. Corum, Adam Johns, Daniel K. Unruh, Madeline Basile, Joshua de Groot, Sara E. Mason* and Tori Z. Forbes*.  "Isolation and characterization of the [Ga2Al18O8(OH)36(H2O)12]18+ cluster: Cationic Variations of the Wells-Dawson topology." Chemical Communications!divAbs...

05/18/2015 - We welcome our summer students: Taylor Buresh (University of Dubuque), Steven Tucker (University of Iowa), Jenny, and Diego.  Brittany, Erica, and Jeremy have stayed for the summer as well.

05/18/2015 - We welcome graduate student Eric Eitrheim to our group.

05/12/2015 - New publication: Andrew W. Knight, Andrew W. Nelson, Eric S. Eitrheim, Tori Z. Forbes, and Michael K. Schultz*.  "A chromatographic separation of neptunium and protactinium using 1-octanol impregnated onto a solid phase support."  Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

05/06/2015 - Professor Forbes was just awarded the Department of Energy Early Career Award.  More information can be found here:

04/02/2015 - New publication: Andrew W. Nelson, Eric S. Eitrheim, Andrew W. Knight, Dustin May, Marinea A. Mehrhoff, Robert Shannon, Robert Litman, William C. Burnett, Tori Z. Forbes, and Michael K. Schultz*.  "Understanding the Radioactive Ingrowth and Decay of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials in the Environment: An Analysis of Produced Fluids from the Marcellus Shale."  Environmental Health Perspectives  This article is featured in the EHP News section.

01/14/2015 - New publication: Daniel K. Unruh, Joshua de Groot, Melissa Fairley, Anna Libo, Samuel Miller, and Tori Z. Forbes*. "Interplay of Condensation and Chelation in Binary and Ternary Th(IV) Systems." Inorganic Chemistry



12/29/2014 - Congratulations to Andrew Knight for being selected for the U.S. Department of Energy Graduate Student Research Award!  This award will allow Andrew to work on protactinium chemistry at Argonne National Laboratory starting next fall. Read more here:

11/24/2014 - New publication: Madeline Basile, Daniel K. Unruh, Kyle Gojdas, Erin Flores, Laura Streicher and Tori Z. Forbes*. "Chemical controls on uranyl citrate speciation and the self-assembly of nanoscale macrocycles and sandwich complexes in aqueous solution." ChemComm

11/12/2014 - We had a blast at the MWRM in Columbia, MO! Excellent talks and posters all around. Andrew Knight (oral, Radiochemistry), Becca (oral, Organic, oral, Inorganic), Ashini (poster, Inorganic), Madeline (poster, Inorganic), Josh (poster, Inorganic). Prof. Forbes joined us and gave a talk for Radiochemistry. We were really happy (and fortunate) Mo could join us, as well as Eric from the Pigge/Schultz group. We also toured MURR.

10/14/2014 - New publication: Madeline Basile, Daniel K. Unruh, Erin Flores, Adam Johns and Tori Z. Forbes*. "Structural characterization of environmentally relevant ternary uranyl citrate complexes present in aqueous solutions and solid state materials." Dalton Transactions!divAbs...

9/1/2014 - Madeline Basile and Mo Payne join us as new graduate students, and Dr. Rebecca Laird as a new Post-Doc. Welcome to our group!

8/11/2014 - New publication: Sulata K. Sahu, Daniel K. Unruh, Tori Z. Forbes, and Alexandra Navrotsky. "Energetics of Formation and Hydration of a Porous Metal Organic Nanotube." Chemistry of Materials

6/24/2014 - Forbes Research group welcomes all of the summer students currently in the lab!

Rachel Monroe (SROP student from Beloit College), Seyvonne Ip (SSTP student from California), Avery Fordham (Juniata College grad), Andrew Kral (ICRU scholar), Brittany Cassell (UI), Jeremy Hutton (UI), Sam Miller (UI grad)

6/13/2014 - Josh gives an oral presentation at the 24th Midwest Organic Solid-State Chemistry Symposium (MOSSCS).

4/30/2014 - Daniel is now the X-ray Facility Director at Texas Tech University. Congratulations Daniel!

4/22/2014 - Ashini and Andrew both passed their comprehensive exams. Congrats!

4/15/2014 - Madeline Basile and Samuel Miller will be going to graduate school in the fall. Madeline will remain in our group here at the University of Iowa, while Sam will be off to Washington State University. Congrats!

4/09/2014 - Sam Miller did an excellent job presenting his work on uranyl hybrid materials at the 2014 Spring Undergraduate Research Festival (SURF) here on campus.

4/03/2014 - A.J. was just notified that he will be going to Colorado this summer as part of the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels REU program!  Congrats!

4/03/2014 - Dr. Forbes was awarded a distinguished mentor award by the Iowa Center for Undergraduate Research and the OVPR.

4/03/2014 - Andrew Knight receives an Honorable Mention for the NSF Graduate Reserach Fellowship Program.  This is quite an accomplishment!

3/27/2014 - Andrew Kral received an ICRU summer fellowship!  Congrats!

2/20/2014 - New publication: Daniel K. Unruh, Anna Libo, Laura Streicher, Tori Z. Forbes. "Synthesis and characterization of 1-D uranyl thiodigycolate coordination polymers." Polyhedron

1/16/2014 - New publication: Joshua de Groot, Kyle Gojdas, Daniel K. Unruh, and Tori Z. Forbes. "Use of Charge-Assisted Hydrogen Bonding in the Supramolecular Assembly of Hybrid Uranyl Materials." Crystal Growth and Design


9/27/2013 - Some great press for the lab!

9/10/2013 - Daniel and Josh gave excellent presentations at the National ACS meeting in Indianapolis, IN.

8/23/2013 - Welcome back to Madeline Basile from the SCUREF summer program:

8/19/2013 - New Publication:  Daniel K. Unruh, Kyle Gojdas, Erin Flores, Anna Libo, and Tori Z. Forbes. "Synthesis and characterization of hydrolysis products within the uranyl iminodiacetate and malate systems." Inorganic Chemistry

8/1/2013 - New Publication: Melissa Fairley, Daniel K. Unruh, Amy Donovan, Samangi Abeysinghe, and Tori Z. Forbes. "Synthesis and characterization of homo- and heteronuclear molecular Al3+ and Th4+ species chelated by the ethylenediaminetetracetate (edta) ligand." Dalton Transactions

7/9/2013 - We're on facebook! Check out the link below.

5/13/2013 - Congratulations to Josh for a successful comprehensive exam!

5/7/2013 - New Publication:  Daniel K. Unruh, Kyle Gojdas, Anna Libo, and Tori Z. Forbes.  "Development of metal-organic nanotubes exhibiting low-temperature, reversible exchange of confined 'ice-channels.'" Journal of the American Chemical Society.

4/15/2013 - Melissa Fairley will be going to the University of Arizona in the fall for graduate school.  Congrats Melissa!

4/10/2013 - New publication:  Samangi Abeysinghe, Daniel K. Unruh, Tori Z. Forbes.  "Surface Modification of Al30 Keggin-type polyaluminum moleuclar clusters."  Inorganic Chemistry

4/4/2013 - Daniel has been profiled as part of the UI Office of Posdoctoral Scholars.  Check out the profile here:

3/28/2013 - Dr. Forbes Receives NSF CAREER Award for the development of Novel Metal Organic Nanotubes.

3/27/2013 - Check out Dr. Forbes discussing our work on uranium in the environment:


12/21/2012 - Congratuations to Amy Donovan, Melissa Fairley, Erin Flores, Kyle Gojdas, and Anna Libo on their graduation from UI!

12/11/2012 - The Forbes Research Group welcomes new graduate students Ashini Jayasinghe and Andrew Knight.

10/05/2012 - Dr. Forbes welcomes Samantha Mae Forbes to the family!  Congrats!

08/28/2012 - Daniel and wife Melissa welcome Ezekiel Kurt Unruh to their family!  Congrats!

08/10/2012 - "Synthesis and Structural Characterization of Heterometallic Thorium Aluminum Polynuclear Molecular Clusters" published in Inorganic Chemistry. Congrats Melissa on your first paper!

07/26/2012 - Our web page is created.

06/01/2012 - Josh is awarded with a UIowa Chem Strategic Initiative Fund Summer Research Fellowship.

05/12/2012 - Samangi graduates with a M.S. (with Thesis). Congrats Samangi!

02/28/2012 - "Crystallization of Keggin-Type Polyaluminum Species by Supramolecular Interactions with Disulfonate Anions" is published in Crystal Growth & Design. Congrats Samangi on your first paper!


11/01/2011 - Josh de Groot joins the group as a graduate student. Welcome, Josh!

08/01/2011 - Dr. Daniel Unruh joins the group as a postdoctoral associate. Welcome, Daniel!


11/01/2010 - Samangi Abeysinghe joins the group as a graduate student. Welcome, Samangi!

07/01/2010 - Dr. Tori Forbes arrives in Iowa City and establishes The Forbes Research Group at the University of Iowa.