Department of Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry at Saint Mary’s University offers undergraduate education in a supportive and friendly environment. Our broad range of courses offers a rigorous core education in the theory and practice of chemistry. We also provide students in other disciplines with an introduction to the principles and practices of this central science, which contributes to their fundamental understanding and appreciation of the physical world.

Our chemistry professors are committed to engaging undergraduate students in research activities. Motivated students have the opportunity to gain valuable experience as research assistants. Many present their research projects at regional and national conferences. Students who may have an interest in a specific area of research are encouraged to contact our Chemistry Faculty members directly. Both our Majors and Honours programs are fully accredited by the Canadian Society for Chemistry.

To contact a Chemistry Department member directly, visit our Faculty and Staff page for our department members contact information.


NEWS

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Member, Cory C. Pye

August 2, 2022

An ab initio study of the effect of hydration on the vibrational spectrum of hydrogen arsenate ion, Published in Computational and Theoretical Chemistry2022, 1215, 113838 (August 2, 2022) Authors: Pye, Cory C.; Chiome, Tinofadzwa; Goodall, Barbara L.

Co-authors Tinofadzwa and Barbara were former undergraduate research students of Dr. Pye and are graduates of Saint Mary's University..

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Member, Cory C. Pye

June 16, 2022

Electrochemical Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (EC-SERS) and Computational Study of Atrazine: Toward Point-of-Need Detection of Prevalent HerbicidesPublished in Journal of Physical Chemistry C  2022,  126, 9836-9842. (Jun 16, 2022), Authors: Albargouthi, Najwan; Eisnor, Maddison M; Pye, Cory C.; Brosseau, Christa L.

Co-authors Najwa and Maddison are graduates of Saint Mary's University.

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Member, Danielle Tokarz

May 26, 2022

Second harmonic generation microscopy of otoconia. Published in the journal “Biomedical Optics Express”, vol. 13, Authors: Kennedy Brittain, MacAulay Harvey, Richard Cisek, Saranyan Pillai, Sean D. Christie and Danielle Tokarz.

Co-author Kennedy Brittain is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University.
Co-author MacAulay Harvey is a graduate student at Saint Mary’s University

New research exploring automated cancer detection

May 17, 2022

Chemistry faculty member, Dr. Danielle Tokarz, is exploring the use of custom laser-scanning microscopes in diagnosing diseased or cancerous tissue.  More on her research may be found via this Saltwire publication featuring her research.

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Member, Cory C. Pye

May 14, 2022

An ab initio study of the effect of hydration on the vibrational spectrum of hydrogen selenate ion. Authors: Pye, Cory C.; Akbari, Peyman; Goodall, Barbara L.; Shah Alam, Marwa Y. Published in Journal of Molecular Liquids 2022,  119383 (May 14, 2022).

Co-authors Peyman, Barbara, and Marwa are former research students of Dr. Pye and graduates of Saint Mary’s University.

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Member, Katherine Robertson

March 23, 2022

Thermal Stability and Decomposition Pathways in Volatile Molybdenum(VI) Bis-imides. Authors: Michael A.Land, Goran Bačić, Katherine N. Robertson, Seán T. Barry. Published in Inorganic Chemistry, 2022

Undergraduate Scholarships Program - Applications now being accepted

March 22, 2022

Applications for the Undergraduate Scholarships Program is now available for the 2022-23 academic year!  Some of the awards that the Chemistry Department is involved in selecting applicants are:

Cleary Family Scholarship
Joseph & Charles Hinman Canadian Memorial Bursary
Jack Ginsburg Memorial Scholarship
John C. O’C. Young Scholarship

All students who attended Saint Mary’s University for the 2021-2022 academic year and who will be continuing their undergraduate studies in the 2022-2023 academic year are encouraged to apply, and outline their unique, individual qualities in their personal statement. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2022 at 11:59pm

Students can visit smu.ca/awards to find the Saint Mary’s University Undergraduate Scholarships Program application, as well as other applications that are currently available for the 2022-2023 academic year. Questions can be emailed to financial.aid@smu.ca.

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Member, Katherine Robertson

March 15, 2022

Tetra-μ-acetato-κ8O:O′-bis­[(3-chloro­pyridine-κN)ruthenium(II,III)](Ru—Ru) hexa­fluorido­phosphate 1,2-di­chloro­ethane monosolvate. Published in IUCrData. Authors: A. J. Aquino, D. Gerrior, T. S. Cameron, K. N. Robertson, and M. A. S. Aquino

Preventing Falls and Balance Issues in Nova Scotians

March 7, 2022

Understanding and combating the debilitating health impacts of balance disorders is the focus of newly funded research by Saint Mary’s University’s Dr. Danielle Tokarz. Her research will help patients by limiting the dosage of certain medications, reducing the future number of Nova Scotians who will have balance issues.  To read more about this research, visit the article: Prevent Falls and Balance Issues in Nova Scotians

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Member, Cory Pye

March 3, 2022

An ab Initio Investigation of the Hydration of Lead(II). Published in Liquids 20222, 39-49. (March 3, 2022). Authors: Pye, Cory C.; Gunasekara, C.Mahesh

M.Sc. Applied Sciences (Chemistry) Student, Julie Dayrit, accepted to Lab2Market Women in Research program

December 10, 2021

Julie Dayrit, a member of Dr. Clarissa Sit's research group, has been accepted into the Lab2Market Women in Research Program as an Entrepreneurial Lead Intern. 
 
The Lab2Market Women in Research Program is in partnership with Mitacs Accelerate. As a participant of this program we will be granted great opportunities to assess product-market fit for potential commercialization of our research, explained Julie.
 
“My M.Sc. in Applied Sciences (Chemistry) project looks at the antimicrobial activity of traditional medicinal plants from the Philippines. With this program, we are planning to examine ways we can incorporate our preliminary findings and develop an antimicrobial product,” said Julie. “Of course, I would not have been blessed with this opportunity without the help and encouragement of my awesome supervisor, Dr. Clarissa Sit, who will also be my supervisor in this program.”

Congrats Julie!

CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT NOW HIRING TAs!

November 23, 2021

The Chemistry Department at Saint Mary's University is now accepting applications for TAing next term.  To apply, visit our site.  Deadline for applications is noon, Monday, December 13, 2021

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Member, Jason Masuda

November 16, 2021

Co(II) Amide, Pyrrolate, and Aminopyridinate Complexes: Assessment of their Manifold Structural Chemistry and Thermal Properties. Published in the European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, October 22, 2021. Authors: Zanders, D; Boysen, N.; Land, M A.; Obenlüneschloß, J; Masuda, J D; Mallick, B; Barry, S T.; Devi, A

SMU's Financial Need Based Bursary Program is currently available for the Fall term.

October 25, 2021

Managing your finances while in school can be challenging! To assist students in need, Financial Aid & Awards provides a Financial Need-Based Bursary program in both the Fall and Winter terms. Bursaries are typically valued between $500 and $750 and are intended to supplement other funding sources.

The Fall term application is available now. If you’re experiencing financial difficulty, we’d like to encourage you to apply online by October 31, 2020. Questions can be directed to financial.aid@smu.ca.  

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Members, Christa Brosseau and Cory Pye

September 23, 2021

Fabrication of high-quality electrochemical SERS (EC-SERS) substrates using physical vapour deposition
. Published in the journal “Physical Chemistry – Chemical Physics”, vol. 23, Authors: Carolyn G. Farling, Mary C. Stackaruk, Cory C. Pye, and Christa L. Brosseau.

Co-authors Carolyn Farling and Mary Stackaruk are students at Saint Mary’s University.

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Members, Jason Clyburne, Jason Masuda and Cory Pye

September 23, 2021

The thermal decomposition of gallium nitrate hydrate, Ga(NO3)3•9H2O. Published in the journal "Polyhedron", vol. 197; Authors: Cory C. Pye, Arthur D. Hendsbee, Katherine D. Nizio, Barbara L. Goodall, Jane P. Ferguson, Jason D. Masuda, Jason A. C. Clyburne

Co-authors Arthur Hendsbee, Katherine Nizio, Barbara Goodall, and Jane Ferguson are graduates of Saint Mary’s University.

2021 Applied Science (Chemistry) Graduate, Megan Himmelman, receives IUPAC Oral Presentation Award

September 7, 2021

Megan Himmelman, a recent 2021 SMU graduate with a Masters in Applied Science, received a First Place Award during the 2021 IUPAC/CCCE Virtual Converence.  Megan's award was for her Oral Presentation, under the General and Emerging Topics category.  While studying for her APSc degree, Megan was co-supervised by Dr. Christa Brosseau and Dr. Rob Singer.

Congrats Megan!

SMU Chemistry Department now hiring for 2021 Fall/1st semester TAs

July 29, 2021

Currently registered Saint Mary’s University Student may apply. Applicants will be awarded positions based on the needs of the Department and the TA's qualifications.  To learn more about the job opportunities and to apply visit.


Application Deadline: Noon, August 11, 2021

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Member, Jason Masuda

July 8, 2021

(tBuN)SiMe2NMe2—A new N,N′-κ2-monoanionic ligand for atomic layer deposition precursors. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A 39, 032409 (2021). Authors: Griffiths, Matthew B. E.; Zanders, David; Land, Michael A.; Masuda, Jason D; Devi, Anjana; Barry, Sean T.

2021 Chemistry (Honours) Graduate, Kaleigh McLeod, receives CIC Award

July 8, 2021

Kaleigh McLeod, a spring 2021 graduate with a Bachelor of Science Biology and Chemistry (Honours), received the 2021 Chemical Institute of Canada Analytical Chemistry Division's Undergraduate Travel Award in honour of Dr. Nick Toltl. This is the top national award to an undergraduate student in analytical chemistry. Kaleigh's honours research was co-supervised by Dr. Christa Brosseau and Dr. Rob Singer.  Click to read more.

Congrats Kaleigh!

Future of medical-grade pulp production in Nova Scotia

June 9, 2021

Last spring, Dr. Christa Brosseau and a team of chemists at Saint Mary’s University collaborated with Port Hawkesbury Paper in hopes of developing a home-grown solution to the global shortage of N95 respirators masks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Results from the study suggest the Nova Scotia pulp and paper industry may have a future in the production of medical-grade pulp for use in personal protective equipment (PPE).  To read more about this study, visit the article: Saint Mary's study suggests a future for medical-grade pulp production in Nova Scotia.

Chemistry Students, Jennifer Kolwich and Lauren Grant, among SMU’s 3MT (Three-Minute Thesis) Winners

April 13, 2021

The Faculty of Graduate Studies held SMU's annual 3MT (three-minute thesis) competition on the afternoon of Friday March 26. This event was held in person with nine graduate students competing and the audience was Zoomed in. The presentations were judged by Dr. Colin Dodds, Kathleen Jay and Kevin Shaughnessy. The hosts were Drs. Adam Sarty and Colleen Barber.  Chemistry Students, Jennifer Kolwich and Lauren Grant were among the winners.

Jennifer Kolwich, MSc Applied Science, supervised by Dr. Clarissa Sit for her thesis “Fighting fungi with fungi: An approach to combating white-nose syndrome” won “Second Place”.

Lauren Grant, PhD Applied Science, supervised by Dr. Clarissa Sit for her thesis “L'Acadie Blanc: Nova Scotia's grape”, received “Honourable Mention”.

Congrats Jenn and Lauren!

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Member, Jason Masuda

April 12, 2021

Synthesis, Characterization and Antimicrobial Activities of Pentacyclic OxadiazadiborinanesJournal of the Brazilian Chemical Society31(7), 1541-1550. Epub July 03, 2020. Authors: Gormley, Patrick T., Geier, Stephen J., Vogels, Christopher M., Khuong, B. Ninh, MacCormack, Tyson J., Masuda, Jason D., & Westcott, Stephen A

2 Peer-reviewed publications for Chemistry Faculty Member, Robert Singer

March 17, 2021

Effects of food availability on microsporidiosis and alkaloid production in the two spotted lady beetle, Adalia bipunctata LPublished in Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, September 2020, vol. 175; Authors: Tom Steele, Susan Bjornson, Robert Singer

AND

Effects of temperature on alkaloid production and microsporidiosis in the two-spotted lady beetle, Adalia bipunctata L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Published in Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, May 2020, vol. 172; Authors: Tom Steele, Susan Bjornson, Robert Singer.

Tom was an NSERC-PGS funded PhD. Applied Science student at SMU.  Of note, Tom actually wrote the second of these papers himself and conducted the entire publication process on his own too….all during the pandemic!!

Susan Bjornson is a faculty member with the Department of Biology at SMU.

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Members, Cory C. Pye, Jason D. Masuda and Jason A. C. Clyburne

March 15, 2021

The thermal decomposition of gallium nitrate hydrate, Ga(NO3)3•9H2O. Published in the journal "Polyhedron", vol. 197; Authors: Cory C. Pye, Arthur D. Hendsbee, Katherine D. Nizio, Barbara L. Goodall, Jane P. Ferguson, Jason D. Masuda, Jason A. C. Clyburne.

Co-authors Arthur Hendsbee, Katherine Nizio, Barbara Goodall, and Jane Ferguson are graduates of Saint Mary’s University.

Undergraduate Scholarships Program - Applications now being accepted

March 12, 2021

Applications for the Undergraduate Scholarships Program is now available for the 2021-22 academic year!  Some of the awards that the Chemistry Department is involved in selecting applicants are:

Cleary Family Scholarship
Joseph & Charles Hinman Canadian Memorial Bursary
Jack Ginsburg Memorial Scholarship
John C. O’C. Young Scholarship

All students who attended Saint Mary’s University for the 2020-2021 academic year and who will be continuing their undergraduate studies in the 2021-2022 academic year are encouraged to apply, and outline their unique, individual qualities in their personal statement. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2021 at 11:59pm

Students can visit smu.ca/awards to find the Saint Mary’s University Undergraduate Scholarships Program application, as well as other applications that are currently available for the 2021-2022 academic year. Questions can be emailed to financial.aid@smu.ca.

Chemistry Faculty Member, Cory C. Pye, to serve on the editorial board of the journal "Liquids"

March 11, 2021

Dr. Cory C. Pye has accepted an invitation to serve on the editorial board of the journal "Liquids".  "Liquids" is an international open-access peer-reviewed journal, focusing on publications of physical and chemical aspects of liquids, This journal is published quarterly online by MDPI.

SMU receives federal funding for major new chemistry centre collaboration

March 5, 2021

We are proud to be a collaborating partner on the new ACESCentre: Atlantic Canada Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry Centre at Memorial University in Newfoundland. Dr. Christa Brosseau, chemistry researcher and faculty member at Saint Mary’s is a co-applicant on the project.  To learn about this exciting development, visit.

 

Past/Archived News Items

2020 News