James “Wes” Barnett enrolled in the department's Ph.D. program in 2012 and is advised by Dr. Hank Ashbaugh. He entered candidacy after successfully completing his prospectus in early 2015. His work is funded by a Louisiana Board of Regents fellowship.
Wes's research interests include the hydrophobic effect, nano-confinement, and self-assembly processes; more generally, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. He uses Molecular Dynamics and quantum mechanical calculations to simulate and analyze large guest-host complexes of deep-cavity cavitand hosts and hydrophobic guests. Secondary projects include the study of hydration shell depletion, force field parameterization of hydrophobic interactions, and other guest-host systems.
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