Thordarson Group

The Thordarson Group 2012

Welcome to our group website!

Our research interests are in the broad areas of nanobiotechnology and bio-organic chemistry. The approach we have taken is the bio-mimetic one, i.e. to look to Nature for inspiration for solving the challenges ahead, especially as Nature provides us with many functional examples of nanotechnology in action.

For further information about our work, please browse through this website and have a look at our research, techniques, and publications pages.

Assoc. Prof. Pall Thordarson

Pall Thordarson

Pall Thordarson (Palli) was born and raised on a farm in Vopnafjörður, Iceland. He undertook his B.Sc. (Chemistry) at the University of Iceland before heading to Australia in 1997 to do a Ph.D. in the group of Prof. Maxwell J. Crossley at the University of Sydney. After completing his thesis in 2001 he obtained a Marie Curie Fellowship to work with Prof. Roeland J. M. Nolte and Prof. Alan E. Rowan at the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Dr. Thordarson returned to Australia in 2003 to take up an independent position as a Sesqui Research Fellow with a joint position at the Electron Microscope Unit and the School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney. He held an Australian Research Fellowship from the Australian Research Council (ARC) from 2006-2010. Dr. Pall Thordarson moved to the School of Chemistry at UNSW to take up a position as a Senior Lecturer in November 2007. In 2012 he was awarded a four year Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and promoted to the position of Associate Professor starting from 1st January 2013.


Assoc. Prof. Pall Thordarson has been awarded the New South Wales Young Tall Poppy Science Award in 2008, The International Society of Porphyrins and Phthalocaynines (SPP) / Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines (JPP): SPP/JPP Young Investigator Award for 2010 and the Le Févre Memorial Prize from the Australian Academy of Science for 2012.

His publication record includes a paper in Nature and several papers in high-impact chemistry journals such as J. Am. Chem. Soc., Chem. Commun. and Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. More details about the work of Assoc. Prof. Pall Thordarson are available in his CV.


Our group moved to the School of Chemistry, UNSW at the end of 2007. The School of Chemistry at UNSW features a brand-new Chemistry Building (opened in December 2006) with state-of-the-art facilities for Chemistry Research. The School is conveniently located on top of the Analytical Centre that houses centralised NMR, MS, Surface analysis and Microscopy facilities for UNSW. We also have strong ties with Dr. Timothy Schmidt's laser spectroscopy laboratory at The University of Sydney and the Electron Microscope Unit, The University of Sydney, which is one of the most advanced microscopy facilities in the world with state-of-the-art instrumentation in areas such as TEM and SEM plus a range of other microscopy techniques including AFM, STM and fluorescence microscopy.

Want to know more?

Interested students with Australian or New Zealand permanent residency and a first class B.Sc. Honours are most welcome to apply for a position in our group. Currently, UNSW is offering up to $35,000 per year in a Ph.D. Scholarship for top B.Sc. Honours students from Australia and New Zealand. International students are advised that fees for international students are currently above $22,000 and the competition for International Post-graduate Research Scholarships (IPRS) is extremely strong. That said, international students with interest in our work, top academic performance (at least > 80% average for B.Sc.), some research experience and good communication skills are encouraged to seek further information about research opportunities in our group. We also have substantial experience in collaboration with industry and we welcome inquiries about consultation or research collaboration.

For further information our contact details are listed below or give Palli a call on +61-(0)2-9385-4478.

Contact Details

Postal address:

Assoc. Prof. Pall Thordarson
School of Chemistry
The University of New South Wales
NSW 2052 Australia

Phone and Fax numbers:

Tel: +61-(0)2-9385-4478
Fax: +61-(0)2-9385-6141

Office location:

Room 133
Dalton Building
The University of New South Wales - see map