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 at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (Germany) and the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry at York University in Toronto (Canada). She joined the Abbatt group in September 2015 as PhD student where her research focuses on the understanding of ice clouds with a special interest on biological ice nucleating particles such as pollen relevant for ice forming processes. Studies involve laboratory and field experiments using the University of Toronto Continuous Flow Diffusion Chamber (UT-CFDC), drop freezing experiments and a Portable Ambient Particle Concentrator (PAPC). 


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 focuses on oxidation of organic aerosol particles, with a focus on brown carbon aerosol and in-cloud oxidation processes.

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. 

Alina Trofimova

Alina Trofimova was born and raised in Siberia, Russia. She is going into her fifth year of the Chemistry Specialist program at the University of Toronto. In 2017 she worked in Dr. Andrei Yudin organic synthesis laboratory investigating the asymmetric hydrogenation of boron-containing enamides. She also worked under supervision of Dr. Shaozhong Ge as an international visiting student in Singapore where her research was focused on the copper-catalysed hydrosilylation of conjugated dienes. She is currently working as a CGCS Summer Undergraduate Intern Programme recipient in Dr. Jonathan Abbatt group under the supervision of Dr. Elijah Schnitzler on 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.  

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 unsaturated compounds (e.g. cooking oil) with ozone, with primary focuses on the kinetics and products. New analytical techniques for measuring complex triglycerides and oxygenated products using LC-MS will be developed in this project.

Bob Christensen

Past Group Members