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.

Shakiba Talebian

Shakiba Talebian 

Shakiba completed her B.Sc in Chemistry at the Sharif University of Technology in Iran. Her undergraduate project was focused on Analytical Chemistry and Chemometrics. Shakiba worked on detecting adulterations in turmeric by using chemometrics methods. After finishing her undergraduate studies, she realized her interest in Analytical and Environmental Chemistry and decided to continue her graduate studies in these majors. Shakiba joined the Zhao Group as a graduate student in 2022. She is working on understanding the photochemical reactions that happen when chemicals emitted from biomass burning in the atmosphere.

Amanda Hanashiro Moraes Amanda Hanashiro Moraes

Amanda completed her BSc degree in Chemistry at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Her undergraduate research focused on developing porous monolithic materials for chromatographic separations. She also worked as a research assistant at the University of Alberta (UARE), studying vibrational circular dichroism spectroscopy to determine absolute configurations of chiral molecules. Interested in environmental chemistry, Amanda joined the Zhao group in the fall of 2022 as a master’s student. She is studying the composition and impact of biomass burning emissions.

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.


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.

Sohaib Omar Sohaib Omar

Sohaib is a summer student as a part of the ELITE program, who is entering his second year of his Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Biological sciences. Currently, he is helping out in the research on low-cost air quality sensors and their applications in various indoor environments. He has been deploying sensors in poultry farms to study occupational health of farm workers. He is also leading a pilot study to deploy sensors inside university buildings to monitor the impact of wildfire events on campus air quality.

Dylan Long Dylan Long

Dylan is in the 4th year of his Bachelors of Science degree, majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Computer Science. He joined the Zhao group in September 2022. Currently, Dylan’s research focuses on reactions of characteristic chemical tracers emitted by biomass burning and studying organic aerosol particle emissions from burning biomass.


MSc Graduate
Jessica Lima Amorim

Undergraduate students
Sophie Shi – Graduate Student, U of A
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 – Graduate Student, U of A
Chester Lau – Graduate Student, Le group, U of A
Steven Chen
Rhea Fang – Graduate Student, UK
Siti Hayati
Ariel Delorme
Toluwatise Ehindero – University of Calgary
Jenny Chau Khac – Xingfang Li group, U of A
Angela Chan