Crudden Research Lab

The Group

Current Members

Post Docs

Hey there! My name is Hriday, with a lot of conflicts on how to pronounce it properly, which I better not discuss here. I was born and brought up in a small town named Durgapur (200 Km from Kolkata) in India. Then moved to Kolkata for my B.Sc. (Chemistry Hons.) at St. Xavier’s College. Stayed in the same city and completed my M.Sc. at Jadavpur University. After which, I moved to Canada and joined Prof. Jens Müller’s Lab to pursue my Ph.D. where I worked on making boron-bridged strained ferrocenophanes and used them as monomers for boron-containing metallopolymers. After spending an amazing time there in Saskatoon, I moved to Kingston in February 2019 and joined Crudden’s Lab as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Here I am working on an exciting project of making biosensors where NHC molecules will be used as a “glue” between electrode surfaces (e.g., gold) and biological pathogens.

Other than Chemistry, I am passionate about Photography. I also enjoy cooking delicious Indian dishes and listening to (mainly) Bollywood music in my spare time.

Srijit was born and raised in Yavatmal, India and received his B.Tech/M.Tech degrees from the Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, India. During his bachelor’s, he worked on studying cellular effects of anticancer drugs on different cancerous cell lines and developing microfluidics-based rapid DNA hybridization system for disease detection. During his master’s, he worked on developing and studying chitosan nanoparticles-based drug delivery system in Entamoeba histolytica. In 2015, he moved to Kingston to start his PhD in interrogation of metallic nanostructures for sensing and biosensing applications. He developed new surface plasmon resonance biosensor based on plasmonic crossed surface relief gratings and developed miniaturized biosensing platforms to detect pathogenic E. coli in clinically relevant concentrations. In addition, he also investigated chemical sensing of contaminant via surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy and developed low-cost sensing substrates using MiiCraftTM 3D printer and EnvisionTECTM 3D bioplotter.

I was born and raised in Eastern Europe, in the beautiful city of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. My B.Sc. and M.Sc. studies in Analytical Chemistry were carried out at the Kyiv Taras Shevchenko University. My work under supervision of Olga A. Zaporozhets was focused on developing solid-state analytical reagents for sorption-spectroscopic and visual test determination of heavy metal ions. From those times comes a habit of meticulous cleaning of all lab glassware as well as my fascination with hiking, biking, and speleology. I gained broad experience and got a real passion in Materials Chemistry (for instance, mesostructured mesoporous silica or metal nanoparticles) while working as a Junior Research Associate at the Institute of Surface Chemistry (Kyiv, Ukraine). Big changes came to my life upon moving to Canada to continue my study at Western University (London, Ontario) under the guidance of John F. Corrigan and Yining Huang. My Ph.D. research was focused on semiconductor structured materials, in particular, 3D arrangements of CdS and CdSe nanoclusters. I moved to Kingston and joined the Crudden group at Queen’s University as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in July 2018 to work towards the preparation of novel NHC-stabilized metal nanoclusters and making use of such their properties as remarkable photophysics and catalytic activity.

When I am not doing chemistry, I am still experimenting in my kitchen with cooking new dishes. My spare time is mainly devoted to the most demanding long-term project of my life – raising my daughter. Together, we enjoy reading, swimming, and solving various puzzles. Please, feel free to contact me at

Hello! My name is Shelby Strausser. I was born and raised in Virginia and attended Longwood University for my B.S. in Chemistry. This was where I fell in love with Organic Chemistry, so I decided to attend University of Tennessee, Knoxville for my PhD. My graduate school research consisted of synthesizing N-heterocyclic carbenes for the functionalization of surfaces and their corresponding metal complexes in Dr. David Jenkins lab. I have joined the Crudden lab to further expand my knowledge on NHC metal surfaces and complexes. Outside of the lab, I love to bake, sew, read, and spend time with my husband and our adorable dog, Rocco.  

My name is Joey DeJesus and I was born and raised in the greater metropolitan area of Orlando, Florida.  I did my bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida and had the opportunity to work with both Prof. Yi Liao’s and Prof. Karin Chumbimuni-Torres’ groups and worked on synthesizing visible light photoacids and alkali metal ionophores, respectively.  Deciding Florida was too dang hot, I moved further north and did my Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  I worked with Prof. David Jenkins’ group and worked on multiple projects that applied NHC chemistry to SERS sensing (collaboration with Prof. Jon Camden’s group), chiral ligand design and chemistry of macrocyclic tetra NHC complexes with primarily iron, uranium and thorium.  Since Tennessee wasn’t cold enough, I moved to Canada and joined the Crudden group in January 2020 to work on projects applying new NHCs towards design of metal nanoclusters and functionalizing metal surfaces.

In my spare time, I enjoy fulfilling activities such as low speed running and cycling, as well as being awful at video games.  I am also very passionate about eating good food and drinking more coffee than is probably healthy for me.  If you have any questions about the group, feel free to reach out by emailing me at !

Born in Mexico City. In 2013, I obtained my BSc. Chemistry degree from UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico). During my research project, I focused on the study of new catalytic and stoichiometric reactions, mediated by Group 11 metal complexes (Gold and Silver). Following this, I joined Prof. Deborah Kays’ research group (University of Nottingham, UK), where I carried out an MRes. (2014) and subsequently a PhD (2016). My primary interests during my postgraduate studies, included the stabilisation of highly reactive, low-coordinate metal centres. With particular attention towards new processes catalysed by environmentally benign and highly abundant elements. Examples of this, include use of Group 1 species in dehydrocoupling of amine-boranes, and the selective hydrophosphination of activated alkenes by first row transition-metal complexes (Mn, Fe and Co). Following completion of my PhD, in 2019 I joined Prof. Robin Bedford’s Group (University of Bristol, UK), as a Postdoctoral Research Associate (Catalysis Hub). Where I studied new synthetic strategies towards C-C bond formation, catalysed by d-block elements. With parallel interest in small molecule activation and synthesis/use of electrophilic carbenes.
I recently joined the Crudden group (Nov 2021), and I will be exploring the use of sulfones, as cross-coupling partners in catalytic systems.
Outside of the lab, I enjoy ice skating and indoors bouldering/climbing.

Graduate Students: PhD Candidates

My name is Alex Veinot, and I joined the Crudden group in September 2017 as a PhD student. I’m originally from the very small town of Middleton, Nova Scotia (population of 1800), and enjoyed my first visit to Kingston because of its small town feel. I completed my Bachelor’s (Honours) degree at Acadia University (Wolfville, NS, 2015) under the supervision of Dr. Bobby Ellis, and during this time I became interested in synthetic inorganic chemistry. Next, I completed my Master’s at Saint Mary’s University (Halifax, NS, 2017) under the supervision of Dr. Jason Masuda, where I continued to pursue inorganic chemistry and found a new interest and appreciation for X-ray crystallography. During my time in the Crudden group I will continue to study organometallic chemistry, while complimenting my synthetic background with some techniques specific to materials chemistry. During my free time I enjoy being outdoors exploring Kingston’s many walking trails, fishing, and playing golf. I highly recommend Queen’s for anyone who is hesitant about moving to a big city like Toronto or for anyone who enjoys being outdoors, feel free to contact me at if you have any questions about the group or the city.

Hello there! My name is Dianne Lee. I am originally from South Korea, but I immigrated to Canada in 2006. I am from a small town called Rothesay, New Brunswick. I joined the Crudden group as a Msc student in May 2017. I finished my BSc Honours in Chemistry at Dalhousie University in 2017. During my 4th year, I did my honours research project under the guidance of Dr. Alex Speed. My undergraduate research was based on the asymmetric catalysis towards bis(amino)cyclopropenylidene carbene-borane adduct.  Contact:

Hi everyone, my name is Emily Albright and I joined the Crudden group in January of 2018 to begin my PhD degree. I am originally from Burtts Corner, a small town in New Brunswick just outside of Fredericton. I studied at the University of New Brunswick where I obtained my BSc degree with honors in medicinal chemistry. After realizing my passion for synthetic chemistry and research, I continued my studies at UNB completing my MSc degree under supervision of Dr. Sara Eisler where I was investigating structural and electronic properties of small organic molecules as building blocks for organic electronic devices.  My current work in the Crudden group involves the synthesis of palladium nanoparticles stabilized by N-heterocyclic carbenes and studying their catalytic ability. When I am not busy in the lab, I enjoy sewing and DIY projects as well as spending time outdoors. If you have any questions about the group or life in Kingston, please feel free to contact me at!


My name is Ishwar, I moved from New Delhi, India to Toronto to pursue my undergraduate studies at UofT. After a long 4 year journey through the world of chemistry, I’m here in Kingston working under Dr Crudden as a graduate student.

Outside of lab I do powerlifting, some amateur photography and listen to east-coast hip hop music.


Hello everybody!

My name is Emiliya and I am a first-year Ph.D. student in the Crudden research group. I graduated with a B.Sc.Honors majoring in Chemistry from Brandon University in 2013. In the fall of 2015, I received a Master of Science in Chemistry degree from the University of British Columbia. I developed zinc catalysts for the synthesis of a biodegradable polymer, polylactic acid. Besides, I have experience in the oilfield chemistry industry. I worked as a researcher in Russia for four years. My duties included creating and modifying novel demulsifier compounds, supporting field bottle testing crews, and testing intermediates and finished products. I actively participated in conducting laboratory trials of demulsifiers in Western Siberia.      

In my free time, I love spending time with my family and in the countryside gardening with my mom. 

My name is Angus Sullivan. I lived in Kingston until I was 12 when I moved to beautiful Haliburton, Ontario. I did an undergraduate thesis project at Trent University with Dr. Andrew Vreugdenhil and Dr. Steven Rafferty on biocatalyst immobilization in amorphous silica. I graduated with a BSc in chemistry in 2019 and joined the Crudden lab in September of 2019.

I am very happy to be back in Kingston. I spend most of my free time playing sports like soccer, running, playing chess, and watching anime. I’m very excited to begin my research in the Crudden group and learn a lot more about chemistry and working in a lab!

Hello! My name is Mark Aloisio. I am originally from Sherwood Park, a town just outside of Edmonton, Alberta. I attended the University of Alberta where I obtained both my BSc and MSc degrees. During both my degrees I had the pleasure to work under the supervision of Prof. Jeffrey Stryker. My project involved the exploration of single electron methodologies to afford disubstituted quinolines through radical catalysis and electrochemical synthesis. I joined the Crudden group in September 2021 as a PhD student, looking to broaden my experiences in the field of chemistry. In my free time, I enjoy practicing guitar, learning to bake different kinds of bread, and conversing with friends over coffee or beer.

Graduate Students: MSc Candidates

Hi Everyone, my name is Nicole Dozois. I joined the Crudden Group in Fall 2018 to complete my fourth-year thesis and B.Sc. Honours in Chemistry and pursue a M.Sc. through the Accelerated Master’s Degree Program in Chemistry. After my third year of my B.Sc., I spent 16 months on an internship at DuPont Canada. Here, I had the opportunity to participate in the optimization and scale up of chemical synthesis operations and analyze products produced by a variety of process development projects. I really enjoyed the organic work I did, and I hope to continue learning and growing in this field in the Crudden Group. Outside the lab, I enjoy travelling and adapting to new places as I was born in Germany and have lived all over North America including Alaska, Alabama, Quebec, Oklahoma and many more places. I also enjoy cozying up with tea and a book when I have spare time. Please feel free to reach out to me at if you have any questions or want to chat.

My name is Viveka (or Viv) and I’m from Toronto, Ontario. I completed my B.Sc in chemistry at Mount Allison University, in the tiny one-traffic-light town of Sackville, New Brunswick. I did my honours research project in the Metal Heads group with Dr. Glen Briand on redox active bismuth catalyst. I came back to Ontario because I missed the squirrels and am now working on nanoclusters in the Crudden group. Outside of the lab I enjoy hiking, eating and assembling Ikea furniture.

Hello! My name is Jordan Brown. I completed my BSc at the University of Guelph and joined the Crudden group in September 2020 as a MSc student. I’m very happy to be here learning about chemistry and meeting people in the field!  

Outside of the lab I enjoy spending time outdoors and especially like to go camping in the summer and snowboarding in the winter! Feel free to say hi!  

Hi everyone, my name is Lukas Killinger. I am a German student from Stuttgart participating at the double degree program with Queen’s. I have started my graduate studies in October 2019 in Stuttgart and joined the Crudden group in September 2020. Unfortunately, I can’t travel to Kingston at the moment but hopefully will be there in January 2021. During my undergraduate studies I did research on N-heterocyclic phospheniumions.

I spend my free time with sports like soccer, swimming and running. Furthermore I’m active in the local youth work. I’m really looking forward to travel to Canada and gain some new experiences in another country. Please feel free to reach out to me at if you have any questions or want to chat.

My name is Alannah Constable. I joined the Crudden group in September 2020 to complete my honours research project and B.Sc. Honours in Chemistry. My project involved the optimization and investigation of secondary allyl sulfones as latent nucleophiles in palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions. I am now starting my first year of graduate studies and will be continuing my work with catalysis group. 


Outside of the lab I enjoy reading, hiking, and travelling! Feel free to contact me at if you have any questions or inquiries. 

I am originally from Toronto and completed my BSc. in chemistry at Ryerson University. During my undergraduate, my research project was on optical logic properties of photo-switchable organic molecules. Now I am excited to be starting the first year of my MSc., working in the Crudden group on catalysis.  
Before starting my career in chemistry I worked as a chef mainly in traditional Italian pizzerias.

Undergraduate Students

Hey everyone, my name is Jacqui Higgins, and I am from Ottawa, but I have been studying in Kingston for the last few years. I am currently in my fourth year of a Bachelor of Science Hons. in Chemistry and I am also pursuing a certificate in Business. I joined the Crudden research group last summer as an NSERC USRA student and will be continuing with the group for my fourth-year research project. I will be working on the synthesis of enantiomerically enriched triarylmethanes by enantiospecific Suzuki-Miyaura Cross-Coupling reactions.

Outside of the lab I enjoy reading, travelling, and sometimes highland dancing. You can reach out to me at for any questions about undergraduate studies in Queen’s chemistry or to chat!


Hello, My name is Michael Furlan. I am currently in the fourth year of my BsCH program in Physics and Chemistry. For my Undergraduate Thesis and Accelerated Master’s, I am being supervised as part of the Crudden and McLean (Physics) groups to continue Scanning Probe studies of the Self-Assembly of NHC’s on surfaces. I’m very much looking forward to being a part of these experiments on both the chemical and physical side!

Outside the lab, I spend most of my time reading, rowing, and running. Please feel free to contact me at

Outside of the lab you can find me reading, cooking, or practicing Pilates. Feel free to contact me at to say hi or if you have any questions.

Hi everyone! My name is Thea Babalis, and I am currently in my fourth year of a BSc Honours in Chemistry. I am working in the Crudden group as part of my fourth-year research project where I will be studying and developing methods to attach biologically active molecules to metal surfaces.  

Outside of lab I enjoy travelling, reading, and film. Feel free to contact me at for any questions or to chat! 

Hello! My name is Anastasia, and I am a fourth-year Life Science (Honours) BSc undergraduate at Queen’s University. This year, I’ll be working with the Crudden research group, in collaboration with the She lab, for my fourth-year independent study project. The overall goal of my project is to find ways we can optimize the efficiency of NHC-TLR based biosensors on gold for pathogen detection. It is our hope that our findings have varying implications in many fields including populational health. 


Outside of the lab, I work with Dr. Carran’s in his organic chemistry class at Queen’s, CHEM281/282, as an undergraduate volunteer. Outside of anything chemistry related, I love to play my electric guitar, draw, paint, go on runs, and hang out with friends.  


If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

Visiting Researchers

Former Members

Ali Nazemi

Post Doc

Brandon Moore

MSc Student

Brian Bestvater

MSc Student

Chris Ziebenhaus

MSc Student

Christene Smith

PhD Student

Ed Cieplechowicz

MSc Student

Eric Keske

PhD Student

Henry Li

Post Doc

Jansen Lau

Undergraduate Student

Jason Rygus

MSc Student

Jenny McLeod

MSc Student

Kenedy Ayoo

Undergraduate Student

Lacey Reid

PhD Student

Luiza Freitas

Post Doc

Matt Zamora

Post Doc

Mike MacLean

PhD Student

Olena Zenkina

Post Doc

Patrick Eisenberger

Post Doc

Patrick Garret

Undergraduate Student

Phil Unsworth

Post Doc

Samantha Voth

MSc Student

Sarah Piotrkowski

MSc Student

Wenxia Zhou

MSc Student

Xiaowei Wu

Post Doc

Zhe She

Post Doc

Polina Novoseltseva

BSc student

Mina Narouz

PhD student

Josh Clarke

PhD student

Jacky Yim

Post Doc

Paul Lummis

Post Doc

Zach Ariki

PhD student

Yuki Maekawa

Post Doc

Kim Osten

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Karthik Devaraj

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Renee Man

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Lindsay Young

BSc student

Koushik Ghosh

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Hong Yi

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Group Trips & Activities

The Crudden group works hard, but we have lots of fun outside the lab as well! It’s not unusual to find us at the Grad Club celebrating a publication, an award, or just some great results.

Kingston is great for winter activities. The public skating facilities at the market square are a short walk from campus, and there are lots of hills for a fun afternoon of sledding.

In the summer, we switch to warm weather fun, and we usually have at least one beach day, and take a long weekend to go camping.

There’s a lot fo fun to be had, both in the lab and out!