The Team

Most Recent Group Photo

Group meeting 20210503

Taken May 03, 2021
Top row left to right: Chester,  Ran,  Erica, Jenny
Middle row left to right: Ariel, Timothy, Max, Vikram
Bottom row left to right:  Shuang, Tania, Tolu

Principal Investigator:


Ran Zhao (Assistant Professor of Chemistry)

BSc, PhD – University of Toronto
Postdoc – California Institute of Technology

Ran is an enthusiastic Atmospheric Chemist performing active research to understand the role of chemistry in the air that we breathe. He obtained his PhD degree at the University of Toronto in Dr. Jonathan Abbatt’s lab. Ran worked as an NSERC postdoc fellow at California Institute of Technology (Supervisors: Dr. John Seinfeld and Dr. Paul Wennberg) before joining the University of Alberta in 2018.  Check out his personal publication list at Reseachgate: 

Graduate Students:

Tania GautamTania Gautam

Tania completed her BSc Specialization in Chemistry degree with SIP in 2018 at the University of Alberta. During her undergraduate studies, she joined Dr. Sarah Styler’s group on the analysis of organosulfate formation in dust particles. After her undergraduate project completion, she further acquired research experience in environmental analytical lab at ALS, Calgary, and National Research Council (NRC), Edmonton.
Tania joined the Zhao group in 2018 as a PhD student and is currently working on the development of an HPLC-Fluorescence technique for the analysis of organic peroxides in SOA. Her research goal involves a direct comparison between pre and post-column treatments for detection of organic peroxides in varying sample matrices.


Max Loebel Roson

Max completed a B.Sc in Environmental & Analytical Science and a B.Sc. Hons. in Chemical Instrumentation at the Limerick Institute of Technology in Ireland. His undergraduate research focused on the study of matrix effects on the absorption of heavy metals by macro algae. Since then, his research interests have expanded towards atmospheric chemistry. Max joined the Zhao Group as a PhD student in 2018. His research is now focused on the study of organic aerosol particles emitted from solid fuel burning. He is now one step closer to completing the ancient Greek Water, Earth, Wind and Fire transition.

Shuang Wu 2

Shuang Wu

Shuang completed her BSc and MSc degrees in Atmospheric Science from Nanjing University in (MSc – 2018). During the past few years of research, she participated in projects on haze hazards, air quality, and urban climate planning. Since then, Shuang’s interest in atmospheric chemistry has grown, and she joined the Zhao Group as a PhD student in 2019. Her current research is to study the partitioning coefficients of volatile organic compounds in the indoor environment, with a particular focus on Henry’s law constants. She will be taking an approach combining experiments and box models.


Xinyang (Timothy) Guo 

Timothy completed his BSc degree of Environmental Chemistry Specialist at the University of Toronto. His undergraduate research was focusing on the loss of ammonium species from fertilized urban lands. During his undergraduate period, Timothy has developed strong interests and capabilities to work as an atmospheric chemist. Timothy joined the Zhao group in the fall of 2019, and his current research is focusing on the development of an online direct injection mass spectrometer, which can aid in the real-time analysis of ambient aerosol.

Vikram Choudhary

Vikram Choudhary

Vikram is a visiting doctoral student from Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur in India. He has joined the Zhao Group in January 2021. He completed his B.Tech. in Civil Engineering from NIT Jalandhar (India) and MS in Environmental Engineering at IIT Kanpur (India). His past research work includes analysis of absorption and radiative characteristics of brown carbon aerosols in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. He is currently investigating photochemical and aqueous-phase processing of organic aerosols from solid fuel burning.

Rowshon Afroz

Mst Rowshon Afroz

Rowshon completed her BSc and MSc in Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her graduate research was on the study of heavy metal contamination in soil, sediment, fish, groundwater, surface water, and vegetables in Ishurdi, Pabna. After completing her graduation, she worked in the Quality Assurance department of a pharmaceutical company. She joined the Zhao group in Sep 2021 as a graduate student and doing research on the use of low-cost air quality sensors for monitoring IAQ (Indoor air quality) in a variety of indoor environments.

Undergraduate Students and Research Associates:


Erica Kim

Erica is in her third year of Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Chemistry. She joined the Zhao group in 2020 May. She has participated in projects investigating the Henry’s Law Constants of flavoring agents used in e-cigarettes and Hookah tobacco as well as for volatile organic compounds. She also worked on investigating the reactions that flavoring agents undergo in a media mimicking e-liquid.

Jenny Chau Khac Jenny Chau Khac

Jenny is in her third year of BSc degree in Chemistry. She joined the Zhao group in 2020 May as a summer research assistant, funded by the U of A Undergraduate Research Initiatie (URI) and International Student Work Experience Program (ISWEP). She led the method development of Dithiothreitol (DTT) assay in determining the toxicity of particulate matter arising from biomass burning. Currently, she is a CHEM399 student in the group, and her project applies DTT assay to investigate the toxicity of solid fuels in different burning conditions and chemical compositions.


Wayne Cheng 

Wyane worked in the Zhao group from 2019 to 2020 as a CHEM399 student. He improved a SPE method for herbicide (2,4-D) in stormwater ponds. He rejoined the group in 2021 as a part-time technician, in charge of the assembly of low-costs air quality sensors.


MSc Graduate
Jessica Lima Amorim

Undergraduate students
Sophie Shi -U of A Materials Engineering
Meng Wang – Pharmacy, U of A
Jeff Ma
Keifer Klimchuk – graduate school, U of A
Christian Fotang
Ryan Duruisseau-Kuntz – Nova Medical Testing
Carter Kuiper
Chester Lau – Le group, U of A
Steven Chen
Rhea Fang
Siti Hayati
Ariel Delorme
Toluwatise Ehindero – University of Calgary