College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences


 UCR Alumni Dr. Dennis Owsley received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry under the direction of Prof. George Helmkamp. After his graduation he started work at Monsanto in St. Louis where over the next 27 years he participated in successful projects in photochemistry, gas phase/solid state chemistry, process chemistry and discovery, enzyme inhibitors, microbiology, and protein chemistry. He also taught college level chemistry as an adjunct professor in the 1970’s and 1980’s. In 1996, Dr. Owsley retired from Monsanto as a Senior Science Fellow, 1 of 30 individuals to hold that position. He has had a parallel career since 1983 in jazz radio and will achieve 30 years of bringing a jazz radio show, “Jazz Unlimited” to St. Louis on St. Louis Public Radio 90.7 FM. His show has won “Best in St. Louis” six of the last eight years. He also published a book, “City of Gabriels: The Jazz History of St. Louis 1895-1974” in 2006 which has won a national award. Dr. Owsley is also known for his photography of jazz musicians that have landed in album covers, photo exhibits, websites and a music textbook. Occasionally, he writes pieces for St. Louis Magazine and the St. Louis Beacon. On a final note, he has always said, “People trained as organic chemists can do anything” and Dr. Owsley has aptly demonstrated that ideal.


You can visit Dr Owsley’s websites at the url’s listed below:

Radio -

Photography -


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