Dr Gabriel Da Silva

  • Room: Level: 01 Room: 72
  • Building: Chemistry Building
  • Campus: Parkville

Research interests

  • Atmospheric Science (Air Quality; Climate; Kinetics; Pollution)
  • Combustion Chemistry (Kinetics; Aromatics; Ethanol)
  • Computational Chemistry (DFT; Ab Initio; Kinetics; Thermodynamics)

Personal webpage



Dr Gabriel da Silva is a Lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Melbourne.

Research Activities
- Environmental engineering
- Combustion and atmospheric chemistry
- Biofuels research
- Nitrosation reactions
- Materials and minerals engineering
- Bioleaching (biohydrometallurgy) 

Dr da Silva’s research interests are broadly in the area of energy and the environment, using computational chemistry techniques and reaction rate theory to model complex reaction networks relevant to combustion and atmospheric chemistry, as well as environmentally important organic reaction mechanisms. The current research focus is directed toward understanding and modeling reaction processes related to the use of biofuels (ethanol, biodiesel, and biomass), allowing us to optimize their combustion and thereby support the uptake of these green, renewable energy-sources. Studies are also underway to model the formation and atmospheric reactions of pollutants like soot, persistent free radicals, and ozone depleting substances. A further area of interest is bioleaching, where naturally occurring bacteria are used to leach base and precious metals from sulphide minerals. 

Professional Experience
Lecturer, The University of Melbourne, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2007 – present
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Chemistry and environmental Science, 2005 – 2007
Engineering Research Assistant, BHP Billiton, Biohydrometallurgy Research Group, 2000 – 2002

Recent publications

  1. Qiu W, Gurr P, Da Silva G, Qiao G. Insights into the mechanochromism of spiropyran elastomers. POLYMER CHEMISTRY. Royal Society of Chemistry. 2019, Vol. 10, Issue 13. DOI: 10.1039/c9py00017h
  2. ØsterstrØm FF, Andersen C, Da Silva G. Mechanistic study of the reaction of CH2F2 with Cl atoms in the absence and presence of CH4 or C2H6: decomposition of CHF2OH and fate of the CHF2O radical.. Phys Chem Chem Phys. Royal Society of Chemistry. 2019, Vol. 21, Issue 18. DOI: 10.1039/c8cp06425c
  3. Alam MA, Ren Z, Da Silva G. Nitramine and nitrosamine formation is a minor pathway in the atmospheric oxidation of methylamine: A theoretical kinetic study of the CH3NH + O-2 reaction. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL KINETICS. John Wiley & Sons. 2019, Vol. 51, Issue 9. DOI: 10.1002/kin.21303
  4. Bull J, Da Silva G, Scholz MS, Carrascosa Casado E, Bieske E. Photoinitiated Intramolecular Proton Transfer in Deprotonated para-Coumaric Acid. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A. American Chemical Society. 2019, Vol. 123, Issue 20. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.9b02023
  5. Prendergast MB, Kirk BB, Savee JD, Osborn DL, Taatjes CA, Hemberger P, Blanksby SJ, Da Silva G, Trevitt AJ. Product detection study of the gas-phase oxidation of methylphenyl radicals using synchrotron photoionisation mass spectrometry.. Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2019. DOI: 10.1039/c9cp01935a
  6. Brydon S, Lim S, Khairallah G, MaÎtre P, Loire E, Da Silva G, O'Hair R, White J. Reactions of Thiiranium and Sulfonium Ions with Alkenes in the Gas Phase.. J Org Chem. 2019. DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.9b01264
  7. Bull J, West CW, AnstÖter CS, Da Silva G, Bieske E, Verlet JRR. Ultrafast photoisomerisation of an isolated retinoid.. Phys Chem Chem Phys. Royal Society of Chemistry. 2019, Vol. 21, Issue 20. DOI: 10.1039/c9cp01624d
  8. Jacovella U, Da Silva G, Bieske E. Unveiling New Isomers and Rearrangement Routes on the C7H8+ Potential Energy Surface. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A. American Chemical Society. 2019, Vol. 123, Issue 4. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.8b10642
  9. Bull J, Scholz M, Carrascosa Casado E, Da Silva G, Bieske E. Double Molecular Photoswitch Driven by Light and Collisions. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS. American Physical Society. 2018, Vol. 120, Issue 22. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.223002
  10. Da Silva G. Improved rate coefficient expressions for the reaction of methyl bromide with OH and Cl radicals. CHEMICAL PHYSICS LETTERS. Elsevier Science. 2018, Vol. 706. DOI: 10.1016/j.cplett.2018.06.043
  11. Reilly NJ, Da Silva G, Wilcox CM, Ge Z, Kokkin DL, Troy TP, Nauta K, Kable SH, McCarthy MC, Schmidt TW. Interconversion of Methyltropyl and Xylyl Radicals: A Pathway Unavailable to the Benzyl-Tropyl Rearrangement. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A. American Chemical Society. 2018, Vol. 122, Issue 5. DOI: 10.1021/acsjpca.7b11914
  12. So S, Wille U, Da Silva G. Photoisomerization of Methyl Vinyl Ketone and Methacrolein in the Troposphere: A Theoretical Investigation of Ground-State Reaction Pathways. ACS EARTH AND SPACE CHEMISTRY. American Chemical Society. 2018, Vol. 2, Issue 8. DOI: 10.1021/acsearthspacechem.8b00066
  13. Bull J, Carrascosa Casado E, Mallo N, Scholz M, Da Silva G, Beves JE, Bieske E. Photoswitching an Isolated Donor-Acceptor Stenhouse Adduct. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS. American Chemical Society. 2018, Vol. 9, Issue 3. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b03402
  14. Sutton C, Da Silva G, Franks G. Bonding of Aqueous Citrate with Zn2+ and ZnO Nanoclusters: A Theoretical Study. CHEMISTRYSELECT. Wiley-VCH. 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 6. DOI: 10.1002/slct.201602011
  15. Catani KJ, Muller G, Da Silva G, Bieske E. Electronic spectrum and photodissociation chemistry of the linear methyl propargyl cation H2C4H3+. JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS. American Institute of Physics. 2017, Vol. 146, Issue 4. DOI: 10.1063/1.4974338

View a full list of publications on the University of Melbourne’s ‘Find An Expert’ profile