Chemistry and Biochemistry

Kara Stowers

Kara Stowers

Office: C405 BNSN
Office Phone: 801-422-0835
Office Hours


Post Doctoral Fellow in Chemistry (2012-2014)
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 
Advisor: Professors Cynthia M. Friend and Robert J. Madix

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry, Organic Chemistry (2006-2012)
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI 
Advisor: Professor Melanie S. Sanford

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (2002-2006)
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT


Stowers Group Research

The Stowers laboratory has research interests that span inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry in the aim of understanding and improving catalysts.

Using Carbon Dioxide as a Feedstock: We aim to find ways to manage and use Carbon Dioxide.

Inorganic Heterogeneous Catalysis:  We plan to synthesize new catalysts to activate Carbon Dioxide. We aim to use readily available transition metals such as Nickel and Iron. 

Organic Chemistry with Carbon Dioxide:  We aim to react carbon dioxide with other hydrocarbons to form carboxylic acid products such as acrylic acid, succinic acid and adipic acid. 

Physical Chemistry and Surface Science:  We aim to closely study new synthesized catalysts in ultra high vacuum to ultimately design new catalysts, optimize reactions, and improve catalyst efficiency.



Stowers, K. J., Zhou, Z., Anderson, C. M., Butler, S. K., Thompson, S. K., Whitty, K. J., Shen, T. C. (2017). Stability and efficiency of CO2 capture using linear amine polymer modified carbon nanotubes. Journal of Materials Chemistry(5), 10486-10494.

Stowers, K. J., Karakalos, S., Zugic, B., Biener, M. M., Biener, J., Friend, C. M., Madix, R. J. (2016). Catalytic  production of methyl acrylates by gold-mediated cross coupling of unsaturated aldehydes with  methanol.. Surf. Sci.(652), 58-66.

Stowers, K. J., Zugic, B., Karakalos, S., Biener, M. M., Biener, J., Friend, C. M., Madix, R. J. (2016). Continuous Catalytic Producation of Methyl Acrylates from Unsaturated Alcohols by Gold: The  Strong Effect of C=C Unsaturation on Reaction Selectivity.. ACS Catalysis, 6, 1833-1839.

Stowers, K. (2015). Exploiting basic principles to control the selectivity of the vapor phase catalytic oxidative cross-coupling of primary alcohols over nanoporous gold catalysts.. Journal of Catalysis, 329, 78-86.

Stowers, K. (2015). Facile Ester Synthesis on Ag-Modified Nanoporous Au: Oxidative Coupling of Ethanol and  1-Butanol under UHV Conditions.. Catalysis Letters, 6, 1217-1223.

Stowers, K. (2015). Methyl ester synthesis catalyzed by nanoporous gold: from 10-9 Torr to 1 atm. Catalysis Science and Technology, 5, 1299-1306.

Stowers, K. (2013). From model studies on Au(111) to working conditions with unsupported nanoporous gold catalysts: Oxygen-assisted coupling reactions. Journal of Catalysis, 308, 131-141.

Stowers, K. J., Kubota, A., Sanford, M. S. (2012). Nitrate as a Redox Co-Catalyst for the Aerobic Pd-Catalyzed Oxidation of Unactivated sp(3)-C-H Bonds.. 3(11), 3192-3195.

Stowers, K. J., Fortner, K. C., Sanford, M. S. (2011). Aerobic Pd-catalyzed sp3 C-H olefination: a route to both N-heterocyclic scaffolds and alkenes.. 133(17), 6541-4.

Stowers, K. J., Sanford, M. S. (2009). Mechanistic comparison between Pd-catalyzed ligand-directed C-H chlorination and C-H acetoxylation.. 11(20), 4584-7.

Desai, L. V., Stowers, K. J., Sanford, M. S. (2008). Insights into directing group ability in palladium-catalyzed C-H bond functionalization.. 130(40), 13285-93.

Balija, A. M., Stowers, K. J., Schultz, M. J., Sigman, M. S. (2006). Pd(II)-catalyzed conversion of styrene derivatives to acetals: impact of (-)-sparteine on regioselectivity.. 8(6), 1121-4.