David Robinson

David Robinson

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)
Chemistry and Forensic Science


Dr. Robinson teaches physical chemistry to all levels of undergraduate chemistry.

He is also involved in research using computational and theoretical chemistry and belongs to the Biomedical Sciences Research Centre, REF UoA A03.

Career overview

Dr. Robinson obtained a first class MChem (Hons.) degree in Chemistry from the University of Manchester in 2004. He was awarded his PhD in 2007 under the supervision of Dr. Joe McDouall from the same University, for work on development and application of multireference perturbation theory to larger molecules than was previously possible.

In 2007, Dr. Robinson started an EPSRC-funded postdoctoral position at the University of Nottingham under the supervision of Prof. Jonathan Hirst, Dr. Nick Besley and Prof. Paul O’Shea. In 2010, Dr. Robinson was a Teaching Fellow in Physical Chemistry for six months, before being awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (36 months) to study the computation of fluorescent molecular probes in lipid membrane environments. At the end of his fellowship, Dr. Robinson took up a position of Senior Fellow in Computational Chemistry, involving all aspects of teaching delivery and research supervision of PhD students. In late 2016, Dr. Robinson was appointed Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at Nottingham Trent University, which he took up in January 2017.

Research areas

All research within the Robinson Group is computational. Areas of current research are:

  • Development of mixed-resolution MD approaches to lipid membranes
  • Characterisation of the electronically excited states of gas-phase and condensed phase molecules, including contemporary and novel membrane probes (e.g. BODIPY). Methods used include CASSCF, CASPT2 and TDDFT. We collaborate with several groups, including N. Boens (Leuven, Belgium) and A. Orte (Granada, Spain)
  • Characterisation of polyoxometallate (POM) electronic structures. This work is in collaboration with G. Newton (Nottingham), J. D. Hirst (Nottingham) and J. J. Carbo (URV, Spain)
  • Organic reaction mechanisms

Further details can be found at the Robinson Group Website (https://robinsontheorygroup.wordpress.com/ )

External activity

Dr. Robinson is currently a reviewer for the following journals:

  • Nature Chemistry
  • Journal of Physical Chemistry
  • Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation
  • Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modelling
  • Chemical Physics

Dr. Robinson is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Sponsors and collaborators


R. -J. Wei, T. Shiga, G. N. Newton, D. Robinson, S. Takeda and H. Oshio, “A Cyanide-bridged Magnetically-switchable Cage with Encapsulated Water Molecules”, Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 12114-12117.  DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.6b02306

J. M. Cameron, S. Fujimoto, K. Kastner, R. -J. Wei, D. Robinson, V. Sans, G. N. Newton and H. Oshio, “Orbital Engineering: Photoactivation of an Organofunctionalized Polyoxotungstate”, Chem. Eur. J. 2016, in press. DOI: 10.1002/chem.201605021

F. Husseini, D. Robinson, N. T. Hunt, A. W. Parker and J. D. Hirst, “Computing Infrared Spectra of Proteins Using the Exciton Model”, J. Comput. Chem., in press. DOI: 10.1002/jcc.24674

C.  Hurd, N. A. Besley and D. Robinson, “A QM/MM Study of the Nature of the Entatic State in Plastocyanin”, J. Comput. Chem., in press. DOI: 10.1002/jcc.24666

Orte, E. Debroye, M. J. Ruedas-Rama, E. Garcia-Fernandez, D. Robinson, L. Crovetto, E. M. Talavera, J. M. Alvarez-Pez, V. Leen, B. Verbelen, L. C. Dias de Rezende, W. Dehaen, J. Hofkens, M. Van der Auweraer and N. Boens, “Effect of the Substitution Position (2, 3 or 8) on the Spectroscopic and Photophysical Properties of BODIPY Dyes with a Phenyl, Styryl or Phenylethynyl Group, RSC Adv. 2016, 6, 102899-102913. DOI: 10.1039/C6RA22340K

Ghumman and D. Robinson, “Modulation of the Turkey β1-Adrenergic Receptor by Membrane Rafts – Insight from Molecular Dynamics”, ChemistrySelect 2016, 1, 4274-4276. DOI: 10.1002/slct.201600849

S. V. Bhat, D. Robinson, J. E. Moses and P. Sharma, “Synthesis of oxadiazol−5−imines via the cyclative capture of in situ generated cyanamide ions and nitrile oxides”, Org. Lett. 2016, 18, 1100-1103. DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett.6b00203

L. Jiao, C. Yu, J. Wang, E. A. Briggs, N. A. Besley, D. Robinson, M. J. Ruedas-Rama, A. Orte, L. Crovetto, E. M. Talavera, J. M. Alvarez-Pez, M. Van der Auweraer and N. Boens, “Unusual Spectroscopic and Photophysical Properties of meso-tert-ButylBODIPY in Comparison to Related Alkylated BODIPY Dyes”,RSC Adv. 2015, 5, 89375-89388. DOI: 10.1039/c5ra17419h

See all of David Robinson's publications...