Staff Spotlight: Tyler Barnes


Undergraduate researcher Tyler Barnes is making considerable bounds in organic electrochemical reductions. Barnes is a member of the Peters group where he studies organic electrochemistry. He and his group analyze  the effects of grafting on electrodes, which is the result of electron movements. Barnes predominantly specializes with the cleavage of carbon-halogen bonds. Barnes applies his research knowledge as a Social Science Associate on IUJUR’s Student Editorial Board. He is also involved in a wide variety of activities on campus, including CRU, the Kelley Investment Management Workshop, and the Virtu Project.

Barnes’ love for science and learning began as a child when he would try to explain and understand how things worked. In high school, Barnes participated and placed in several science fairs. One particular project focused on the remediation of acid mine drainage, which sparked  his interest in chemistry. As an undergraduate researcher, Barnes has had the opportunity to travel and speak at various seminars to share his findings. Barnes’ research, in collaboration with the Tate group, has shown evidence that bulk electrolyses are susceptible to grafting effects. Barnes plans to continue research on the possible applications of the grafting process to electrochemical reactions.

I can’t think of any field where research is not applicable.

Student first, research second, Barnes is showing IU students that it is possible to do both. When asked about the relationship between coursework and research, Barnes says, “Research adds a level of creativity.” In order to conduct research effectively, Barnes suggests, “You have to figure out how to accomplish an overarching goal […] By keeping the next step in mind, it’s easier to know what and how something needs to get done. Research is one of the most beneficial experiences one can encounter. I can’t think of any field where research is not applicable.”

When he has free time, Barnes enjoys golfing, reading, and spending quality time with his fiancé. Currently, Barnes is pursuing a career in equity research or investments. Although, he is not sure if his future career will include chemistry, it goes without saying that his lessons from undergraduate research will be with him for the rest of his life.