Prof. Leanne D. Chen (Curriculum Vitae)

Group Leader

Growing up, Leanne was mesmerized by mathematics and loved solving puzzles with her grandfather. She found her affinity for chemistry while attending Queen’s University and had the opportunity to combine these two subjects for an NSERC-USRA project, a collaboration between Nicholas J. Mosey and Suning Wang†. She continued developing her expertise in Physical Chemistry during her PhD at Stanford University, where she led efforts on unravelling the discharge mechanisms of batteries and the second-order effects of electrolyte in catalysis under the tutelage of Jens K. Nørskov. She then moved to the California Institute of Technology as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the group of Thomas F. Miller III. Despite (or perhaps because of) the perpetual sunshine in California, she missed the snow too much and made her way back to Canada to start her independent career. In her spare time, Leanne enjoys taking photos, playing the piano, and finding ways to be creative in all aspects of life.

Shayne J. Johnston

Graduate Researcher

Shayne grew up in the small town of Lucan keeping himself busy with sports, especially hockey and baseball. He found a penchant for chemistry in high school and decided to continue studying chemistry at the University of Guelph. His first experience in research was in our Computational Electrochemistry Laboratory, where he was introduced to computational chemistry focusing on first-principles calculations of a Cu-doped Ni(OH)2 electrocatalyst for the ammonia electrooxidation reaction. Shayne decided to continue building his expertise in this area and is starting his MSc Degree in Fall 2022. In his spare time, Shayne enjoys watching and playing sports such as baseball and golf, as well as enjoying the outdoors.

Brendan J. R. Laframboise

Graduate Researcher

Brendan grew up in the town of Brooklin, Ontario. After graduating high school, he went on to pursue a BSc in Biological and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Guelph. His first research experience was in the group of Prof. Derek K. O’Flaherty, where he focused on organic synthesis for applications to nucleic acid chemistry. Brendan became intrigued by the potential of computational simulations to solve urgent problems in energy and decided to join the Computational Electrochemistry Laboratory to pursue an MSc degree. When not focusing on science, Brendan likes to spend his free time going to the gym, writing songs, hanging out with friends, and trying new recipes.

Brendan Paget

Graduate Researcher

Originally from London, Ontario, Brendan completed his BSc in Biological and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Guelph. Throughout his undergraduate studies, Brendan participated in various research projects. Brendan first engaged in a research project as an Undergraduate Research Assistant for Prof. Dmitriy Soldatov. In this project, Brendan explored the photoreactivity of olefin-containing molecules in the solid state, specifically crotonic acid. In Brendan’s fourth year of his undergraduate studies, he joined the group of Prof. Derek O’Flaherty to complete his honours research project. Here, Brendan studied nucleic acid chemistry and organic synthesis methods. Outside of academia, Brendan is an avid sports fan, with particular interest in soccer and football. Brendan also enjoys to workout and listen to music on his free time. Brendan’s love for coding and chemistry is what led him to join the Computational Electrochemistry Laboratory for his MSc.

Austin Pounder

Graduate Researcher (co-supervised with the Tam Group)

Austin grew up in a small town in City of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario. He moved to Guelph to pursue his BSc in Biological & Pharmaceutical Chemistry. His first taste of research was in the group of Prof. Adrian L. Schwan where he spent a summer investigating sulfenate chemistry. As a fourth-year researcher, Austin worked under the supervision of Prof. William Tam exploring acid-catalyzed reactions of cyclopropanated heterobicycles. After graduating with his BSc, Austin continued as a member of the Tam group for his PhD studies where he currently researches synthetic organic methodology and transition metal catalysis. More recently, Austin has focused on combining experimental and computational organic chemistry as a strategy to improve chemical processes and understand reaction mechanisms. When not in the lab, Austin enjoys cooking new recipes, craft beer, and weightlifting.

Stephen W. Tatarchuk

Graduate Researcher

Stephen originally decided to pursue an education in chemistry due to the balance of highly theoretical and practical concepts. During his BSc and MSc, he worked on research projects focused on plasmonic nanocomposites and electrochemical catalysis as well as using different computational techniques to explain and predict the experimental behaviour of solid-state materials. Stephen’s current research focuses on applying computational methods to help develop a deeper theoretical understanding of electrochemical catalysis systems for carbon dioxide reduction, urea oxidation, and ammonia oxidation reactions. Stephen spends his free time enjoying the outdoors, building computers, and working on various hobby projects.

Undergraduate Researchers

William Cooper

Group Alumni

Dr. Kayla S. Snyder (F20–F23, GR)

Dr. Rachelle M. Choueiri (S20–W23, PDS)

Xinrun Liu (S22, UR)

Alexander MacKay (S22, UR)

Siobhan Liu (F20–S21, GR)

Krish Kiran Valluru (F20–S21, UR)

Mirna Ghattas (F20–W21, UR)

Katrina Ruzicka (F20–W21, UR)

Alexander Sweett (W21, UR)

Lina Ghulam (F20, GR)

Fiona Bishop (F20, UR)

Megan Farkas (F20, UR)

Laura Martin (F20, UR)

Cassandra Rooke (F20, UR)

Taylor Rounds (F20, UR)

Lindsey Starkman (F20, UR)

Chelsea D’Cruz (S20, UR)

Michi the Akita Inu

Lab Mascot

The Akita Inu (秋田犬 or “dog from Akita Prefecture”) became famous through the true story of Hachikō, a testament to the gentle and loyal nature of this breed. The story is retold in the Futurama episode “Jurassic Bark”, the ending of which is likely better known as the most heartrending moment of all time—even by Futurama standards.

Michi is now on Instagram!