Meet the Team

The ‘team’ is Dr. Mark Coster. 🙂 Mark makes stuff.

When he’s not making stuff, he’s teaching other people how to make stuff. Mark was one of those kids who loved nothing more than to build things out of Lego. He still feels that joy, but now his ‘stuff’ is molecules that he builds from atoms.

He occasionally writes biographies in third person. 😉

And he still likes Lego too.

Mark’s Teaching Style

Good Logical Communicator
Easy to understand. Good logical communicator making sure the student really learns.
Claire Joy
Highly Recommend!
Mark has incredible knowledge of organic chemistry and has a clear, articulate and enjoyable teaching style that would benefit any organic chemistry student. Highly recommend!
Andrew Pearson
Helped me step back… and figure out different ways to approach problems
In my experience, he has not only helped me solve problems by giving me tips and answering my questions but helped me step back with each problem and figure out different ways to approach problems. Thank you!
Susana Garcia
Muito Obregado!
His positive attitude and passion for mentoring / helping.
Good for IB HL as well as college students. Muito obregado!
Doug Abshire

My Organic Chemistry Journey

My 20+ year obsession with Organic Chemistry took me from an undergraduate BSc Hons (Class I) in sunny Brisbane to the University of Cambridge for a PhD. There, I fell in love with the challenge of total synthesis – building up a complex organic molecule from simple building blocks. I returned to Australia and the beautiful cobalt blue skies of the nation’s capital, Canberra, to do a postdoc in organic synthesis at the Australian National University.

From there, I moved to The University of Sydney to start an independent career as a teaching and research academic. After a few years in bustling Sydney, I moved back to my home town of Brisbane to take up a research-focused position at Griffith University in the Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery (now Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery). In more recent years, at Griffith University, my teaching involvement increased and I began to experiment with new methods and new technologies for my teaching. I was excited by the possibilities, but competing demands of research and administration left me with little time to really explore new innovations.

In 2018, I decided to embark on a bold new venture and focus on helping students of Organic Chemistry more directly, in a way that could never achieve while still in a University role. Hence, Organic Chemistry Explained was born! My goal is to help as many students as possible, across the globe, to achieve success in Organic Chemistry.

Better Teaching, Better Learning

For more than 15 years, I’ve been teaching Organic Chemistry to students from 1st year to graduate students. In recent years, three things have struck me:

  1. Most Organic Chemistry Professors pitch their lectures to the students who already ‘get it’, leaving many students struggling to keep up after week 3.
  2. Modern web technologies, such as on-demand video and interactive web apps have enormous, under-used potential in helping students learn tough concepts.
  3. Practice via exam-style problems is the most effective means for students to not only self-assess but, more importantly, improve their understanding of Organic Chemistry.

What Students are Saying…

Got a 93 on the exam!
YESSS thank you so much. I love how you drew out all the forms from the structural to how the pi bonds look as well as the molecular orbital theory super helpful. There was a huge weighted question on this subject and I got all the points since you broke it down so well, thanks again:)
YouTube user
Most helpful lecturer I’ve ever had.
3rd Year
Organic Chemistry student

Why This Site?

Organic Chemistry has an undeserved reputation as being tough – some even call it the “Weed Out” course. This site aims to banish that by address the three observations above. My posts are designed to support you in deeply learning key concepts in Organic Chemistry. They’re more like interactive tutorials than simple blog posts. This is followed by lots of exam-style practice problems, worked answers and explainer videos.

Countless studies, and my own personal experience show, the best way to learn, particularly in Organic Chemistry is to continually test yourself. The best way to master the fundamental concepts of organic chemistry is to use flash cards. That’s why I also partnered with Quizlet, as a verified creator, to create premium quality, online flash cards for Organic Chemistry!