Group News

The Abbatt Group and Alumni at IAC2018

Elijah and Zilin attended the 10th International Aerosol Conference (IAC 2018) held in St. Louis, MO from September 2-7. Elijah presented his research on photochemical aging of light-absorbing biomass burning aerosol and Zilin presented his work on the condensed-phase ozonolysis of an unsaturated triglyceride. During the conference, the Abbatt group had a reunion with alumni around the world. Hope to see you all again in the next conference!

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Chen Participated at HOMEChem for Indoor Chemistry Studies

Chen recently participated in the HOMEChem field campaign (House Observations of Microbial and Environmental Chemistry) in the test house at University of Texas, Austin. This field campaign, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, involves over 20 research groups from 13 universities to study chemistry in indoor environments. Chen was operating our Time-of-flight Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry, measuring gas phase organic acids, HONO, and HNCO during the campaign.


In July, Chen also attended the Indoor Air conference in Philadelphia and gave an oral presentation entitled “Nucleation of ultrafine particles arising from oxidation of cigarette smoke in indoor environments”. 

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Ellen Outbound to Europe for Ice Nucleation Research

Her first stop was Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station in Southern Finland, where she set up the particle concentrator for an international field research campaign on ice formation in the atmosphere.


At her 2nd stop, Ellen attended the INUIT Final Conference/ 2nd Atmospheric Ice Nucleation Conference from February 26 March 1 in Grasellenbach (Germany) the final conference of the INUIT project. She presented results from the first evaluation of the Portable Ambient Particle Concentrator (PAPC) during the CLACE/INUIT field campaign at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch in winter 2017.


Her last and longest stop was a 1-month visit for all of March in the Lab and field group led by Dr. Zamin Kanji, part of the Lohmann group at ETH Zurich, to use their new drop freezing setup to study pollen as ice nucleating particles for warm temperatures between 0 and -30 °C.


Ellen also attended the 52nd CMOS Congress in Halifax during June 11 14 and presented preliminary results from her research stay at ETH Zurich earlier in the year.

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Steph and Rachel Attend the CIMS User Meeting 2018

Steph and Rachel attended the annual CIMS Users Meeting 2018 at the University of Washington in Seattle  from June 6 - 9. They joined the researchers around the globe for discussions on chemical ionization mass spectrometry.

The Abbatt Group at AGU2017

Elijah, Steph, Megan, and Rachel traveled to New Orleans for the AGU 2017 meeting from December 11-15. They presented their research in the following poster sessions: Transformations and Fate of Organic Gases and Particles in the Atmosphere, Laboratory Studies in Atmospheric Sciences, Tropospheric Composition in Cold Environments: Sources, Processes, and Impacts, and Reactivity and Cycling of Organic and Inorganic Compounds in the Atmospheric Multiphase System. It was Steph's, Rachel's, and Elijah's first time going to an AGU conference and they had a great week! Megan, a veteran AGU attendee, also had a great time!

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Congratulations Dr. Mungall!

Emma defended her PhD thesis titled" Natural sources of volatile organic compounds to the summer Arctic troposphere" on November 27th! Emma made gas phase measurements with the Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer in the Arctic aboard the CCGS Amundsen and at a ground site in Alert, Nunavut. 

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Congratulations Dr. Willis!

Megan defended her PhD thesis titled "Natural and Anthropogenic Influences on High Arctic Aerosol" on November 15th! Megan was involved in 2 field campaigns to the Arctic where she conducted measurements of aerosol composition with the aerosol mass spectrometer aboard the AWI Polar6 research aircraft. 

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Rachel attends the 254th ACS meeting in Washington, DC!

Rachel attended the 254th ACS National meeting held in Washington, DC during August 20 - 24. She presented her research in the session on Multi-Phase Environmental Chemistry of Aerosols, in the Division of Environmental Chemistry.  Her presentation shared first prize for the best graduate student presentation award! Congrats Rachel!

The Abbatt group welcomes two new students!

Steph Schneider and Zilin Zhou joined the Abbatt group as MSc  students this fall. Steph did her BSc at the University of Alberta, where she worked in the Styler Group research reactive oxygen species formed on dust. Her research in the Abbatt group will focus on using CIMS to study reactions that take place at the sea surface microlayer. Zilin did his BSc at the University of Ottawa, where he did undergraduate research at the A.E. Lalonde accelerator mass spectrometry lab. His work in the Abbatt group will focus on condensed-phase indoor ozonolysis of complex samples such as cooking oil and skin oil.

Chen, Jennifer and Megan attend ACCESS XIV

Chen, Jennifer and Megan attended the 14th ACCESS meeting held at Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island during July 27 - 31. They presented their research to the group of 25 ACCESS participants and then attended the Gordon Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry in Newry, Maine. It was a great week!

Jennifer leaves for Wooster

Jennifer has moved on from the Abbatt group to the College of Wooster in Ohio. She will start this fall as an assistant professor of chemistry, where her research will focus on the chemical composition and reactivity of rain water. Check out her group website!


Rachel, Emma, Rio and Megan presented their work at the 17th annual Environmental Chemistry Colloquium on May 1 and 2. Students, post-docs and faculty in Environmental Chemistry come together at ECC to hear about all the great work being done in our department. The ECC was held at Miller Lash House this year, and despite the rain we all enjoyed ourselves!

Welcome Chen and Elijah

In April the Abbatt group welcomed two new post-docs!


Elijah did his PhD at the University of Alberta, where he studied atmospheric aggregates from the molecular-scale to the nano-scale in aerosol particles. His research interests in the Abbatt group focus on mechanisms of absorption in brown carbon.


Chen completed her PhD at UTSC with Prof. Frank Wania, where she studied the impact of salts on phase partitioning of atmospherically relevant molecules (Sets-"CHEN"-ow constants). In the Abbatt group, Chen is studying SOA formation from cigarette smoke.

Megan goes to the CATCH meeting

In April, Megan attended the first CATCH workshop in Guyancourt, France. The emerging IGAC activity called the Cryosphere and ATmospheric CHemistry or CATCH aims to bring together scientists studying the chemistry, biology and physics in cold regions. It was a great meeting! 

Goodbye to Julia and welcome to Rio and Heather

The group has said goodbye to Julia who has worked extensively on the NETCARE campaigns to the arctic over the last 3 years. We will miss you Julia and wish you all the best in the future!


We have welcomed to the group Rio, a masters student, who is working with the SP-AMS to better calibrate mixed black carbon particles and Heather, an undergraduate student working with Jennifer, who is exploring some indoor surface chemistry of bleach. 

Megan goes to University of Washington

Megan has gone to visit the Thornton group at the University of Washington in Seattle for the summer. She is collaborating in an aircraft deployment of a new approach to measuring aerosol composition using time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Good luck Megan!

Emma goes to Alert!

Emma is on her way to Alert, Nunavut along with Greg (from the Murphy group) and scientists from Environment and Climate Change Canada. They will be in Alert for 6 weeks where they are deploying the iodide-CIMS, OH-CIMS, and the AIM-IC, along with other instrumentation already running at Alert. Keep an eye on the NETCARE research blog for updates on their campaign. Good luck in Alert!!

Goodbye to Alex

The group said goodbye to Alex this week. He is off to start his own research group in Singapore, where he will continue his work with the SP-AMS and single particle studies with particular interest in (among other things) the processing of biomass burning aerosol in this unique environment. Alex has been an integral part of the group for a number of years. We will miss you, Alex!

Emma and Rachel go to the CIMS users meeting

Emma and Rachel travelled to Boulder, Colorado to present their work at the 2016 CIMS users meeting and learn more about how other research groups are using the CIMS for atmospheric measurements. 



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Welcome Jeremy!

We welcomed Jeremy Hsieh, an undergraduate student from Queens University, to the group this month. Jeremy is a Centre for Global Change Science (CGCS) summer student, and he will be working with Rachel and Shouming to study the formation of hydroxyl radicals in secondary organic aerosol. 

Congratulations Cuyler!

The group said goodbye to Cuyler last week as he completed his MSc. Cuyler's work focused on understanding the formation of environmentally persistent free radicals in particulate matter using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. 

Congratulations Dr. Borduas!

Congratulations to Nadine who defended her PhD this week! Nadine's research focused on the fate of nitrogen containing compounds in the atmosphere. 

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New Group Website

The new Abbatt Group Website, designed and implemented by Bob Christensen, is now live. Exciting research updates and group news will be posted here on the news page.

Recent 2015 Grads

Congratulations to this years June graduates Jenny Wong and Ran Zhao who defended their PhDs in April, and Crystal Chen who completed her BSc.  Jenny and Ran are now both off to postdoc positions in the States. Crystal completed an undergraduate project in the group in summer 2014, and is heading to MIT to do ultrafast spectroscopy studies.