The Group

Dr. Paul Duchesne

Assistant Professor

PDF: University of Toronto | PhD: Dalhousie University

Background in catalytic materials synthesis, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and heterogeneous carbon dioxide reduction.


Current Group Members

Emerson MacNeil, BSc

MSc Candidate | 2021 – Present

I have always had an interest in transition metal chemistry, materials, and sustainability, so I have found the perfect home here in the Duchesne Group. I completed my undergraduate thesis project in the group by looking at the reduction of CO2 to C8+ alkanes using a supported transition metal catalyst. Now, as an MSc candidate, I am continuing this research with an added focus on using X-ray spectroscopy to characterize my catalyst materials. My future goals include working in industry with renewable fuels, or possibly seeking a Ph.D. in a similar field. Outside of the lab, I am a huge basketball fan, and I love playing tennis and snowboarding, as well.


Danika Watson, BSc

MSc Candidate | 2021 – Present

(Primary Supervisor: Prof. Neal Scott)

Over the course of my undergraduate studies, I have been interested in green chemistry and chemical research related to climate change. For my fourth-year thesis, I worked on developing a photocatalyst for the conversion of carbon dioxide to methanol (a chemical fuel). My research interests are now primarily focused on climate change on a broader scale, and specifically, the permafrost feedback loop, considering that the Arctic is warming at an accelerated rate. Permafrost systems can be studied through the chemical analysis of permafrost soils, one useful method being 13C NMR. I am currently developing a pre-treatment method to improve the quality of soil spectra obtained using 13C NMR. I will be transitioning into an MSc in Physical Geography in the fall, where I will combine the use of spectroscopy with other analytical tools to study how Arctic permafrost systems might respond to future warming.


Mariangela Casarella

CHEM 497 Student | 2021 – 2022


William Hachey

CHEM 497 Student | 2021 – 2022


Past Graduate Students

  • (In training!)

Past CHEM 497 Students

  • Daisy Nguyen, BSc | 2021
  • Griffen du Maresq-Henshaw, BSc | 2021
  • Danika Watson, BSc | 2020 – 2021
  • Emerson MacNeil, BSc | 2020 – 2021

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