Montana, European labs to partner as UM chemistry student lands two French grants

Asia Reil (UM Photo)

A graduate student in chemistry at the University of Montana received a distinguished fellowship from the Embassy of France in the United states this week to conduct research in France for nine months.

Asia Reil, who announced that she’d won the STEM Chateaubriand Fellowship on Wednesday, currently conducts research in Professor Orion Berryman’s lab at UM. Her work focuses on producing halogen bonding organic molecules for anion recognition and organicatalysis.

“I never thought I would be able to combine chemistry and French,” Riel said. “These fellowships will help start an international collaboration, while fulfilling a lifelong dream of living in France. I’m so grateful for this opportunity.”

In France, Riel will study electrochemistry and crystallography in Professor Marc Fourmigué’s lab at Université de Rennes 1.

In addition to the Chateaubriand Fellowship, Riel received another fellowship from the Rennes Métropole, which funds foreign doctoral students to conduct research in Rennes.

Combined, the two fellowships will initiate an international collaboration between the Berryman and Fourmigué labs.

Riel graduated from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a bachelor’s in chemistry and a minor in French. She started her Ph.D. program at UM that same year.