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:

Leduc Medium

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.

MaxMax 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.

Shot with FIMO EK 80.

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 chemistry of volatile organic compounds, with a particular focus on those emitted by microbes in the indoor environment. She will be taking an approache combining experiments and chemical models.


Xinyang (Timothy) Guo 
Timothy completed his BSc degree of Enviornmental 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.

Undergraduate Students:

Chester Lau

Chester Lau
Chester is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in chemistry. He joined the Zhao Research Group in September 2018. He is extremely passionate about chemistry-based projects that are also applicable to everyday life. His previous work in the group focussed on household humidifiers as a source of indoor particulate matter. He has since moved on to work on an interdisciplinary project on e-cigarettes and vaping. During non-COVID times, Chester enjoys table tennis and plays semi-competitively in tournaments across Alberta.

Carter Kuiper 
Carter is a fourth-year undergraduate student pursuing a combined BSc in Environmental and Conservation Sciences/BA in Native Studies majoring in Human Dimensions of Environmental Management. He joined the Zhao Research Group in June 2020. His current project is analyzing the implantation and reliability of PurpleAir particulate matter sensors. In addition to the use of these
sensors in times of low air quality (wildfires, pollution, etc.). Apart from school, Carter enjoys hiking, travelling, and biking.


MSc Gradute
Jessica Lima Amorim

Undergraduate students
Sophie Shi – undergraduate student, now at U of A Materials Engineering
Meng Wang – Pharmacy, U of A
Jeff Ma
Wayne Cheng
Keifer Klimchuk
Christian Fotang
Ryan Duruisseau-Kuntz