Robert H. Crabtree

Robert Howard Crabtree FRS[1] (born 17 April 1948) is a British-American chemist. He is serving as Whitehead Professor of Chemistry at Yale University in the United States. He is a naturalised citizen of the United States.[2] Crabtree is particularly known for his work on "Crabtree's catalyst" for hydrogenations, and his textbook on organometallic chemistry.[3]

Robert Crabtree

Robert Crabtree Royal Society.jpg
Robert Crabtree at the Royal Society admissions day in London, July 2018
Robert Howard Crabtree

(1948-04-17) 17 April 1948 (age 71)
London, England, UK
NationalityBritish/United States
EducationBrighton College
Alma materUniversity of Oxford (BA)
University of Sussex (PhD)
Known forCrabtree's catalyst
AwardsCorday-Morgan Prize (1982)
Centenary Prize (2013)
Scientific career
FieldsOrganometallic chemistry
InstitutionsYale University
Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles
ThesisTransition Metal Dinitrogen Complexes Adduct Formation and Base Character (1973)
Doctoral advisorJoseph Chatt
Other academic advisorsMalcolm Green
Hugh Felkin[citation needed]


Robert Howard Crabtree studied at Brighton College (1959–1966), and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oxford where he was a student at New College, Oxford in 1970, studying under Malcolm Green. He received his PhD from the University of Sussex in 1973, supervised by Joseph Chatt.[4]

Career and researchEdit

After his PhD, he was a postdoctoral researcher with Hugh Felkin at the Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles at Gif-sur-Yvette, near Paris. He was a postdoctoral fellow (1973–1975) and then attaché de recherche (1975–1977). At the end of that time he was chargé de recherche. In 1977 Crabtree took an assistant professorship in Inorganic Chemistry at Yale University. He served as associate professor from 1982 to 1985, and as full professor from 1985 until the present.[citation needed]

Editorial positions and published worksEdit

  • The Organometallic Chemistry of the Transition Metals (5 editions)(ISBN 0-471-66256-9)
  • Inorganic Chemistry Section (editor) Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry (1992–1994)
  • Associate Editor of New Journal of Chemistry (1998–2003)
  • Editor-in-chief of Comprehensive Organometallic Chemistry III (2004–present)
  • Editor-in-chief of Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry (2004–present)
  • Board of regional editors of Science (2006–present)
  • Chemistry of the Transition Metals (2009)
  • Handbook of Green Chemistry – Green Catalysis (2009) (co-author)

Awards and honoursEdit


  1. ^ a b "Robert Crabtree".
  2. ^ Yale Faculty webpage[permanent dead link]. Retrieved 21 September 2014
  3. ^ Crabtree Lab Homepage, Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  4. ^ Crabtree, Robert Howard (1973). Transition Metal Dinitrogen Complexes Adduct Formation and Base Character (PhD thesis). University of Sussex. EThOS
  5. ^[permanent dead link] Yale Faculty webpage
  6. ^ Chemical & Engineering News, 23 February 2009, "2009 ACS National Award Winners", p. 68

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