Our Group


Research Interests

The composition of airborne particulate matter in Asian and African megacities is influenced by a complex range of factors, including residential coal/refuse burning, emissions from “dirty” vehicles, and desert dust incursions. Closer to home, metal-rich aerosols are also present in the Athabasca oil sands region and in areas influenced by industrial and mining activities.

Our research focuses on chemistry and photochemistry occurring in these metal- and soot-rich aerosol populations, with the ultimate goal of improving our understanding of urban air quality in developing regions.

Graduate Students

  • Maya Abou-Ghanem
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    Maya is working towards her M.Sc. in Analytical and Environmental Chemistry. She grew up in the VERY small town of Vulcan, Alberta (“live long and prosper”). She completed her undergrad at the University of Alberta with a double major in Chemistry and Biology. After graduation, she began working for the Biogeochemical Analytical Service Laboratory at the University of Alberta. In this lab she learned to test water for various components and parameters. It was during this time she developed a passion for studying and monitoring the environment. Maya is very excited to be a part of the Styler Group; she hopes her research will aid in solving environmental issues pertaining to our atmosphere. Maya is currently working on constructing a dust aerosol flow tube apparatus that will allow for analysis on dust and gas interactions.

  • Mario Schmidt
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    Since Autumn 2016 I have been studying at the University of Alberta as PhD student in the Analytical Chemistry division. This path began at the University of Leipzig in Germany. During my Bachelor studies I developed my passion for Analytical Chemistry focussing on GC-EI-MS method development in metabolomic research.

    With this in mind I focussed on Analytical Chemistry in Master studies too and experienced the interesting relation to Environmental Chemistry. Consequently I began my postgraduate studies for Toxicology and Environmental Protection at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Leipzig during my Master studies.

    I finished my Master thesis in Leipzig in the research group of Professor Dr. Detlev Belder focussing on method development of microfluidic Lab-On-a-Chip devices coupled to ESI-Mass Spectrometry in year 2015. Shortly afterwards I had the fantastic opportunity to become a part of the Competence Center Analytics of the BASF SE in Ludwigshafen for a unique research visit working on (2D)-HPLC-MS/MS method development.

    Finally I finished my thesis for postgraduate studies in Toxicology in June 2016 at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (Fraunhofer IZI) in Rostock (Germany) in cooperation with the hospital of the University of Rostock about an HPLC-ESI-MS method development for the quantitative analysis of an loop diuretic in human plasma & urine samples and uremic toxins in human plasma samples.

    Now my research focusses on the investigation of dust–pollutant interactions in an atmospheric reaction chamber and designing an online GC-MS system for chamber experiments.

Undergraduate Students

  • Chelsea Cote
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    Chelsea is working towards her B.Sc. Specialization Degree in Chemistry at the University of Alberta, with a strong interest in analytical chemistry. She is the recipient of the Lloyd and Margaret Cooley Memorial Studentship in Analytical Chemistry, where this studentship will fund part of her research endeavour in the Styler Research Group. She will be working to study photochemical reactions occurring at the surface of dust particles in the atmosphere. During her previous one year internship Chelsea has worked at the RCMP Forensic Laboratory through the Science Internship Program doing FT-IR analysis of automotive paint to aid in hit and run case analysis by creating the searchable Paint Data Query database of known automotive paint. She has had multiple volunteer experiences related to the natural sciences which contributed to her passion for science and lab related work. Chelsea looks forward to gain research experience and to further her knowledge in the analytical and environmental chemistry field. With her research she hopes to further progress the goal of the research group to understand and improve the urban air quality in regions around the globe.

  • Sherry Gao
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    Sherry is working towards her B.Sc. in Engineering at the University of Alberta. She developed a strong interest in environment studies at a young age; growing up appreciating this magnificent planet, she was eager to learn more and eventually apply her knowledge. Through the participation in various volunteering activities and student clubs, she had gained more understanding as to what she can do as an individual. While interested in many aspects of sustainable development, a summer job at the University of Alberta Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department Research Lab studying Arctic Hurricane encouraged her to explore things “beyond her reach”.

    She is excited about this learning opportunity with Dr. Styler’s Research Group where she will be working alongside like-minded peers, sharing their passion for environment and science, and exploring research interests for the future. In the Styler Group, Sherry will be working to design and build equipment for generation of dust aerosol in the lab.

  • Stephanie Schneider
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    Stephanie is working towards her B.Sc. Honors Degree in Chemistry, with an interest in environmental chemistry. She is funded by the Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI), working on quantifying the production of OH radicals by dust.

Alumni