Jan L Wikaira - People - Chemistry - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Dr Jan L Wikaira


Senior Lecturer
Laboratory Manager, X-ray Crystallography Laboratory


649 (Part-time)

Contact Details

DDI: +64 3 369 4294 (Internal 94294)
Fax: +64 3 364 2110
Email: jan.wikaira@canterbury.ac.nz

Laboratory Manager, X-ray Crystallography Laboratory

  • The manager is responsible for the collection of all single crystal data for many other chemistry departments within New Zealand and a number of other countries including Australia, U.K., U.S.A., Malaysia and Iran.
  • In collaboration with PAMS and Forestry the laboratory is also in the forefront of the development of techniques which are applicable in determining properties of timber.  These techniques have been utilised by Forest Research (Rotorua) and Forestry companies in New Zealand and the United States.

CHEM 100 Mentor

  • The CHEM100 Mentor maintains contact with, and encouragement to, CHEM100 students.
  • Assists with laboratory organisation and the training and supervision of demonstrators.
  • Is involved in the CHEM100 tutorial programme and provides extra tutorials for selected students.

Field of Study
Inorganic Chemistry; X-ray Crystallography, Application of Diffraction Techniques to the Determination of Properties of Timber


M.Sc.(Hons.), Ph.D. (Cant.), B.A., TTC, FNZIC


Jan Wikaira regards herself as an old(er) person but a young scientist. She started university well into adulthood but would hesitate to call herself a “mature” student. Jan did not complete high school, leaving at sixteen, and became a primary school teacher. She later became a secondary school teacher specialising in maths, science and senior biology.

Jan started University in 1983, twenty-four years after leaving school. All of her study has been at Canterbury University. Her MSc, under the supervision of Dr Graeme Wright , investigated the “Renal Hypothesis” using mass spectrometry to establish morphine levels in patients in advanced renal failure.

Her Ph.D. was supervised by Professor Vickie McKee and co-supervised by Professor Ward Robinson. The project involved the synthesis and characterisation of large macrocycles coordinating four metals. On graduating in 1997 Jan spent almost two years as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Sergiu Gorun at Brown University, Providence, USA .

Since 1999 Jan has been in the chemistry department at Canterbury University where she lectures, is mentor to the first year students and manages the Xray crystallography laboratory. In 2005 she was awarded a Canterbury University Excellence in Teaching Award. She is currently the President of the New Zeland Institute of Chemistry.

Undergraduate Courses

CHEM114, CHEM121, CHEM 221, CHEM321/361

Research Interests

Jan's interests continue to be synthetic inorganic chemistry and small molecule crystallography but increasingly she has become involved in wood technology research.

School Administration

- College of Science representative on Teaching and Learning Committee
- University Harassment Contact Person

Representative Papers

Copper(II) complexes of 2-halo-3-methylpyridine: synthesis, structure, and magnetic behaviour of Cu(2-X-3-CH3py)2X'2 [X, X' = chlorine or bromine; py = pyridine]. Herringer, Susan N.; Turnbull, Mark M.; Landee, Christopher P.; Wikaira, Jan L, Dalton Transactions (2011), 40(16), 4242-4252.

Nickel(II) compounds of a tri-amine mono-imine macrocycle: Preparations and structures of (5,7,7,12,14,14-hexamethyl-1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradec-4-ene)nickel(II) compounds. Curtis, Neil F., Wikaira, Jan. Polyhedron (2011), 30(5), 895-902. 

4'-(o-Toluyl)-2,2':6',2''-terpyridine. Synthesis, bromination, complexation, and X-ray crystallographic characterization. Thornley, Paul A.; Starkey, Jocelyn C.; Zibaseresht, Ramin; Polson, Matthew I. J.; Wikaira, Jan L.; Hartshorn, Richard M. Journal of Coordination Chemistry (2011), 64(1), 145-158. 

Synthesis, structure, and magnetic behavior of a pyrazine-bridged Cu(II)/Au(CN)2 complex. Ludy, Sarah J.; Landee, Christopher P.; Turnbull, Mark M.; Wikaira, Jan L. Journal of Coordination Chemistry (2011), 64(1), 134-144.

catena-Poly[[silver(I)-μ-4-aminopyridine] perchlorate]: a 1-D Staircase Coordination Polymer. Acta Crystallogr., R.K. Golder, C.M. Fitchett, J.L. Wikaira and P.J. Steel, 2010, E66, m1324.

Transition metal complexes of 2-amino-3-chloro-5-trifluoromethylpyridine: syntheses, structures, and magnetic properties of [(TMCAPH)2CuBr4] and [(TMCAPH)2CuCl4], Jan L. Wikaira, Lixin, Li, Ray Butcher, Christopher M. Fitchett, Geoffrey B. Jameson, Christopher P. Landee, Shane G. Telfer and Mark M. Turnbull.

Synthesis, structure, and magnetic properties of bis(monosubstituted-pyrazine)dihalocopper(II).  Herringer, Susan N.; Longendyke, Alyssa J.; Turnbull, Mark M.; Landee, Christopher P.; Wikaira, Jan L.; Jameson, Geoffrey B.; Telfer, Shane G.  Dalton Transactions,  (2010),  39(11),  2785-2797. 

Via, B.K., So, C.L., Groom, L.H., Shupe, T.F., Stine, M., and Wikaira, J.  Within tree variation of lignin, extractives, and microfibril angle coupled with the theoretical and near infrared modeling of microfibril angle. IAWA J. 28(2): 189-209.

Ballester, N.S., Fontecha, J.B., Wikaira, J., and McKee, V.  Bis(2-pyridylmethyl)amine-borane  Acta Crystallographica, Section E: Structure Reports Online (2005), E61(3), o567-o568.

Hossaini Sadr, M., Zare, D., Lewis, W., Wikaira, J., Robinson, W.T. and Ng, S.W.  Bromotetrakis(1H-imidazole- k N3)copper(II) bromide.  Acta Crystallographica, Section E: Structure Reports Online (2004), E60(9), m1324-m1326.

Saghatforoush, L.A., Hossaini Sadr, M., Lewis, W., Wikaira, J., Robinson, W.T. and Ng, S.W.  [5-Bromo-N-(2-pyridylethylsulfanylethyl)salicylideneiminato- k 4N,N',O,S]copper(II) perchlorate.  Acta Crystallographica, Section E: Structure Reports Online (2004), E60(9), m1259-m1260.

Jeitler, J.R., Turnbull, M.M., Wikaira, J.L.  Synthesis, characterization and structure of transition metal complexes of 4'-methylthio-2,2':6',2''-terpyridyl.  Inorganica Chimica Acta (2003), 351, 331-344.

Kemmitt, T., Gainsford, G.J., Steel, P.J. and Wikaira, J.  Four-center hydrogen bonds: a triethanolamine-triethanolamine oxide complex.  Acta Crystallographica, Section E: Structure Reports Online (2002), E58(8), 851-852.

Browne, J.M.W., Wikaira, J., Fitchett, C.M., Hartshorn, R.M.  Polydentate ligand construction: intramolecular condensation reactions in the synthesis of imine-containing ligands.  Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions (2002), (10), 2227-2234.

Devereux, M., McCann, M., Leon, V., Geraghty, M., McKee, V. and Wikaira, J.  Synthesis and Biological Activity of Manganese(II) Complexes of Phthalic and Isophthalic acid: X-ray crystal structures of [Mn(ph)(phen)2(H2O)] ·H2O, [Mn(phen)2(H2O)2]2(isoph)2(phen) ·12H2O and {[Mn(isoph)(bipy)]4·2.75bipy}n (phH2 = phthalic acid; isoph = isophthalic acid; phen = 1,10-phenanthroline; bipy = 2,2-bipyridine  Met.-Based Drugs, (2000), 7(5),  275-88.

Turnball, M.M., Wikaira, J.L., and Wilkins, C.J.  A Comparison of the Molecular and Crystal Structures of the Dimethylacetamide Complexes from Zinc Chloride, Bromide and Iodide  Zeitschrift fuer Kristallographie (2000), 215, 702-70.

Devereux, M., McCann, M., Leon, V., Geraghty, M., McKee, V., Wikaira, J.  Synthesis and fungitoxic activity of manganese(II) complexes of fumaric acid: X-ray crystal structures of [Mn(fum)(bipy)(H2O)] and [Mn(Phen)2(H2O)2](fum)×4H2O (fumH2=fumaric acid; bipy=2,2'-bipyridine; phen=1,10-phenanthroline)  Polyhedron  (2000), 19(10), 1205-1211.

McCrea, J., McKee, V., Metcalfe, T., Tandon, S.S., and Wikaira, J.  Geometric control of redox level in tetranuclear manganese and cobalt systems. Inorg. Chim. Acta, (Volume in Honour of Prof. S.J. Lippard) (2000), 297(1-2), 220-230.

Wikaira, J. and Gorun, S.M.  Biological and Biomimetic Catalysis of Manganese Redox Enzymes and Their Inorganic Models. Bioinorganic Catalysis, 2nd Ed. (1999) pp 355 - 422.

Zukerman-Schpector, J., Castellano, E.E., Ceschi, M.A., Brocksom, T.J., Wikaira, J.L. Intermediates in the synthesis of Daphniphyllum alkaloids. I. A tetracyclic oxygen analog.  Acta Crystallogr., Sect. C: Cryst. Struct. Commun. (1997), C53(10), 1482-1483.

McKee, V., Metcalfe, T., Wikaira, J. Hexakis(N,N-dimethylformamide)nickel(II) diperchlorate.  Acta Crystallogr., Sect. C: Cryst. Struct. Commun. (1996), C52(5),  1139-1141.

Gordon, J.L.M., Hartshorn, M.P., Robinson, Ward T., Sies, C.W., Wells, B.A., Wikaira, J.L. and Wright, G.  The reactions of some substituted 2-hydroxybenzonitriles with nitrogen dioxide:  x-ray structures of 2-cyano-t-6-hydroxy-3,4,5,6-tetramethyl-r-4,t-5-dinitrocyclohex-2-enone, 2-cyano-3,4,5,6-tetramethyl-r-4,t-5,t-6-trinitrocyclohex-2-enone and 2-cyano-c-6-hydroxy-4,6-dimethyl-r-4,c-5-dinitrocyclohex-2-enone.  J. Aust. J. Chem. (1990), 43(3),  579-91.

  • Phone: +64 3 364 2100
    Fax: +64 3 364 2110
    Email: chemistry@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Department of Chemistry
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
    New Zealand
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