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.
- Maya Abou-Ghanem
Maya is working towards her Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry. She grew up in the small town of Vulcan, Alberta and 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, where she used flow injection analysis to quantify nitrogen and phosphorous content in fresh water. It was during this time that 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 studying the interactions of dust aerosol with atmospheric pollutants.
- Ming Lyu
Ming is from China and she joined this group as a Ph.D. student in 2016. She got her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and her M.Sc. in Industrial catalysis. She worked as research assistant in the Hubei Research Institute of chemistry for 4 years before she decided to pursue her further education as a Ph.D. Ming has been holding a great interest in photochemistry and Environmental research since college. She studied the photocatalysis of synthesized TiO2 microspheres in the wastewater treatment for her bachelor thesis and chose the utilization & purification of industrial gases as the research area for her Master’s degree. Now she is studying the atmospheric carbonaceous particles that primarily come from combustion processes, such as biomass burning and wildfires, with a focus on its chemical and optical properties.
- Mario Schmidt
Since Autumn 2016 I have been studying at the University of Alberta as a graduate 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 an interesting relation to Environmental Chemistry. Consequently, I began my postgraduate studies for Toxicology and Environmental Protection at the Faculty of Medicine at 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 the year 2015. Shortly afterward 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.
- Alexandra Burnett
Alex is currently working towards her M.Sc. in Environmental/Analytical Chemistry. She grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and completed her undergraduate degree in honours chemistry at the University of Manitoba. During the course of her undergraduate degree, Alex worked as a student researcher in Dr. Gregg Tomy’s group and worked on several projects over the summer involving Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). She also completed an honours project, which involved working to develop an LC-MS/MS method that quantified antibiotics in order to study the effect of adjuvants on antibiotic resistant bacteria. Alex is thrilled to be starting her master’s degree and is excited to be a part of the Styler group. Currently, she is working on quantifying hydroxyl radicals produced by dust using a molecular probe.
- Laura Matchett
Laura is currently working towards her M.Sc. in Analytical/Environmental Chemistry. She completed her undergrad at the University of Calgary in Chemistry. During an NSERC funded undergraduate summer project, she completed research in Dr. Viola Birss’ electrochemistry group on nanoporous carbon supports for ethanol oxidation. She went on to do a full year honors research project in Dr. Hans Osthoff’s atmospheric chemistry group looking at measuring nitrate aerosols (NH3NO3 and NaNO3) by thermal dissociation cavity ring-down spectroscopy (TD-CRDS). This project sparked her interest in atmospheric chemistry, and she is excited to be working with the Styler group. Her current project focuses on the uptake of trace gases (e.g. O3, NO2) on non-exhaust particulate matter in the atmosphere.
- Iris Chan
Iris is working towards her M.Sc. in Chemistry after completing her undergraduate co-op degree at the University of Waterloo in Biochemistry, where she studied the alignment of multi-walled carbon nanotubes using organic molecules under Dr. Derek Schipper as her Honours research project. However, it was through her co-op positions at places such as Environment Canada and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories that sparked her interest in analytical environmental chemistry. She aims to use chemistry to study current environmental issues/applications. Iris is currently studying the presence of PAHs in wildfire ash and their photochemical transformations in the environment.
- Katica Naude
Katica is an undergraduate student from Edmonton, Alberta, working towards a Bachelor of Science, focusing on chemistry and environmental science. She is excited to be working in the Styler group doing NSERC undergraduate research this summer, exploring the photochemical degradation of surfactants in acrylic paints in the presence of TiO2 (a common paint pigment), part of a new project for the group in art conservation chemistry. Katica hopes that the group’s research in this field will help guide art conservators to best preserve paintings over the long term.