Rayane Moreira

Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry
Hampshire College Professor Rayane Moreira
Contact Rayane

Mail Code NS
Rayane Moreira
Cole Science Center 205

Rayane Moreira, associate professor of organic chemistry, received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Columbia University, where she developed combinatorial methods for catalyst discovery.

Her postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on the synthesis and study of metalloenzyme mimics.

Her research interests include catalytic reactions of organic molecules and gases. She also enjoys birdwatching, hiking, playing the violin, and traveling.

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • This course will explore the chemical ecology and natural products chemistry of New England native and crop plants through a combination of classroom, field and lab experiences. We'll take advantage of both the Farm Center and the richly forested areas on and around Hampshire's campus to learn about the molecules that plants use to communicate and interact with the organisms around them, and how humans have learned to purify and adapt them for use as materials and medicines. Many of our plant species are being influenced by climate change; we will observe how this is disrupting the networks of interdependence in the plant communities that have evolved to live here, and consider what role humanity may have in their future. Student work will include full-class creation of a field guide to Hampshire plants, their natural history and response to climate temperatre; exploration of secondary metabolite structure, function and evolution; purification of natural products from raw plant material; and independent research on a plant of the student's choice. We will critically analyze primary scientific literature as well as gaining a working knowledge of chemistry and a familiarity with common local plants.

  • This semester we will explore organic structure, reactivity, and spectroscopy through the study of aromatic molecules, carbonyl compounds, nitrogen-containing compounds, pericyclic reactions, and radical chemistry. The emphasis will be on organic mechanism and synthesis, along with relevance of the chemistry to biology, medicine, society, and environment. By the end of the semester you will have a solid intuitive sense of how organic molecules react and how to manipulate them in the lab. Just as importantly, we will strive to understand the importance of the field of organic chemistry in the past, present, and future. Keywords: Chemistry

  • This course is an introduction to the structure, properties, reactivity, and spectroscopy of organic molecules, as well as their significance in our daily lives. We will first lay down the groundwork for the course, covering bonding, physical properties of organic compounds, stereochemistry, and kinetics and thermodynamics of organic reactions. We will then move on to the reactions of alkanes, alkyl halides, alcohols and ethers, alkenes, and alkynes, emphasizing the molecular mechanisms that allow us to predict and understand chemical behavior. Lastly, we will discuss the identification of compounds by mass spectrometry, NMR and infrared spectroscopy. Student-led discussions will address the role organic molecules play in biology, industry, society, and the environment. Additionally, weekly problem-solving sessions will be held to foster skill in mechanistic and synthetic thinking. The laboratory will provide an introduction to the preparation, purification, and identification of organic molecules. Prerequisite: high school chemistry. Key Words: chemistry, biochemistry