Department of Chemistry


The Chemistry Department is returning to its on-campus operations in conjunction with the rest of the University and is currently following the Nova Scotia Provincial and Saint Mary's University's COVID-19 guidelines. To contact a Chemistry Department member directly, visit our Faculty and Staff page for our members contact information.

For information on Saint Mary's University's operations and the COVID-19 pandemic, visit:

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 encourged to contact our Chemistry Faculty members directly.

Both our Majors and Honours programs are fully accredited‌ by the Canadian Society for Chemistry.



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  

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


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 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

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.

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

December 4, 2020

An ab initio investigation of the second hydration shell of metal cations, Computers and Applied Chemistry, published in the journal "Computer and Applied Chemistry"; Authors: Cory C. Pye and Courtney R. Gilbert (née Schaller)

Co-author Courtney Gilbert is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University.

SMU Chemistry Faculty Members, Christa Brosseau and Clarissa Sit, collaborate to make new pet wellness products.

November 23, 2020

When Baie Run Pet Products, a health and wellness pet company focused on dogs and cats' wellbeing, wanted to improve their pet supplements, they turned to Saint Mary's experts for advice. The company worked with Dr. Christa Brosseau and Dr. Clarissa Sit to develop a manufacturing process for colloidal silver that the manufacturer could follow.  You can read how Drs. Brosseau & Sit's assisted with Baie Run's new formulation here

Chemistry Student, Kaleigh McLeod, part of a group of Undergraduate Students spending their summer conducting paid scientific research

October 2, 2020

Kaleigh McLeod, under the supervision of Dr. Christa Brosseau, received her award, as part of a group of Science Undergraduate Students conducting scientific research. The awards are sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), a Government of Canada agency, and the Dean of Science Office at Saint Mary’s University.  These awards are intended to help students develop their potential for a research career in the natural sciences and engineering, and often lead to students pursuing graduate work in their chosen fields.

Kaleigh received her award on her research project in how to make an all wood-pulp N95 respirator as part of our COVID-19 project with Port Hawkesbury Paper. She is continuing the project on for the rest of this academic year as her honours project in Chemistry. To read more about her, other Undergraduate Students, and their research projects, visit. 

Congrats Kaleigh!

Chemistry Faculty Member, Dr. Jason Masuda, receives NSERC Funding.

September 18, 2020

Dr. Jason Masuda, as a part of a group of Saint Mary's Scientists awarded $1.6 Million in NSERC Funding for his Stabilization of Unique Chemical Bonding Environments and Exploration of Small Molecule Reactivity research.

Work in the research group, lead by Dr. Masuda, is focussed on the preparation of new functional groups specific groups. Functional groups are arrangements of atoms within molecules that have characteristic properties, such as aldehydes, ketones, and alcohols. Chemists have a general understanding of how normal functional groups react. In the Masuda group, new arrangements of atoms are targeted and once isolated, the physical properties are studied as well as how they react with other molecules.

Most importantly, student researchers in the Masuda Group learn transferrable skills, such as critical thinking and organizational skills, that will assist them as they move on in their careers.

Congrats Jason!

SMU Chemistry Students and Faculty help create rapid test kit for COVID-19

July 23, 2020

When students and faculty at Saint Mary’s were starting the winter 2020 term in January, the plan was for a normal busy university term of classes and labs. Two months later students, faculty and staff were adjusting to the new normal of working and studying from home during a quickly-evolving global pandemic, and the world looked very different by April.  That same month, a a quickly formed small team of Chemistry researchers, including undergraduate students, started working on a vital contribution for a rapid, point-of-care, Covid-19 test kit, created by a startup company in Dartmouth, NS. For more on this collaboration, visit.

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

July 13, 2020

Desymmetrization in geometry optimization: application to an ab initio study of copper(I) hydration, Published in the journal "Pure and Applied Chemistry", vol. 92, iss. 10; Authors: Cory C. Pye, Daniel C. M. Whynot, Christopher R. Corbeil, Darren J. W. Mercer

Co-authors Whynot, Corbeil and Mercer are former graduates of Saint Mary's University

Peer-reviewed Publication for Chemistry Faculty Member, Dr. Jason D. Masuda.

July 15, 2020

Synthesis and structural characterization of methylindium imino/aminophenolates: Comparison to aluminum analogues and reactivity toward the coupling reactions of carbon dioxide with epoxidesm, Published in the "Journal of Organometallic Chemistry", vol. 919; Authors: Kori A. Andrea, Adam R. Beckett, Glen G. Briand, Sarah A. Martell, Jason Masuda, Kathleen M. Morrison, M.T. Emilie Yammine.

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

June 10, 2020

Chemical Safety: TATP Formation in 2-Propanol, Printed in the American Chemical Society's publication "Chemical Health and Safety"; author: Cory C. Pye

Chemistry Faculty Member, Christa Brosseau, exploring way to produce medical grade N95 respirators using wood pulp

May 12, 2020

Dr. Brosseau and her research team are in collaboration with the pulp and paper industry in Nova Scotia, developing and testing chemical additives that can address key challenges in the production of medical-grade pulp from thermomechanical pulp for the use of manufacturing N95 masks.  To learn more about her research, visit

Peer-reviewed Publication for Chemistry Faculty Member, Dr. Jason D. Masuda.

May 5, 2020

A Rare Low-Spin Co(IV) Bis(β-silyldiamide) with High Thermal Stability: Steric Enforcement of a Doublet Configuration, Published in the journal "Angewandte Chemie International Edition", vol. 59, iss. 33; Authors: David Zanders, Goran Bačić, Dominique Leckie, Damilola O. Odegbesan, Jeremy Rawson, Jason D. Masuda, Anjana Devi, Seán T. Barry

Peer-reviewed Publication for Clyburne Research Group

April 16, 2020

Heavy metals make a chain: a catenated bismuth compound, Published in "Chemistry: A European Journal", vol. 26, iss. 34; Authors: Robert D. Riley,  Diane A. Dickie,  Michael A. Land, Richard A. Kemp, Charles L. B. Macdonald,  Ulrike Werner-Zwanziger, Katherine N. Robertson, Jason A. C. Clyburne

Congrats to the Clyburne group! Robert is a SMU Chemistry Honours graduate and Micheal graduated from SMU with both a BSc(Honours) and an MSc. This project involved collaborators from Dalhousie University, Carleton University, and the University of New Mexico.

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

April 15, 2020

An ab initio study of the effect of hydration on the vibrational spectrum of hydrogen sulfate, Published in the journal "Computational and Theoretical Chemistry", vol. 1176; Author: Cory C. Pye

This paper uses ab initio theory to interpret the differences in the Raman spectra of the hydrogen sulfate ion (HSO4-) in gas-phase, aqueous solution, and the counterion in hexylmethylimidazolium hydrogen sulfate ionic liquid. 

SMU Chemistry Students and Faculty members help with hand sanitizer project

April 14, 2020

With the scope of the global COVID-19 pandemic expanding quickly, Honours Chemistry students Julie Dayrit and Prashansa Kooshna wanted to help, hoping that they might be able to produce hand sanitizer in now-vacant chemistry labs after the closure of the Saint Mary’s University campus.  More about their project may be found here.

Chemistry Student, Jennifer Kolwich, awarded first prize in writing competiion

April 2020 

Jennifer Kolwich was awarded a First Prize in the Post Graduate Category for her paper Fighting Fungus with Fungus: A Microbe-Based Solution to Bat White-nose Syndrome”, Student Science Writing Competion hosted by the Nova Scotian Institute of Science (NSIS).

Congrats Jenn!

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

March 21, 2020

One-Dimensional Cluster Analysis and its Application to Chemistry, Published in the journal "The Chemical Educator", vol. 25; Author: Cory C. Pye

This paper rigorously defines the idea of clustering in data and illustrates its use to help assign the 1H-NMR spectrum of ethyl acetate, the gas-phase infrared spectrum of carbon dioxide, and the microwave spectra of the alkali halides CsI, CsBr, RbI, RbBr, and KI.

This paper is dedicated to Professor Emeritus John C. O’C. Young on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

Chemistry Research Associate, Dr. Kathy Robertson, recipient of award.

March 6, 2020

Dr. Kathy Robertson is the 2020 recipient of the Saint Mary's University Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Staff Research Recognition Award. Dr. Robertson is an integral part of the Clyburne research group and also plays an important role in the department as the local crystallography guru and collaborator. Since starting at SMU in 2010, she has amassed over 40 peer-reviewed publications.

Congrats Kathy!

Chemistry Faculty Member, Dr. Cory C. Pye, recipient of research grant

March 2020

Cory Pye is a co-investigator on a successful Compute Canada Research Platforms and Portals proposal of Raymond Poirier (MUN) entitled “Retrievium: The element of discovery”. The aim is to develop a computational chemistry platform for storage retrieval, and mining of computational chemical data.

Peer-reviewed publication for Sit Research Group

March 2020

Does size matter? An investigation into the impact of coarse and fine ground inoculated biochar on Hordeum vulgare (barley) growth and yield, Published in the journal "Rhizosphere" Vol. 17; Authors: Kaitlyn L. Blatt-Janmaat, Stephanie L. MacQuarrie, Clarissa S.Sit

This is the first publicaiton from the Sit Research Group in 2020. Researcher Kaitlyn Blatt-Janmaat is a recent SMU Chemistry Honours (and biology major) graduate.

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

February 25, 2020

An Ab Initio Investigation of the Hydration of Thallium(III) and Mercury(II), Published in the "Journal of Solution Chemistry", vol. 49; Authors: Cory C. Pye and C. Mahesh Gunasekara

This paper uses ab initio theory to benchmark several effective core potentials for hydrated mercury(II) and thallium(III) aqua ions, focusing on the incremental hydration energies, bond lengths, and totally symmetric M-O vibrational frequency

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Member, Dr. Jason A. C. Clyburne

February 19, 2020

Canadian bitumen is engineered for transport, but the type of product produced can affect spill contingency planning, Published in the journal "Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts", iss. 4; Authors: Thomas L. King, Brian Robinson, Scott Ryan and  Jason A. C. Clyburne

Dr. Thomas King is a recent graduate from the Saint Mary's PhD program in Applied Sciences.

Fourth Year Chemistry Student, Maddison Eisnor, wins national award

February 18, 2020

Maddison has won the Chemical Institute of Canada’s CIC Analytical Chemistry Division Undergraduate Travel Award in Honor of Dr. Nick Toltl.  The award will allow Maddison the opportunity to talk about her 2D-LC (Two-Dimensional Liquid Chromatography) research on polyphenols at the 103rd Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  To learn more about her national award, read here.

Congrats Maddy!

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Member, Dr. Jason D. Masuda

January 21, 2020

Volatile and Thermally Stable Polymeric Tin Trifluoroacetates.  Published in the American Chemical Society's "Inorganic Chemistry" edition, vol. 59, issue 2; Authors: Bačić, G., Rankine, C.D.; Masuda, J.D.; Wann, D.A.; Barry, S.T

Peer-reviewed publication for Brosseau Research Group

January 10, 2020

Spectroelectrochemical and computational studies of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH), Published in the journal "Analyst", issue 5; Authors: Shruti D. Bindesri, Ricardo Jebailey, Najwan Albarghouthi, Cory C. Pye, Christa L. Brosseau

This is the first publication from the Brosseau group in 2020. Representing the group are: Shruti (a Chemistry Honours student), Ricardo (a SMU undergraduate student), Najwan (a SMU PhD student) and Dr. Christa Brosseau. SMU Chemistry faculty member, Dr. Cory Pye provided support in the collaboration by providing ab initio calculations.

Peer-reviewed publication for Chemistry Faculty Member, Dr. Jason Masuda

January 9, 2020

A one-pot method for the synthesis of 3-(hetero-)aryl-1,4,2-dioxazol-5-ones, Published in the "Canadian Journal of Chemistry", vol. 8, no. 93; Authors: T. Hynes, D.S. Hall, A.W.H. Speed, J.D. Masuda, J.R. Dahn

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