Jennie Kirby manages the Environmental Organic Geochemistry lab. She graduated from McMaster with a degree in Chemistry, and has taught at the Chedoke School of Medical Technology. She has also worked in several industrial research labs as an analytical chemist, working in both organic and inorganic chemistry. Jennie also provides expert laboratory guidance for the students of Dr. Slater.
DR. ALLYSON BRADY
Allyson is currently an NSERC CREATE post-doctoral fellow and a member of the Origins Institute. Her primary research goals are to understand the interplay between microbial ecology and the geochemical environment. She has a broad range of research interests in the isotope geochemistry, organic biomarkers and molecular diversity of microbial communities in extreme environments. She is currently working on a number of projects including the characterization of organic biomarkers (phospholipid and glycolipid fatty acids) and associated 13C and 14C abundances in endoliths and geothermal springs, phospholipid fatty acid profiling of a composite tailings system, and understanding isotopic dynamics of methane cycling within a perennially ice-covered lake in the Antarctic.
David joined the lab as a PhD student in Fall 2013, after collaborating with the group under the supervision of Dr Brian McCarry. His research focuses on the use of multidimensional chromatography to characterize unresolved complex mixtures in environmental samples. He is currently collaborating with Syncrude Canada Ltd to profile naphthenic acids at the Sandhill Reclamation Fen site in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.
My research to date has been focused on the interplay between chemical contaminants in the environment and the native organisms inhabiting those ecosystems. Currently my research is exploring how microorganisms are affecting the release of high concentrations of arsenic to groundwater in Bangladesh aquifers. To examine this I am using a combination of carbon isotopic analysis of microbial lipids and metagenomic analyses of Bangladesh microbial communities.
Margot joined the lab in September 2013 after completing a MSc in Biochemistry. Her current research project investigates deep terrestrial subsurface environments for microbial biosignatures with a particular focus on lipid biomarkers. Margot is also actively involved in the astrobiology program with the Origins Institute where she gets to apply her knowledge of microbiology and genetics to all aspects of science in an effort to understand the origin of life on Earth and in space. In her spare time, Margot teaches dance and enjoys outdoor adventures and traveling.
Caitlin joined the lab in September 2014 following employment with the Ontario Geological Survey after graduating from Brock University in Environmental Geoscience. Currently Caitlin is studying a region of anomalous groundwater chemistry in the Niagara Peninsula with respect to various geochemical parameters. Her project is a collaboration with the Ontario Geological Survey, building on data obtained during the sampling of well water in the Ambient Groundwater Geochemistry Program from 2007-2014. Her interests include aqueous geochemistry, hydrogeology, groundwater field sampling and data management/ArcGIS.
Corey joined the lab group two years ago and completed an undergraduate thesis before graduating and continuing to work as a research assistant for Dr. Slater. His undergraduate work focused on examining riverbed microbial community changes in impacted vs. non-impacted rivers in Alberta, Canada. His current interests have shifted to GC/LC instrumentation systems and is currently examining master’s degree opportunities.