Olena Zenkina studied chemical engineering at NTU"KPI", Kharkiv, Ukraine. After graduation she joined the group of Prof. Milko van der Boom in the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. There she was working on her PhD in chemistry exploring d-10 metals ring-walking over pi-conjugated systems. Later she accepted a postdoctoral position in the group of Prof. Cathleen Crudden at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. In this role Dr. Zenkina was working on several projects including discovery of single crystal to single crystal transformations, development of novel oxygen sensors, and carbene self-assembled monolayers formation of gold surfaces. In 2014, Dr. Zenkina accepted a position at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Canada as an Assistant Professor. Her current professional interests are focused on green chemistry, water splitting and energy storage, and catalysis.

Dr. Iraklii Ebralidze is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the University of Toronto Scarborough. He is running a collaborative project with Prof. Zenkina in UOIT dealing with carbene metal complexes and their applications in catalysis and detection.

Ms. Nadia Laschuk develops passways for the synthesis of novel N- and carbene- type ligands, designs new transition metal complexes, and explores their application in metal detection and catalysts.

Ms. Holly Fruehwald develops new surface confined materials for selective metal ion sensing.

Jacquelyn Egan
Ms. Jacquelyn Egan works on developing of novel strategies that utilize supramolecular interactions for assembly and dissassembly of nanoparticles to form hybrid organic-organometallic materials in solution and a on hydrophilic TiO2, ITO, and SiO2 support.

Andrew Hynes
Mr. Andrew Hynes works on the development of screen printing methodology for creating electrochromic materials, supercapacitors, and sensors. He works with different substrates, first of all, focusing on screen printing of Indium Tin Oxide and Graphene Oxide.

Ms. Rana Ahmad works on materials for energy storage applications.


Ms. Yusra Ahmed was visiting M.Sc. student from Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK. Her one-year (2018-2019) project was focused on the development of novel electroluminescent materials.

Ms. Jade Poisson was developing colorimetric sensors for the toxic metal ions.

Ms. Sarah King was a visiting M.Sc. student from Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK. Her one-year (2017-2018) project is focused on the development of novel metal sensors.

Ms. Alexandra Deckert worked on the development of mercury sensors.

Mr. Stephen Kerr synthesizes novel building blocks for preparation of functional sensing materials and self-assembled monolayers.

Dr. Jesse Allan
Dr. Jesse Allan was a Postdoctoral Fellow co supervised with Prof. Brad Easton. In 2016-2017 he was developing novel organometellic materials for applications in clean energy conversion and storage, such as fuel cells, supercapacitors, and electrochromic devices.


Ms. Adaobi Obua was working on synthesis of N-aromatic ligands.

Ms. Heather Geoffrey was worksing on metal-ligand integrated assemblies and electrochromic devices.

Hannah Cusden
Ms. Hannah Cusden was a visiting M.Sc. student from Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK. Her one-year (2016-2017) project was focused on self-assembled monolayers for electrochromic devices and of heavy metal detectors in water.

In 2016 Ms. Brittany Loxton was working on one-pot multicomponent condensation reactions.

In 2015-2016 Ms. Valerie Bartlett was designing gold nanoparticles stabilized by novel ligands.

In 2015 Mr. Scott Gillis was working on immobilization of ligands on TiO2

In 2014 Mr. Waleed Nusrat was working on synthesis of novel ligands for water splitting.

Graduate external scholarships:
Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program Link
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Program Link Link2
Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEII-GSST) Program Link Link2

Group Photo

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Available Positions

We are looking for creative and talented students to join us. Research students will be exposed to diverse and interdisciplinary research activities and will gain a theoretical and practical education in various areas, such as organic and organometallic chemistry, materials and surface science.


Dr. Olena Zenkina University of Ontario Institute of Technology 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4 Science Building, Room 2020

phone: 905.721.8668 ext. 3644