Research Group

Murphy Group Fall 2017

Meet The Current Research Group

Professor Jennifer Murphy

Interests: atmospheric chemistry, biogeochemistry, global change

Jennifer has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto since 2007, and held a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair from 2007-2016. She obtained tenure in 2012 and was promoted to full professor in 2017. She has served as the department’s Associate Chair of Graduate Studies since 2015. Before coming to Toronto, she completed a BSc in Chemistry at McGill University (2000), a PhD in Physical Chemistry at UC Berkeley (2005), and a postdoc at the University of East Anglia (2005-2006). She enjoys cooking, travelling, paddleboarding, and tennis.



Alex Moravek (PDF)

Alex joined the Murphy group as a postdoc in September 2014. He obtained a diploma (master degree) in geoecology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Technology Sydney. Within his studies, he was working at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MPIC) in Mainz, where he investigated the vertical distribution and exchange processes of NO, NO2, O3, CO2 and H2O in and above a spruce canopy. For his PhD, Alex continued working at MPIC on the biosphere­­-atmosphere exchange of PAN, using both relaxed eddy accumulation and gradient approaches. He obtained his PhD in geosciences from the University of Bayreuth in 2014 (supervised by Thomas Foken). As a member of the Murphy group, Alex is now exploring the surface exchange of NH3 by using the QC-TILDAS technique. Aside from research, Alex enjoys the outdoors, likes fun recreational sports, loves travelling other countries and is continuously working on the world’s best pizza.

Saumya Singh (PDF)

Saumya joined the Murphy group as a postdoc in March 2017. She obtained her MSc and PhD in environmental science at School of Environmental Science, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India. Her PhD work was focused on measurements of the gas and particulate phase of NH3, NO2, SO2 and the wet deposition of reactive nitrogen in Northern India and its relation to land use changes in Delhi over two decades. Her keen research interest in reactive nitrogen, especially atmospheric ammonia, brings her to the Murphy group, where she is interested in atmospheric-biosphere exchange of ammonia in different ecosystems. In the group, she will be using quantum cascade laser spectroscopy and the AIM-IC system for flux measurements. Apart from research, she enjoys badminton, cooking, and swimming.

Sarah Kavassalis (PhD student, 2014- )

Sarah obtained her B.Sc. in physics from the University of Toronto and joined the Murphy group in May, 2014 to study the dry deposition of tropospheric ozone. Informed by surface ozone and flux measurements, she is working with GEOS-Chem to reparameterize dry deposition to be better able to understand the day-to-day and interannual variability in surface ozone concentrations. Hopefully this work will lead to a clearer picture of the role that chemistry-climate-ecosystem coupling plays in regulating air quality. When not at her computer, Sarah usually has her hands in the garden or is busy chasing after her cats.

Amy Hrdina (PhD student, 2014- )

Amy (originally born in TO, but grew up in NJ) received her B.Sc. (organic synthesis and palladium chemistry) and M.Sc. (bioassay and radiochemistry) in Chemistry at Carleton University in Ottawa. After working for the NRC for four years in the nanotechnology industry, she was inspired by her coworkers to further her education. She’s now working on developing ways to measure the amounts of nutrients (nitrogen) that are deposited from aerosols that directly impact the growth of vegetation. By adapting the AIM-IC system to selectively sample the ambient air based on eddy covariance, she will be looking at changes in chemical composition of aerosols and their relationship with the exchange rates between the atmosphere and the surface.


Qianwen Shi (PhD student, 2015- )

Qianwen is an international student from China. She received her BSc. in Environmental Science and Management at City University of Hong Kong, where she had the opportunity to analyze the perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in water and sediment samples. Later on, she went to Kind Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia for a Master degree in Environmental Science and Engineering. There she experienced very different culture and learned how to use GIS to estimate flood hazard. In 2015, Qianwen joined the Murphy group and start her PhD adventure in atmospheric chemistry in the Environmental Science program. Her current projects are to study NOx released from sunlit snow and the exchange flux of NOy between biosphere and atmosphere using the NOxy instrument. Apart from research, Qianwen enjoys traveling, swimming and painting.

Ye Tao (PhD student, 2016- )

Ye is an international student from Shanghai, China. He received his BSc and MSc degree in Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University. Inspired by Murphy group work, he worked on the size-distribution and seasonal features of aliphatic amines in Shanghai ambient aerosols for his master research. He joined the Murphy group in 2016 to start his PhD in Environmental Science. His current interest is to study the semi-volatile behavior and selective crystallization of ammonia/ammonium upon drying under various systems. In his personal life, he’s a big fan of anime, modern history and cooking soup.

Past Members

Graduate Students

Stephanie Pugliese (PhD, 2012 – 2017), teaching postdoc at UT Missisauga
Angela Hong (PhD, co-supervised with Jamie Donaldson, 2011 – 2016)
Alex Tevlin (PhD, 2010-2016), Research Technician, St FX University
Gregory Wentworth (PhD, 2011-2016), Atmospheric Scientist, Alberta Environment and Parks
Nadine Borduas (PhD co-supervised with Jon Abbatt, 2011-2015), Postdoc at ETH Zurich
Jeff Geddes (PhD, 2008-2013, postdoc, 2013), Assistant Professor at Boston University
Phillip Gregoire (MSc, 2011-2013), medical school student of U of Toronto
Trevor VandenBoer (MSc & PhD, 2007-2012), Postdoc at Memorial University
Jon Wang (MSc, 2010-2012), PhD student in Chemical Engineering
Milos Markovic (PhD, 2006-2012), Regional Sales Manager at Picarro
Raluca Ellis (PhD, 2006-2011), Director, Strategic Relations for SOCAAR and C4M, University of Toronto
Avila de Sousa (MSc, 2008-2010), Secondary school teacher

Undergraduate Students

Michael Leslie (2016-2017), graduate student at U of Toronto
Alice Zhu (2015-2017), graduate student at U of Toronto
Juan Zhao (2016), undergraduate at U of Toronto
Vivian Xie (2016), undergraduate at U of Toronto
Nancy Khuu (2015-2016), graduate student at U of Toronto
Denise Peda (2015), undergraduate at U of Toronto
Heather Schwartz-Narbonne (2015), graduate student at U of Toronto
Supriya Singh (2015), graduate student at McMaster
Bryan Place (2014-2015), graduate student at Memorial University of Newfoundland
Cindy Wang (2014), graduate student in Hong Kong
Erin Evoy (2014), graduate student at UBC
Cynthia Cheung (2013-2014), graduate student in Chemical Engineering at U of Toronto
Janice Tang (2013-2014), Data analyst
Carol Cheyne (2012-2013), MSc in Earth Science at U of Toronto
Rachel Hems (2012), PhD student at U of Toronto
Irene Brueckner-Irwin (2011), completing undergraduate degree at Trent University
Alexandra Carvajal (2010-2011), MSc student in Chemistry at Wilfrid Laurier
Wuren Zhang (2010), completing undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto
Lewis Liu (2010), completing undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto
Lori Yin (2010), graduate student at University of Toronto
Ran Zhao (2009-2010), postdoc at CalTech
Heeba Abdullah (2009-2010), MA student in World Literature at Ottawa University
Vero Oldham (2009-2010), PhD student, University of Delaware
Theodora Nah (2009), Postdoc at Georgia Tech
Lucy Oliver (2008-2009), working at start-up media company
Mihaela Ceausu (2008-2009), MSc student at the Ryerson University
Michael Chudzinski (2008-2009), PhD student at the University of Toronto
Martin Czar (2008-2010), PhD student at the University of Toronto
Deborah Durbin (2008), PhD student at the University of Bristol
Elton Chan (2007-2008), Consulting Analyst at Accenture
Victor Chukalovskiy (2007-2008), ISP Telecom
Kelvin Fong (2007-2008), PhD student at Harvard School of Public Health

Research Assistants
Amanda Cole, (2007 – 2008), Environment Canada
Sonya Issad (2011), SCOR Insurance

Research Associates
Geoff Stupple (2011-2012) Environment Canada
Alexandre Petroff (2009-2012)

Murphsters Through the Ages

Murphy Group - Sept 2015
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