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).   

Carolin Feyerabend

Carolin completed her B.Sc. in chemistry at the Technical University of Munich and is currently doing her M.Sc., specialising in inorganic and analytical chemistry. In 2016, she completed her bachelor’s thesis at the chair of technical electrochemistry under the supervision of Prof. Hubert Gasteiger, during which she investigated the kinetics of the oxygen evolution reaction in water electrolysis on a IrOx catalyst. Further work included the investigation of antibiotics in milk in the group of Prof. Reinhard Niessner in 2017 and the synthesis and reactivity of a silanone in the group of Prof. Shigeyoshi Inoue in 2018.


Carolin joined the Abbatt group in September 2018 as an international visiting graduate student and will focus her research on the oxidation processes of brown carbon in the aqueous phase.

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.

Tengyu Liu

Tengyu obtained his Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015. During his graduate research, he studied the secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from gasoline vehicle exhaust (GVE) and the synergy effects between inorganic gases (SO2 and NH3) and GVE in forming secondary aerosols. Prior to joining the Abbatt group, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in City University of Hong Kong, investigating SOA formation from cooking emissions. He joined the Abbatt group as a postdoctoral fellow in September 2018. His current research focuses on the S(IV) oxidation in wet aerosols.

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.  

Aaron Wylie

Aaron completed his B.Sc. in chemistry at the University of British Columbia in April 2018, where he conducted research with Dr. Wesley Zandberg. His research consisted of developing analytical methods for the selective quantitation and chromatographic separation of sialic acids in biological matrices using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC-ESIMS). This work sparked his interest in instrumental analysis, and he joined the Abbatt group in September 2018. His research involves studying the heterogeneous and multiphase oxidative aging of molecules and aerosols emitted from biomass burning (e.g. cigarettes and wildfires) in both the indoor and outdoor environments.

Jie Yu

Jie is a 4th year undergraduate student in Chemistry Specialist Program at U of T. She joined the Abbatt group in September 2018 as a CHM499 student. Her research topic is about the heterogeneous chlorination of gaseous HOCl with simple amino acids, peptides and amino acid derivatives. Over the past few summers, Jie had participated in researches focusing on the eutrophication due to the inorganic nitrogen and active phosphate pollution concentrates in shoals, the preliminary study on the organic matter activity and the regeneration potential of nutrients in the East China Sea sediments in China. Jie loves traveling and looking up at the stars.

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.

Past Group Members