Research

Research

Nathan Ackroyd, PhD - Associate Professor

My wet-lab research is mostly in the area of multi-step synthesis of potentially useful organic or organo-metallic compounds. With Susan Morante, I am beginning to work on the identification of bee hair pigments.  Students with a background of CHEM 3103 and/or 3201 may look for a project using their spectroscopy or synthesis skills.

Students who are interested in working, either as a volunteer or for CHEM 5201 during Fall or Winter semesters are welcome to set an appointment to discuss more specifics.  Email me at nackroyd@mtroyal.ca.John Chik, B.Sc., PhD - Associate ProfessorMy personal research interests crosses the boundaries between chemistry, physics and biology. I am particularly interested in how the cellular solution environment shape protein structure and function. My main focus is on how osmotic stress/crowding could potentially modulate protein conformation. The primary tool for this research is hydrogen/deuterium-exchange mass spectrometry using Mount Royal’s newly acquired LTQ XL mass spectrometer coupled with the Accela UPLC. I am also interested in using this powerful instrumentation to conduct proteomic, metabolomic and other biochemical research. Although I focus on using mass spectrometry methods, I am open to using any and all technologies that can result in novel insights into an interesting question or problem.Karen Ho, B.Sc., M.Sc. - Senior Laboratory Instructor

Research Interests:  My research interest is to develop a series of lab experiments for our undergrad Chemistry labs  which varies from first year to final year.  In addition, I am interested in chemistry education that will enhance student learning in labs.  Currently, I am working on a project that involves with the Effectiveness of Videos on Student Retention.

List of Projects:  I am looking for either a volunteer or CHEM 5201/5202 student, to work on chemical education or bench chemistry.

Recent Publications and Presentations:

Leong, J., Ackroyd, N.C., & Ho, K. (2014) Collaborative Student Laboratory Exercise Using FT-IR Spectroscopy for the Kinetics Study of a Biotin Analogue.  J. Chem. Educ., 91 (7), 1073-1076.

Ho, K. & Ackroyd, N. C. (2014) Kinetic Study - A Collaborative Student Exercise.  Presented at the 97th Canadian Chemistry Conference, Vancouver, BC.

Fang, M., Toogood, R.D., Macova, A., Ho, K., Franzblau, S.G., McNeil, M.R., Sanders, D.A.R., & Palmer, D.R.J. (2010) Succinylphosphonate esters are competitive inhibitors of MenD that show active-site discrimination between homologous alpha-ketoglutarate-decarboxylating enzymes.  Biochemistry, 49, 2672-2679.Christopher Lovallo, PhD - Associate Professor

Research Interests: Many chemical reactions that cannot be easily performed in the lab can be modeled with a computer. In other cases, a model can add in the understanding of the detailed bonding or energy of a chemical process. My current projects involve the computational study on modeling metals in liquid helium, along with side projects on modeling transition metal complexes. I am also interested in the use of technology to teach undergraduate chemistry, particularly as it relates to so-called “dry” chemistry labs.

List of Projects: I am looking to accept CHEM 5201 students for projects involving chemical education or chemical modeling. Knowledge of quantum mechanics is not required; a hard worker who is willing to learn is what I am looking for.

Recent Publications and Presentations:
Lovallo, C.C., & Klobukowski, M. (2015) Comparison of Xenon and Radon Metal Halides. Chemical Physics Letters, 638, 249.

Fitzsimmons, A., Shim, J., Klobukowski, M., & Lovallo, C. C. (2011) Model Core Potential Studies of Radon Chemistry, Presented at World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists 2011 Conference.

Lovallo, C. C., Zeng, T., & Klobukowski, M. (2009, June 29). DFT / iMCP as a Tool for Organometallic
Chemistry. Presented at 64th ACS Northwest Regional Meeting (Tacoma, WA).

Lovallo, C. C. (2012) “The Chemistry Between Us”: How a General Education Course Can Help Bring Context into Introductory Chemistry. Presented at the 39th College Chemistry Canada Conference, Calgary, AB.

Lovallo, C. C. (2011) The Bohr Model at (Almost) 100: Is It Relevant in the 21st Century? Presented at the 38th College Chemistry Canada Conference, Montreal, QC.

Brett McCollum, PhD - Professor

Research Interests: My research interests focus on chemical education, specifically (1) effective uses of technology for the teaching and learning of chemistry and related fields, and (2) the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary teaching. I also have extensive experience with identifying chemical reaction mechanisms through the use of muonium (as a radioactive probe of chemical reactivity) and molecular modeling software.

List of Projects: I am currently looking for undergraduate research assistants for a project measuring the impact of iPads on students’ learning of molecular geometries and properties. Paid, volunteer, and course credit options are available. Additionally, students with a wider interest in chemical education should contact me regarding possibilities for a CHEM 5201 project. You can email me at bmccollum@mtroyal.ca .

Recent Publications:
McCollum, B.M., Regier, L., Leong, J., Simpson, S., & Sterner, S. The impact of iPads on students’ molecular visualization and spatial orientation skills. (Not Yet Submitted)

McCollum, B. M., Long, A., Pye, C., Brodovitch, J.C., Clyburne, J.A.C., & Percival, P.W. Azulene to Naphthalene Conversion: Generation and Detection of Radical Intermediates Using a Hydrogen Atom Surrogate (Muonium). Journal of the American Chemical Society (Not Yet Submitted).

McCollum, B., & Bratt, D. (2012). Teaching Nuclear Energy: The Challenges of Interdisciplinarity in the Classroom. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Nuclear Society (Saskatoon, SK).

Percival, P.W., McCollum, B.M., Brodovitch, J.C., Driess, M., Mitra, A., Mozafari, M., West, R., Xiong, Y., & Yao, S. (2012). Dual Reactivity of a Stable Zwitterionic N-Heterocyclic Silylene and Its Carbene Complex Probed with Muonium. Organometallics , 31(7), 2709-2714.

McCollum, B.M., & Bratt, D. (2011). Is the International Year of Chemistry the right time for a Global Nuclear Renaissance?. The Centennial Reader, 2.

Sherren, C.N., Mu, C., McKenzie, I., McCollum, B.M., Brodovitch, J.C., Percival, P.W., Storr, T., Seddon, K.R., Walsby, C.J., & Clyburne, J.A.C. (2011). Merging the chemistry of electron-rich olefins (ERO) with imidazolium ionic liquids: Generation and detection of a hydrogen atom adduct of an ERO. Chemical Science, 2(11), 2173-2177.

McCollum, B.M., Brodovitch, J., Clyburne, J.A.C., Percival, P.W., Tomasik, A., & West, R. (2009). Reaction of Stable N-Heterocyclic Silylenes and Germylenes with Muonium. Chemistry: A European Journal, 15, 8409-8412.

McCollum, B.M., Brodovitch, J.C., Clyburne, J.A.C., Percival, P.W., & West, R. (2009). Detection of a secondary muoniated radical. Physica B, 404(5), 940-942.

Brodovitch, J.C., McCollum, B.M., & Percival, P.W. (2009). Kinetics of Mu Addition to Acetone in Sub and Supercritical Water. Physica B, 404(5), 950-952.

Susan Morante, B.Sc., M.Sc. - Associate ProfessorBumblebees are notoriously difficult to identify from morphology alone. This has led to the development of more accurate techniques for species identification, including DNA analysis and mapping of the wing venation. The original scope of my research was to use chemical extraction to identify the pigments present in various colours of bee hair as a means of identifying different species. We then found that Raman spectroscopy provided a fast and non-destructive identification method to confirm the types of pigments present in hairs from Bombus moderatus, B. nevadensis, and B. rufocinctus. However this was quickly ruled out as a means of separating the various species, as the natural variation, even within a single hair, was too great for accurate identification. However, interesting observations of the hairs fluorescing under a light microscope led to the investigation of the cause of the fluorescence, including Raman spectroscopy, confocal microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and chemical extraction. Although the main pigment present in bumblebee hairs is melanin, the cause of the fluorescence is still under investigation. If you are interested in a Chem 5201/2 project, please get in touch with me, at smorante@mtroyal.ca. If you are interested in doing a literature survey and helping do some technical writing please contact me for a possible volunteer position.