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 an instrumental specialist of the Faculty of Science Materials Characterization Facility, Ontario TechU. He provides technical support and operates advanced analytical instrumentation actively participating in the group research. Previously, as a Postdoctoral Fellow of the University of Toronto Scarborough, he was running a collaborative project dealing with carbene metal complexes and their applications in catalysis and detection.

Dr. Reza Alipour Moghadam Esfahani works as Research Postdoctoral Fellow in the area of electrocatalysis and electrobiosensing.

Ms. Nadia Laschuk is a PhD candidate who develops passways for the synthesis of novel N- and carbene- type ligands, designs new transition metal complexes, and explores their application in electrochromic materials and materials for metal detection.

Ms. Holly Fruehwald is a PhD candidate under co-supervision of Drs Zenkina and Easton. Holly develops new surface confined materials for selective metal ion sensing and catalysis.


During her MSc studies, Ms. Adaobi Obua develops antimicrobial materials.
Before, as a BSc student, she was working on synthesis of N-aromatic ligands.

Ms. Rana Ahmad is a Master's student developing symmetric electrochromic materials. Her BSc project was focused on materials for energy storage applications.


Ms. Emily Laird synthesizes molecular receptors for lead sensing.

Mr. Peter Melino modifies the surface of metal oxide supports with N-based ligands for the formation of oxygen reduction reaction catalysts.

Ms. Mackenzie Bell is currently working on the synthesis of N-based ligands and studying their electrochemical properties.


Jacquelyn Egan
Ms. Jacquelyn Egan was working 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 was working on the development of screen printing methodology for creating electrochromic materials, supercapacitors, and sensors.

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 was focused on the development of novel metal sensors.

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

Mr. Stephen Kerr was working on the development of 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. 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 Photos

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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