Group Members

Jon Abbatt (PI)

Jon obtained his BSc from the UofT Chemistry Department in 1984 and spent 16 years in the United States (Harvard PhD, MIT Post Doc, University of Chicago Assistant/Associate Professor) before returning to UofT. His research interests are in atmospheric and environmental chemistry, with a focus on particulate, cloud, and indoor chemistry. Specific research topics include: rates and mechanisms of multiphase chemistry in outdoor and indoor environments; the role of particles in promoting the formation of both liquid water and ice  clouds; field measurements of VOCs and aerosol composition especially in remote regions such as the Arctic; aerosol chemistry related to  health effects.


Jon has been on the editorial boards of Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, Scientific Reports, Energy and Environmental Science, and Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres. He is a member of the NASA/JPL Data Evaluation Panel for Atmosphere Modeling and was co-chair of the 2011 Gordon Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry.  He has served on the scientific steering committee of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry project (2011-2014) and on the NSERC Grant Selection Committee for physical and analytical chemistry. He has been given the Canadian Institute for Chemistry (CIC) Environmental Research Award (2012), was made a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2013), was elected to the Royal Society of Canada (2014) and was given a Killam Research Fellowship (2015).   He is the principal investigator of a large NSERC-funded climate-clouds-aerosols research network, NETCARE (Network on Climate and Aerosols: Addressing Key Uncertainties in Remote Canadian Environments).   

Doug Collins

Doug obtained his BA in chemistry from Colgate University in 2008, and subsequently received an MS and PhD in atmospheric chemistry from the University of California, San Diego with Prof. Kimberly Prather.  During grad school, he focused on the physicochemical and biogeochemical processes that affect the production, mixing state, and properties of cloud condensation nuclei in the marine environment.  After finishing his degree in 2014, Doug stayed at UCSD and served as Laboratory Manager of the Prather Research Group as well as Managing Director of the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment (CAICE) until January 2016.  As a postdoctoral fellow in the Abbatt Group starting in March 2016, Doug is participating in a NETCARE field campaign aboard the CCGS Amundsen to study the interactions of the ocean and atmosphere in the Canadian Arctic.  In addition, he will conduct a project in which techniques typically employed for outdoor atmospheric chemistry will be used to study chemical processes involving carbonaceous aerosol particles in the indoor environment. Doug's research interests include the connections of atmospheric chemistry with both climate and human health, advancing analytical techniques for environmental chemistry, and improving science communication.

Ellen Gute

Ellen studied chemistry and meteorology and obtained her Diploma in Meteorology from the University of Mainz in May 2014. During her studies, Ellen worked in the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (Germany) and in the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry at York University in Toronto (Canada). Her Diploma project consisted on the detection of trace gases in the atmosphere using laser spectroscopy. She joined the Abbatt group in September 2015 as PhD student. In the Abbatt group, Ellen's research focuses on the understanding of ice clouds which will be studied by combining laboratory experiments with field measurements. This will be possible with the help of cloud chambers such as the University of Toronto Continuous Flow Diffusion Chamber (UT-CFDC) and the Spectrometer for Ice Nuclei (SPIN).

Rachel Hems

Rachel completed her Bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Guelph in 2014. Her interest in atmospheric chemistry was sparked by her undergraduate work with Dr. Jennifer Murphy (U of T) and Dr. Cora Young (MUN), using analytical techniques like ion chromatography and liquid chromatography- mass spectrometry (LCMS). In the Abbatt group, Rachel's research will focus on oxidation of organic aerosol: both by heterogeneous and condensed phase processes.

Emma Mungall

Emma joined the group in Spring 2013 as a PhD student. She obtained her Bachelor's degree from McGill Chemistry in 2012. During the course of her undergraduate study, she carried out undergrad research in materials chemistry. Emma's thesis is part of NETCARE, and focuses on the application of high resolution chemical ionization mass spectrometry (CIMS) to the characterization and quantification of ambient organic species, with ties to the effect of air-sea interactions on marine aerosol formation and growth, mainly in the summer Arctic.

Stephanie Schneider

Stephanie completed her B.Sc. at the University of Alberta in chemistry in June 2017. During her undergraduate studies, she worked with Dr. Sarah Styler to quantify the reactive oxygen species produced photochemically from both road dust and mineral dust. It was this project that got her interested in studying atmospheric chemistry, and she joined the Abbatt group in September 2017 for her M.Sc. Her current work focuses on the quantification of the organic compounds volatilizing from the sea-surface microlayer, and how those compounds interact with common oxidants in the atmosphere. 

Elijah Schnitzler

Elijah obtained his PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Alberta. During his graduate research, he investigated atmospherically-relevant aggregates ranging in size from molecular-scale complexes to nano-scale aerosol particles. Using rotational spectroscopy, he studied the structure and internal dynamics of pre-nucleation clusters of carboxylic acids and water. Using smog chamber experiments, he studied the structural evolution of soot aggregates induced by liquid coatings, including secondary organic aerosol. He joined the Abbatt group in April 2017, and his current research interests include the role of non-covalent interactions in the absorptivity of brown carbon aerosol. 

Chen Wang

Chen completed her B.Sc and M.Sc in Environmental Science at Nankai University and Peking University in 2012. She studied organic contaminants (PBDEs, PAHs, and pesticides) in the air in northern China during her masters. In 2016, Chen obtained her PhD in Environmental Chemistry at University of Toronto with Prof. Frank Wania. Her PhD research has focused on phase partitioning during secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation. She has measured the influence of salt effect on aqueous phase partitioning and developed models to predict SOA formation. Chen joined the Abbatt group as a postdoctoral fellow in April 2017 to study secondary organic aerosol formation from cigarette smoking in indoor environment.  

Rio Wilkie

 Rio completed his BSc in chemistry at the University of Alberta in 2014 and joined the Abbatt research group as a MSc student in September 2016. He had the opportunity to undertake an internship through his undergrad degree and  performed research at Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures (AITF). His work there mainly focused on electrochemically analyzing the corrosivity of brackish waters in simulated water pipeline environments. Rio’s MSc project in the Abbatt group focusses on analytically exploring and fine-tuning calibration procedure of the soot particle aerosol mass spectrometer (SP-AMS).

Megan Willis

Megan obtained her BSc in chemistry and mathematics in 2011 from Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, British Columbia. She joined the Abbatt group as a PhD student in  2012. Her research has focused on characterization of the Aerodyne soot-particle aerosol mass spectrometer (SP-AMS) and its application to field studies to understand the chemical composition and mixing state of ambient soot particles. More recently, Megan has been involved in NETCARE projects, where she deployed the group's HR-ToF-AMS with an SP-module onboard the AWI research aircraft Polar 6 to characterize the composition of both natural and anthropogenic aerosol in the Arctic summer and spring.

Shouming Zhou

 Shouming completed his PhD at University of Wuppertal, Germany, where he investigated the gas-phase degradation of oxygenated species. Prior to joining the group, Shouming worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University College Cork, Ireland, where his research focused on the atmospheric chemistry of PAHs and toxicological effects of Secondary Organic Aerosol from the photooxidation of PAHs. As a research associate in the Abbatt Group, Shouming built three reaction chambers used for a variety of aerosol and gas-phase chemistry studies. In his own projects he investigates the atmospheric chemistry of PAHs in both indoor and outdoor environments and has developed analytical techniques and methods to characterize indoor air pollutants.

Zilin Zhou

 Zilin completed his B.Sc. in chemistry at the University of Ottawa in April 2017. His undergraduate research at the A.E. Lalonde AMS laboratory at uOttawa focused on the development of new analytical techniques for radium, plutonium and polonium measurements in environmental samples utilizing accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). He joined the Abbatt group in summer 2017. His current and future research includes indoor air studies on the formation of Criegee biradicals resulting from the heterogeneous oxidation of olefin with ozone, as well as their potential reactions with skin oil. New analytical techniques for measuring complex fatty acids using IMS-MS and LC-MS will be developed in this project.

Bob Christensen