Leyla is an MSc student investigating the indoor chemistry and passive sampling of reactive nitrogen. She completed her BSc(Hons) in Chemistry at York University and joined the VandenBoer Group in the summer of 2018. Her honour’s thesis project focused on the passive sampling and analytical method development for the detection of ultra-trace quantities of atmospheric nitric acid (HNO3).
Melodie joined the VandenBoer group in the fall of 2018 with aspirations of developing her field research and analytical skills. She is completing her BSc in Chemistry at York University and completed her diploma in Chemical Engineering Technology at Seneca College. Currently, she is assisting graduate students on collecting rainwater selection samples and collecting MOUDI samples from the YorkU Air Quality Research Station.
Bryan spent most of his life in Kenya and attained his International Baccalaureate diploma from the International School of Kenya before enrolling at the University of Toronto. He then joined the VandenBoer group in the summer of 2015 after obtaining his Honours BSc in chemistry from the University of Toronto the same year. His undergraduate thesis focused on the kinetics of isocyanic acid (HNCO), a toxic compound that can be emitted into the atmosphere in large quantities through biomass burning. Since joining the group, his research focus has switched to study other atmospheric reactive nitrogen species. Bryan quantified dry deposition of nitric acid (HNO3) and nitrous acid (HONO) entering the Newfoundland and Labrador Boreal ecosystem during his MSc. The data he acquired allowed the atmospheric deposition subgroup to paint a more complete picture of the atmosphere-biosphere nitrogen cycle connections across the NL-BELT. Simultaneously, he published a method for quantifying atmospheric amines through Ion Chromatographic analysis. Outside of his research Bryan enjoys playing soccer, skiing, traveling and saving the world. He has completed his MSc and is now pursuing a PhD at the University of California at Berkeley.
Courtney completed a joint honours in Chemistry and Earth Science at Memorial University. She started working with Dr. VandenBoer and the Biogeochemistry of Boreal Ecosystems Research Group (BBERG) as a student research assistant through the NSERC-USRA program for the summer of 2016, completed her undergraduate thesis project in 2017, and held a second USRA in the summer of 2017.
Her research project involved determining the stoichiometry of elemental atmospheric inputs of nutrients, particularly phosphorous, to the boreal forest watersheds of the NL-BELT. To date she has quantified total phosphorous, orthophosphate and organic phosphorous along the NL-BELT from precipitation samples spanning 2013-2016 from Grand Codroy, Eagle River, Pynn’s Brook, Salmon River, and Humber River.
In the past, Courtney worked with the NL Geological Survey’s Natural Resources Geochemical Lab where she performed fluoride analysis on crushed rocks and soil samples, which was used as a proxy for locating associated rare Earth elements (REE).
Courtney is currently pursuing an MSc in Chemistry at Memorial University with Dr. Chris Kozak.
General Rick Hillier Scholarship in Science and Leadership 2016-17
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council - Undergraduate Student Research Award (NSERC-USRA) 2016&2017
Dean of Science Book Prize 2014-15
Hebron Women In Science And Engineering 2014-15
Hugh J. Anderson Chemistry Scholarship 2014-15
Memorial Biogeochemistry Group - 2012
Located in the Department of Earth Sciences, these research groups explore processes related to many aspects and scales of natural systems.
2015 NL-BELT Workshop
Held by the Canadian Forestry Service located at Memorial's Grenfell campus in Corner Brook, the 2015 NL-BELT workshop hosted researchers from St. John's campus, the Canadian Forestry Service, the Department of Forestry and Agrifoods of Newfoundland and Labrador, Environment Canada, and several international academic institutions.
VandenBoer Research Group - Summer 2015
We had a large influx of summer researchers in 2015, including three MUCEP students helping process samples collected from across the NL-BELT.
Group members from Bottom Left to Top Right: Bryan, Joshua, Aleya, Adam, Adrian, Kathryn, Trevor
Kathryn completed her BSc (Honours) in Chemistry at Memorial University under the supervision of Dr. Cora Young in collaboration with Drs. Trevor VandenBoer and Susan Ziegler. Her honours research project, Quantitative Recovery of Amino Sugars from Soil Necromass, was inspired by her summer research in the Biogeochemistry of Boreal Ecosystems Research Group (BBERG). Kathryn is currently an MSc student in Chemistry at Memorial University with Dr. Cora Young.
In the past, Kathryn was a student assistant in the CJY group at Memorial where she worked alongside graduate students to extract flame-retardants from dust and cod liver samples. Additionally, she has relevant lab experience from a work term at the Suncor Oil Sands Laboratory in Fort McMurray, Alta. where she tested Upgrading samples for particulate matter content, carbon content and specific boiling points.
During the summer of 2015 I was a Student Research Assistant with Dr. VandenBoer and the Biogeochemistry of Boreal Ecosystems Research Group (BBERG) at Memorial University in St. John’s Newfoundland. My work here as a Student Research Assistant involved studying the composition and deposition of atmospheric reactive nitrogen to boreal forest sites along the Newfoundland and Labrador Boreal Ecosystem Latitudinal Transect (NL-BELT). I specifically worked with ion chromatography, sample processing and data analysis and interpretation. From this data, we were able to determine the amount of nitrogen in precipitation, water, soil and atmospheric samples from various locations in NL including Eagle River, Salmon River, Humber River and Grand Codroy. The summer position included both field and laboratory work.
I am from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island but came to St. John's for the summer to gain experience in field and lab research. In May 2016 I graduated from UPEI with a BSc majoring in Chemistry, and minors in Mathematics and Environmental Studies. In my final year of undergraduate studies I completed an Advanced Research Project including a written thesis and an oral presentation. In September 2016, I began my MSc in Chemistry at UPEI affiliated with Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada.
2017 Lorne Bonnell Scholarship
2015 Recipient of a Canada Summer Jobs grant for "Atmospheric Reactive Nitrogen Inputs and Cycling in Boreal Forest Ecosystems"
You can reach me via email at: aquilty (at) upei.ca
Julian is a MUCEP student learning the process of nutrient analysis in soil samples in Fall 2015. He rejoined the group for another MUCEP placement in the Fall of 2016.
Rachel joined the group for the summer of 2014 to work on a collaborative project between the CJY group and Dr. VandenBoer. She worked on the development of new analytical methods to detect trace organic compounds in atmospheric particulate matter and soil. She also aided in the design and construction of custom off-grid precipitation samplers and the analysis of numerous samples on the ion chromatograph she helped name POSH SPICE.
Rachel is now pursuing a PhD in Environmental Chemistry at the University of Toronto!