Myrna Simpson Research Group

Environmental Chemistry

University of Toronto



Current Group Members




Photo taken by Ken Jones (UTSC)

Professor Myrna Simpson: Myrna received a BSc (Chemistry & Mathematical Sciences) and a PhD (Environmental Soil Chemistry) from the University of Alberta.  Myrna joined the University of Toronto in 2002 after a 2.5 year postdoctoral fellowship with Prof. Patrick Hatcher in the Department of Chemistry at the Ohio State University.  Myrna is currently Professor of Environmental Chemistry and acts as the Associate Director of the Environmental NMR Centre. She is also serving as the Associate Chair Research in the Dept. of Physical & Environmental Sciences. In her spare time, Myrna enjoys playing with her twins (Sam and Sophie). Email Myrna







Dr. Brian Lankadurai (Postdoctoral Fellow): Brian received his BSc in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Toronto Scarborough in 2007.  After doing a directed research course under the supervision of Prof. Myrna Simpson, Brian decided to pursue a Ph.D. in the same laboratory.  His Ph.D. project focused on using metabolomic techniques to investigate the changes in the metabolic profile of earthworms in response to exposure to problematic environmental contaminants such as PAHs and PFAAs using 1H NMR as the analytical instrument.  He completed his Ph.D. in December 2012, and since he enjoyed the research and the lab, he decided to stay on as a postdoctoral fellow in the same lab.  His research will now expand to using aquatic organisms such as the Daphnia magna and also using other analytical instruments such as the LC/MS and GC/MS. Email Brian





Edward Nagato (PhD candidate in Environmental Science):  Edward completed his B.Sc. in environmental biology and his Master’s in environmental science at UTSC. If this wasn’t enough, he is continuing his PhD studies with the Simpson lab. He will be studying metabolomics in various indicator species, and hopes to eventually merge his interests in plant ecology with this work. When he is not working on his studies, he can be found playing with his dog, Momo, or playing his cello. Email Edward






David Grewer (PhD candidate in Chemistry):  Born and raised in the wild west of Southern Alberta, David acquired his BSc in Chemistry from the University of Alberta. With a multitude of experiences in various research settings including Si nanoparticle tinkering, thin-film solar cell twiddling, and all manner of fun with synthetic DNA David found his niche in environmental analytical chemistry with an internship investigating the quantification and characterization of toxic naphthenic acids in oil sands tailing ponds from Northern Alberta. His doctoral thesis will focus on biomarker analyses of arctic soils and sediment with special attention toward permafrost destabilization in those regions. In his free time David enjoys watching documentaries, making music, and contemplating infinity (which it turns out is pretty big). Email David





Perry Mitchell (PhD candidate in Chemistry): Perry received his B.Sc. (Hons.) from Memorial University in St. John's, NL in 2011 and joined the M. Simpson group for his M.Sc. in Environmental Chemistry in September 2011. His master's thesis examined the sorption of organic contaminants and dissolved organic matter in wastewater. After completing his M.Sc. in 2013, Perry decided to stay on for a Ph.D. and is now researching the molecular-level fate of biochar in soil. In his spare time, Perry enjoys reading and exploring Toronto. Email Perry





Lisa Lin (PhD candidate in Chemistry): Lisa received Honours B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and M.Sc. from York University. She has analytical experience in pharmaceutical laboratories. Because of her interest in organic and analytical chemistry, Lisa was attracted to the Simpson group and is now a Ph.D. student in Environmental Chemistry. She is working on method development and analysis of root biomarkers in soil using GC/MS and NMR. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys going to the gym and watching CSI. Email Lisa





Vivek Dani (MSc candidate in Chemistry): Vivek received his BSc in Biochemistry and Environmental Science from the University of Toronto. During his Undergraduate degree, he has worked in various fields such as molecular devices, drug discovery and environmental chemistry. For his Masters, he was looking for a multidisciplinary project that would allow him to apply his past undergraduate experiences and interests. This led him to the Simpson Lab to continue our ongoing research in Environmental Metabolomics. When Vivek is not busy in the lab, he usually watches soccer or is on the search for new music. Email Vivek





Jamylynn McDonald (Undergraduate researcher): Jamylynn is currently completing her undergraduate degree in environmental science and human geography at the University of Toronto. Throughout her university career she has enjoyed bridging the physical and social science topics that have been explored. In the future she hopes to pursue research involving geophysical processes. Working with Myrna Simpson and this research group has been a great experience for Jamylynn! She looks forward to applying the skills and knowledge she has gained. Her research project this year involves isolating biomarkers in soil to understand various depths of carbon storage in manipulated treatment plots. In her spare time Jamylynn enjoys puzzles, music and exploring Earth!




Click Here to See Past Group Members






Copyright © 2014 Myrna Simpson, University of Toronto Scarborough.