Bess Vlaisavljevich

Associate Professor


Dr. Vlaisavljevich received a BA from the University of Minnesota – Morris in 2007. She continued her studies at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities where she obtained her MS in Chemistry in 2010 and her PhD in Chemistry in 2013. Before starting her independent career, she performed postdoctoral research at the University of California Berkeley (2013 to 2015) and at Northwestern University (2015 to 2017). From 2017 to 2022, she was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of South Dakota where she was promoted with tenure in 2023. In 2024, she moved to the University of Iowa to continue her work.

Research interests

We are interested in studying systems that contain transition metals, lanthanides, or actinides including cases with multiple metal centers, non-innocent ligands, and materials with defect sites that have the potential to increase the complexity of the electronic structure. Through the combined use of quantum chemical and classical methods, our goal is to rationalize, predict, and inspire the design of new materials. We are open to collaborations with both experimental or other computational groups.

Honors and awards

  • Department of Energy Early Career Research Program Awardee, 2022
  • American Chemical Society Computers in Chemistry OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, 2022
  • President's Award for Research Excellence, Early Career, University of South Dakota, 2020


  • Transuranic Center of Excellence, National Nuclear Security Administration, (2024 - 2028)
  • CASPT2 Geometries, Spectra, and Relativistic Electronic Structures of Actinide Species, Department of Energy, Office of Science, (2022 - 2027)
  • NSF Center for Chemical Innovation: Center for Sustainable Polymers, National Science Foundation, (2019 - 2024)
  • EPSCoR Track-2: Data Driven Material Discovery Center for Bioengineering Innovation, NSF, (2019 - 2023)
  • Controlling Molecular Structure and Spin with Multiconfigurational Quantum Chemistry, Department of Energy, (2018 - 2022)
  • Center for Sustainable Polymers Seed Grant: Ruthenium Catalyzed Decarbonylation Chemistry, National Science Foundation, (2018 - 2019)

Recent publications

Citations listed below are presented in a standardized, modified format for display purposes only. They do not necessarily reflect the preferred style and conventions of the faculty member or discipline.

  • Chowdhury, Sabyasachi S., Nguyen, Ngan, and Vlaisavljevich, Bess. Importance of Dispersion in the Molecular Geometries of Mn(III) Spin-Crossover Complexes, 3072-3081. Vol. 127, Iss. 14 JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A, 2023. (DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.2c08158)
  • Bhowmick, Rina, Chowdhury, Sabyasachi S., and Vlaisavljevich, Bess. Molecular Geometry and Electronic Structure of Copper Corroles. INORGANIC CHEMISTRY, 2023. (DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.3c01779)
  • Pang, Yutong, Lee, ChoongSze, Vlaisavljevich, Bess, Nicholas, Christopher C., and Dauenhauer, Paul P.. Multifunctional Amine Modifiers for Selective Dehydration of Methyl Lactate to Acrylates. JACS AU, 2023. (DOI: 10.1021/jacsau.2c00513)
  • Fetrow, Taylor T., Zgrabik, Joshua, Bhowmick, Rina, Eckstrom, Francesca F., Crull, George, Vlaisavljevich, Bess, and Daly, Scott S.. Quantifying the Influence of Covalent Metal-Ligand Bonding on Differing Reactivity of Trivalent Uranium and Lanthanide Complexes, e200211145. Vol. 61, Iss. 45 Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2022. (DOI: 10.1002/anie.202211145)
  • Murillo, Jesse, Bhowmick, Rina, Harriman, Katie K., Gomez-Torres, Alejandra, Wright, Joshua, Miro, Pere, Metta-Magana, Alejandro A., Murugesu, Muralee, Vlaisavljevich, Bess, and Fortier, Skye. Actinide Arene-Metalates: 2. A Neutral Uranium Bis (Anthracenide) Sandwich Complex and Elucidation of its Electronic Structure. Chemical Communications, 2022. (DOI: 10.1039/D2CC03238D)
  • Finney, Brian B., Chowdhury, Sabyasachi S., Kirkvold, Clara, and Vlaisavljevich, Bess. CASPT2 molecular geometries of Fe(ii) spin-crossover complexes, 1390-1398. Vol. 24, Iss. 3 Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2022. (DOI: 10.1039/d1cp04885f)
  • Haque, Farihah F., Ishibashi, Jacob S. A., Lidston, Claire A. L., Shao, Huiling, Bates, Frank F., Chang, Alice A., Coates, Geoffrey G., Cramer, Christopher C., Dauenhauer, Paul P., Dichtel, William W., Ellison, Christopher C., Gormong, Ethan E., Hamachi, Leslie L., Hoye, Thomas T., Jin, Mengyuan, Kalow, Julia J., Kim, Hee H., Kumar, Gaurav, LaSalle, Christopher C., Liffland, Stephanie, Lipinski, Bryce B., Pang, Yutong, Parveen, Riffat, Peng, Xiayu, Popowski, Yanay, Prebihalo, Emily E., Reddi, Yernaidu, Reineke, Theresa T., Sheppard, Daylan D., Swartz, Jeremy J., Tolman, William W., Vlaisavljevich, Bess, Wissinger, Jane, Xu, Shu, and Hillmyer, Marc M.. Defining the Macromolecules of Tomorrow through Synergistic Sustainable Polymer Research, 6322-6373. Vol. 122, Iss. 6 Chem. Rev., 2022. (DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.1c00173)
  • Perales, Diana, Bhowmick, Rina, Zeller, Matthias, Miro, Pere, Vlaisavljevich, Bess, and Bart, Suzanne S.. Isolation of uranium(iii) primary phosphido complexes, 9630-9633. Vol. 58, Iss. 69 CHEMICAL COMMUNICATIONS, 2022. (DOI: 10.1039/d2cc02207a)
  • Pang, Yutong, Lee, ChoongSze, Vlaisavljevich, Bess, Nicholas, Christopher, and Dauenhauer, Paul. Multifunctional Amine Modifiers for Selective Dehydration of Methyl Lactate to Acrylates. ChemRxiv, 2022. (DOI: 10.26434/chemrxiv-2022-6xnsn)
  • Steiner, Luca, Achazi, Andreas A., Vlaisavljevich, Bess, Miro, Pere, Paulus, Beate, and Kelterer, Anne-Marie. Samarium Diiodide Acting on Acetone-Modeling Single Electron Transfer Energetics in Solution. Vol. 27, Iss. 24 MOLECULES, 2022. (DOI: 10.3390/molecules27248673)

View Additional Publications

Research areas
  • Physical and computational chemistry
  • Radiochemistry
Bess Vlaisavljevich portrait
PhD, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
MS, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
BA, University of Minnesota, Morris

University of Iowa
E435 Chemistry Building (CB)
230 N. Madison Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
United States