Closing the divide between ‘green’ and ‘organic’ chemistry

picture of Alaina

Over the summer, our group has been working on a new project: developing ‘plug-and-play’ organic chemistry modules that connect the classic topics (e.g., Michael additions) with green and sustainable chemistry.

This project will create an Open Educational Resource (OER) that addresses both organic chemistry and green chemistry learning outcomes. We’re making the content so that educators can easily integrate the modules into any organic chemistry curriculum.

Helping lead this project is Dr. Alaina Boyd (left), our PDF-turned-collaborator and green chemistry expert. We’re also working with experts across Canadian institutions – Dr. Le (YorkU), Dr. Dicks (UofT), and Dr. Jessop (Queen’s).

This project is funded by eCampusOntario‘s Virtual Learning Strategy.

A send-off to our graduating 4th-year students

Congrats to Manisha, James, Evan, and Sarah who all successfully wrapped up their research projects and finished their undergraduate programs!

We are still learning how Teams works…

Manisha is going on to pursue a master’s in Epidemiology at McGill

James and Evan are both pursuing further degrees in education at Queen’s

And Sarah is now a Brand Ambassador for Beiersdorf!

2020 Wrap-up

Clockwise from the top left: Santosh, Evan, James, Phung, Joey, Manisha (Prof. Bongers in the inset)


I am so proud of the research group this year, thank you for a job well done!!

Welcome Sarah!

Part way through the term, Sarah Gulycz joined the group as our first jointly-supervised 4th year thesis student. She is working with our group and Prof. Zhe She to create some evidence-based learning activities for an analytical chemistry course.

Fourth-year Poster Day!

The poster day looked different this year, it was run as a live session in Teams! Evan, James, Manisha, and Sarah all presented their work from this Fall and their plans for 2021.

Alex Hemmerich (Summer 2020) made us proud!

The USSRF scholarship provides excellent students the opportunity to do social science and humanities research over the summer. For the program’s final event, Alex presented his work with confidence to the Queen’s University Principal and Vice-Principal Research, which led to a spirited discussion. We are fortunate to have a student like Alex to represent the research group to our university leaders!


Amanda wins a prize at Commonwealth Chemistry – Partnership for the Goals

The inaugural Commonwealth Chemistry Congress in Trinidad and Tobago was postponed until sometime next year, but this summer the Royal Society of Chemistry hosted a virtual poster session: Commonwealth Chemistry – Partnership for the Goals

Great news – Prof. Bongers’ poster was selected for a prize in the Green Chemistry & Catalysis theme!

This was a wonderful event that showcased research from across the world, united in pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more about the virtual conference in this CIC News article Sustained in cyberspace — cancelled conference carries on.

Welcome new group members!

This Fall we have plenty of new faces joining our group! Phung Nguyen, our first graduate student, started her Masters in Chemistry this Fall. We also have Evan Noronha and James Ingman joining to complete their 4th year research projects. Manisha Blaskevitch will stay on to continue research for a 4th year project, and was accepted into the Accelerated Masters Program!

We also have two new 2nd year students joining us through the Work Study program: Joey Liu and Santosh Pillarisetty!

Phung Nguyen
Evan Noronha
James Ingman

Summer 2020 Group Photo – Alex & Manisha

The summer was a great success in learning how to build our research community online. On campus, our lab renovations are almost complete.

Some good news!

Welcome to the new students joining the group (remotely) this summer 🌞

Welcome to Manisha Blaskevitch, a student entering her 4th year in chemistry, and congratulations for being awarded an NSERC-USRA for this summer! And welcome to Alex Hemmerich, a 2nd year Concurrent Education student who won a Queen’s USSRF fellowship for his summer research project. We’re moving our research studies online using the platform, stay tuned for more on that!

Alex Hemmerich

Awarded an Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship.

Manisha Blaskevitch

Earned an NSERC-Undergraduate Student Research Award.

Share and celebrate good news 🎉

Congratulations to Galen for being accepted into graduate studies at McGill! His passion for green chemistry and sustainability is everything we like to see in young scientists.

Katie was scooped up by Environment and Climate Change Canada in Ottawa to start a new job as a policy engineer, and they are lucky to have her! Josh also secured a great job in Ottawa in the Sales Leadership Development Program with Fritolay, so we’ll have a group reunion in the Ottawa area sometime in the future!

Undergrad thesis presentations

What a weird way to end the semester! Congratulations to Josh and Katie who pulled through with fantastic virtual presentations of their thesis work.

first 3 slides of presentation

Josh wrapped up analyzing his pilot eye-tracking data with some very cool findings for us to explore in future work!

first 3 slides of presentation

Katie completed a huge amount of work with her in-depth textbook analysis, and provided an incredibly insightful discussion of the results.