Estelle Lebeau
Estelle LebeauAssociate Professor
Inorganic and Chemical Education
Dow Science Complex 368

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The Johns Hopkins University, 1997-1999
  • Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1997
  • B.S., Chemistry, Bates College, Lewiston, ME, 1991
American Chemical Society
Professional Interests
Inorganic, catalytic, oxidation-reduction chemistry. The development of highly selective and efficient catalysts for the oxidation of inorganic and organic substrates under mild conditions is the ultimate objective of catalytic chemists. An oxidation mechanism could be as simple as an outer sphere electron transfer event, such as a self-exchange reaction, or as complicated as a scheme involving several bond making and bond breaking events, such as the enzyme catalyzed production of carbohydrates from CO2, H2O and light in chlorophyll containing plants. Through elucidation of mechanisms by which these transformations are effected, the researcher is able to fine-tune structural design to mimic the natural systems or to increase oxidant efficiency, i.e. to increase the number of turnovers, to increase selectivity toward the desired product, or to utilize milder reaction conditions. We explore the kinetic nuances and mechanistic implications of electron transfer reactions in which there are changes in proton content. Proton coupled electron transfer (PCET) is an important process for biological systems and energy conversion, including photosynthesis and respiration. Our studies focus on the synthesis and reactivity of catalysts that mimic the active sites of naturally occurring electron transfer systems. In particular, our lab is conducting investigations into the design of molecular units that mimic the function of the oxygen evolving complex of photosystem II (PSII). Our group is particularly interested in how tuning the redox properties of the catalyst leads to selectivity in oxidation.
Teaching Areas
Inorganic Chemistry, General and Survey Chemistry, Chemical Education
Selected Publications and Presentations
  • Lebeau, E. L. “PLTL 4-Years Later,” 236th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, August 17-21, 2008.
  • Lebeau, E. L., “Peer Leader Attitudinal Changes,” Gordon Research Conference – Chemistry Education Research and Practice, Bates College, June 24-29, 2007.
  • Lebeau, E. L. “Incorporation of Peer Led Team Learning in Survey of Chemistry at Central Michigan University”, 18th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Ames, IA, July 20, 2004.
  • Lebeau, E. L. “Peer Led Team Learning in Survey of Chemistry”, Council on Undergraduate Research Biennial Conference, LaCrosse, WI, June 24, 2004.
  • Lebeau, E. L. "Dissemination of Peer Led Team Learning in CST at Central Michigan University," College of Science and Technology Brown Bag Luncheon Series, April 16, 2004.
  • Lebeau, E. L. "Designing Model Compounds to Mimic Naturally Occurring Catalytic Reactions," invited seminar, University of Maine at Farmington, February 27, 2004.
  • Lebeau, E. L. "Mimicking Natural Oxidations and Reductions," invited seminar, Keene State College, January 29, 2004.
  • Lebeau, E. L. "Designing Mimics for Natural Oxidation and Reduction Reactions," invited seminar, Union College, January 12, 2004.
  • Lebeau, E.L., “Students Shine During Project SEED 2008,” The Midland Chemist, February 2009.
  • Lebeau, E. L., “Instability of the Oxidation Catalysts [OsIII(bpy)3]3+ and [OsIII(tpy)(bpy)(py)]3+ in Alkaline Solution,” Journal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical, 2004,212 (1-2), 83-89.
  • Lebeau, E. L., Kusowski, R.; Renne, D.; “Oxidation of Select PAHs by [(bpy)2(py)RuIV(O)]2+ in Solution and Silica Sol-Gel Media,” J. Und. Chem. Res., 2003,3, 101-105.
  • Kretzer, R.M.; Ghiladi, R.A.; Lebeau, E.L.; Liang, H.-C.; Karlin, K.D., “Synthesis and Characterization of Reduced Heme and Heme/Copper Carbonmonoxy Species” Inorg. Chem., 2003, 42, 3016-3025.
  • Peters, T. L.; Kusowski, R.; Renne, D. and Lebeau, E. L. "Oxidation of Anthracene and Phenanthrene by a High Valent Ruthenium Catalyst in a Sol-Gel Matrix."  J. Und. Chem.Res., 2003, 1, 15-19.
  • Thompson, D. W.; Kretzer, R. M.; Lebeau, E. L.; Scaltrito, D. V.; Ghiladi, R. A.; Lam, K-C; Rheingold, A. L.; Karlin, K. D.; Meyer, G. J. “Synthesis, Characterization, and Laser Flash Photolysis Reactivity of a Carbonmonoxy Heme Complex.” I norg. Chem., 2003,42, 5211-5218.​