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Ashlee J. Howarth, PhD

Associate Professor and Concordia University Research Chair, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Ashlee J.  Howarth, PhD


NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship - Northwestern University
PhD - The University of British Columbia
BSc - The University of Western Ontario

Research Interests

Inorganic materials chemistry, Metal–organic frameworks, Porous materials, Adsorbents, Catalysts, Luminescent materials

Selected Publications

Quezada-Novoa, V.,* Titi, H. M., Yarur Villanueva, F., Wilson, M. W. B., Howarth, A. J.,† (2023) The Effect of Linker-to-Metal Energy Transfer on the Photooxidation Performance of an Isostructural Series of Pyrene-Based Rare-Earth Metal–Organic Frameworks. Small, Early View.

Copeman, C.,* Bicalho, H. A.,* Terban, M. W., Troya, D., Etter, M., Frattini, P. L., Wells, D. M., Howarth, A. J., (2023) Adsorptive Removal of Iodate Oxyanions from Water using a Zr-based Metal–Organic Framework. Chemical Communications, 59, 3071-3074. Cover Article.

Bicalho, H. A.,* Saraci, F.,* Velazquez-Garcia, J. J., Titi, H. M., Howarth, A. J., (2022) Unravelling the Synthesis of a Rare-Earth Cluster-Based Metal–Organic Framework with spn Topology. Chemical Communications, 58, 10925-10928. Cover Article.

Ajoyan, Z.,* Mandl, G. A., Donnarumma, P. R.,* Quezada-Novoa, V.,* Bicalho, H. A.,* Titi, H. M., Capobianco, J. A.,† Howarth, A. J., (2022) Modulating Photo- and Radioluminescence in Tb(III) Cluster-Based Metal–Organic Frameworks. ACS Materials Letters, 4, 1025-1031. Cover Article.

Marino, P.,* Donnarumma, P. R.,* Bicalho, H. A.,* Quezada-Novoa, V.,* Titi, H. M., Howarth, A. J., (2021) A Step Toward Change: A Green Alternative for the Synthesis of Metal–Organic Frameworks. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 9, 16356-16362. Supplementary Cover Article.

Donnarumma, P. R.,* Frojmovic, S.,* Marino, P.,* Bicalho, H. A.,* Titi, H. M., Howarth, A. J., (2021) Synthetic Approaches for Accessing Rare-Earth Analogues of UiO-66. Chemical Communications, 57, 6121-6124. Cover Article.

Quezada-Novoa, V.,* Titi, H. M., Sarjeant, A., Howarth, A.J., (2021) Building a Shp: A Rare-Earth Metal–Organic Framework and Its Application in a Catalytic Photo-Oxidation Reaction. Chemistry of Materials, 33, 4163-4169.

Bicalho, H. A.,* Donnarumma, P. R.,* Quezada-Novoa, V.,* Titi, H. M., Howarth, A. J., (2021) Remodelling a Shp: Transmetallation in a Rare-Earth Cluster-Based Metal–Organic Framework. Inorganic Chemistry, 60, 11795-11802. Supplementary Cover Article.

*denotes HQP



Howarth, A. J., Li, P., Farha, O. K., O’Keeffe, M., (2018) Bottom-Up Design and Generation of Complex Structures: A New Twist in Reticular Chemistry. Crystal Growth & Design, 18, 449-455.


Howarth, A. J., Peters, A. W., Vermeulen, N. A., Wang, T. C., Hupp, J. T., Farha, O. K., (2017) Best Practices for the Synthesis, Activation, and Characterization of Metal–Organic Frameworks. Chemistry of Materials, 29, 26-39. 


Howarth, A. J.,† Liu, Y.,† Li, P., Li, Z., Wang, T. C., Hupp, J. T., Farha, O. K., (2016) Chemical, Thermal and Mechanical Stabilities of Metal–Organic Frameworks. Nature Reviews Materials, 1, 15018.


Howarth, A. J., Wang, T. C., Hupp, J. T., Farha, O. K., (2015) Efficient Extraction of Sulfate from Water using a Zr-Metal–Organic Framework. Dalton Transactions, 45, 93-97.


Howarth, A. J., Liu, Y., Hupp, J. T., Farha, O. K., (2015) Metal–Organic Frameworks for Applications in Remediation of Oxyanion/Cation-Contaminated Water. CrystEngComm., 17, 7245-7253.


Howarth, A. J.,† Katz, M. J.,† Wang, T. C., Platero-Prats, A. E., Chapman, K. W., Hupp, J. T., Farha, O. K., (2015) High Efficiency Adsorption and Removal of Selenate and Selenite from Water using Metal–Organic Frameworks. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 137, 7488–7494.




Howarth, A. J., Davies, D. L., Lelj, F., Wolf, M. O., Patrick, B. O., (2014) Tuning the Emission Lifetime in Bis-Cyclometallated Iridium Complexes Bearing Iminopyrene Ligands. Inorganic Chemistry, 53, 11882–11889.


Howarth, A. J., Patia, R., Davies, D. L., Lelj, F., Wolf, M. O., Singh, K., (2014) Elucidating the Origin of Enhanced Phosphorescence Emission in the Solid State (EPESS) in Cyclometallated Iridium Complexes. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 23, 3657-3664.

Teaching Activities

Chem 241: Inorganic Chemistry I: Introduction to Periodicity and Valence Theory

The structure of the atom; the periodic table; properties of atoms, covalent bonding treatments including Lewis theory, valence shell electron pair repulsion theory of structure, valence bond and molecular orbital theory.Crystal field theory applied to the structure and properties of transition metal complexes. Bonding theories of metallic materials and semi-conductors.Lectures and laboratory.

Chem 498/640: From Adsorbents to Catalysts: The Chemistry and Application of Porous Materials

This course gives an overview of functional porous materials including porous carbons, porous organic polymers (POPs), zeolites, covalent–organic frameworks (COFs), and metal–organic frameworks (MOFs). Recent literature will be used to highlight potential applications and key advances relevant to each class of porous materials. Topics include: synthetic techniques commonly utilized in the field of porous materials such as de novo methods (solvothermal, mechanochemical, electrochemical), and post-synthetic approaches (metal exchange, ligand exchange); nomenclature and topology; and a brief introduction to various characterization methods including gas adsorption, X-ray crystallography, thermogravimetric analysis, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy.

Chem 498/640: Green Chemistry

This course focuses on the 12 principles of green chemistry and how these principles are applied to develop sustainable chemical processes. Topics include: waste prevention, atom economy, the use of green solvents, catalysis, energy efficiency, the use of renewable feedstocks, and green chemistry metrics. Recent literature and industrial examples of green processes will be used to highlight concepts.

Chem 650: Topics in Advanced Materials

Functional or advanced materials are materials that combine advantageous structural properties with functions such as environmental response, detection, energy conversion, filtration, and more. These new materials play an increasingly important role in our lives. Their study involves many interdisciplinary skills in physics, chemistry, engineering, and sometimes even in pharmacy and medicine. This multi-university course is offered by the members of the Centre Québécois sur les Matériaux Fonctionnels (CQMF)/Quebec Center for Advanced Materials (QCAM). The course will introduce the students to basic concepts in the field of advanced materials.This course is intended for graduate level students interested in the subject.

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