Jón was born and raised in the small town of Akranes, Iceland. After graduation, he left his hometown and moved to Reykjavik to start his studies at the University of Iceland. During his first year at the University he became fascinated by the wonders of Organic Chemistry, which has continued ever since. As an undergraduate, Jon worked in the laboratory of Professor Jon K. F. Geirsson on the synthesis of antifungal agents. After graduation, he worked at the University of Iceland Science Institute in addition to serving as a teaching assistant at the University. Jon then followed in the footsteps of his Icelandic ancestors and moved west, to America. This journey brought him to New Haven Connecticut, where he chose to pursue a graduate career in Organic Chemistry at Yale University. While at Yale, he joined the research group of a newly hired assistant professor, John L. Wood, after becoming affected by his enthusiasm, energy and exciting new research program. During his doctoral studies Jon worked on the total synthesis of the nonadride natural products CP-225,917 CP-263,114. At the end of his graduate studies Jon was presented with the irresistible offer of moving to New York City to work in the laboratory of Professor Samuel J. Danishefsky the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). While in the Danishefsky group, as a General Motors Cancer Research Scholar, he worked on the total syntheses of the natural products epothilone 490 and migrastatin. Jon moved to Ithaca in 2004 to start his independent career at Cornell University, where he launched a research program focused on natural products and the development of new methods. In 2010 Jon and his group loaded the wagons, journeyed across the continent, and settled in Tucson where he is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arizona.