Nadine is an atmospheric organic chemist interested in chemical mechanisms in the gas phase and in the aerosol phase. During her PhD, Nadine studied the chemical mechanisms of gas phase pollutants using mass spectrometry and chromatography. She has also gained experience working with Environment and Climate Change Canada as well as with the Council for Scientific Research, an air quality consulting company in South Africa. Nadine pursued an NSERC PDF at ETH Zurich in Switzerland studying photochemistry and its impact on aerosol-cloud interactions. The NBD group started in November 2018 supported by an Ambizione grant funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, and moved to the University of British-Columbia in January 2021. Ongoing NBD group interests include reactive oxygen species produced during photochemical exposure of aerosols and organic matter acting as atmospheric ice nuclei. The NBD group soon have an online mass spectrometer to look at the fate of indoor air pollutants. Nadine is also an aspiring science communicator and an avid alpine skier.


2015 - PhD in atmospheric chemistry

University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada


2011 - MSc in organic chemistry

University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada


2008 - BSc in chemistry

Université de Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada


Madri grew up in Kandy-Sri Lanka and earned her B.Sc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of Peradeniya. In 2018, she started her graduate studies at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, with Professor Donovan C. Haines. Her work with Dr. Haines included studying P450 monooxygenases and analyzing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) using solid phase microextraction in collaboration with NASA. Currently, she is pursuing her PhD at UBC where she works with Nadine and the NBD Group. Coming from Chemistry and Molecular Biology, Madri brings a diverse background and a broad set of skills. In the NBD group, Madri’s project focuses on investigating indoor air photochemistry and studying indoor sources of singlet oxygen sensitization. Outside the lab, Madri enjoys cooking, dancing, watching comedy movies and playing board games.

Madri pic.jpg

2020 - MSc in Chemistry

Sam Houston State University, Texas, United States

2018 - MSc in Biotechnology

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

2015 - BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Ayomide grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and earned her BSc degree from the University of Ibadan. She is currently pursuing her PhD in the NBD group studying the fate of indoor air molecules using the Vocus PTR-ToF, an online mass spectrometer. Her focus is specifically on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from personal care products such as fragrances. Outside the lab, Ayomide enjoys long walks, scrolling on twitter, taking pictures and spending time with friends.


2019 - BSc in Chemistry

University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Paul Bieber  🇦🇹

Paul was born in Vienna and grew up in the rural area around the city. After he finished High School with a focus on mechatronics, he studied Technical Chemistry at the Technical University of Vienna. During his master thesis project, he built a drone-based sampling setup to measure bioaerosols emitted from the

terrestrial biosphere. After his Master graduation, Paul joined the NBD group where he is pursuing his PhD and will move to Vancouver soon. Paul aims to investigate the ice nucleation activity of biomolecules in a bottom-up approach to gain fundamental understanding of heterogeneous ice nucleation. When Paul is not sampling bioaerosols with drones or investigating ice nucleating molecules in the lab, he likes to spend several days outside hiking and camping at fascinating



2021- MSc in Technical, Applied Physical, and Analytical Chemistry

Technical University Wien, Vienna, Austria

2019 - BSc in Technical Chemistry

Technical University Wien, Vienna, Austria

Paul Heine 🇩🇪

Paul was born and raised in Northern Germany and completed his BSc degree in organic chemistry at University of Rostock. In 2019 he moved to Vancouver to pursue his PhD degree at UBC in inorganic chemistry. Here he worked on phosphaalkene containing smart polymers. More recently Paul decided to apply his background in organic and inorganic synthesis towards the field of atmospheric chemistry. He joined the NBD group in September 2021 with the interest of studying the fate of volatile Selenium species in the atmosphere using the Vocus (PTR-TOF-MS). Outside of the lab Paul likes to indulge in the beautiful nature of British Columbia on foot, his bicycle or skis.


2019 - BSc in Organic Chemistry

University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany

Anna Zeleny 🇺🇸

Anna is from Minnesota, USA where she earned her BA in Chemistry with an environmental concentration from the College of Saint Benedict. During her undergraduate studies, she developed an interest in biodegradable polymer synthesis and development. She joined the NBD group in January 2022 to pursue her PhD studying atmospheric ice nucleation. Applying her passion for biopolymers, she is focusing on determining the mechanisms through which lignin is an atmospheric ice nucleator from a bottom-up approach. When she isn’t in the lab, Anna is accumulating her Ngondro, writing music for her punk band, saving worms from puddles, and exploring Vancouver via bike.


2021 - Bachelor of Arts

College of Saint Benedit, Minnesota, USA

Claudia Sardena 🇮🇹

Claudia grew up in Padua, Italy. She completed her BSc degree in Chemistry at the University of Padua. She is currently pursuing her MSc in Chemistry at the University of Ferrara, a small city near her hometown. She has been living in Vancouver since 2021 thanks to online courses. She joined the NBD group in May for her Master's thesis research and she will be looking at particulate matter from different burning materials and study sources of singlet oxygen sensitization. Outside the lab, she enjoys hiking, cycling, camping, climbing, and everything that can be done in nature!

2019 - Bachelor of Chemistry

University of Padova, Italy

Rickey Lee  🇨🇦

Rickey grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia and decided to pursue a Bachelor's in Chemistry with a strong interest in Instrumental Analysis. He loves the concept of thinking up ideas for designing setups for analytical chemistry such as block diagrams, and has great interest in continuously learning the theory about it. Currently he is looking at analyzing data sets from ambient aerosols using the scanning mobility particle sizer and seeing what new knowledge we can learn about indoor particulates. When he has free time, he practices archery or goes hiking. Though nowadays during the pandemic, he has fun tinkering with electronics.


2022 - Bachelor of Chemistry

University of British Columbia, Canada


Isabelle Lao  🇵🇭

Isabelle was born in Manila, Philippines, but grew up in Shanghai, China where she lived for most of her life before moving to Vancouver for university. Currently, she is pursuing a BSc in Chemistry and Oceanography at UBC. In the NBD group, she is looking at data from the IMPROVE aerosol network to investigate the atmospheric component of the biogeochemical cycle of selenium. Outside of school, Isabelle likes reading, watching basketball (go Warriors!), and going for very, very long walks.


2021 - Bachelor of Chemistry

University of British Columbia, Canada


Brandon Kozmen CA

Brandon is from Whitehorse, Yukon, and is currently finishing his BSc in Chemistry at The University of British Columbia. Although new to the NBD team, Brandon brings an environmental science skill set from his previous student employment that includes measuring, monitoring, and analyzing air quality data. Here in Vancouver, you can find Brandon studying singlet oxygen sensitization and air filter extraction methods. When he isn’t studying or researching you can find him socializing with friends, or playing guitar.


Ongoing - Bachelor of Chemistry

University of British Columbia, Canada


Chloé Arthozoul 🇫🇷, Research Intern, 2022
Aldo R. Guzman 🇲🇽, Visiting research student, 2022
Sophie Bogler 🇩🇪, Bachelor & Master research assistant, 2018-2022
Jason Kim 🇰🇷, Undergraduate RLE student, 2021-2022
Nicole Link 🇺🇸, Undergraduate RLE student, 2022
Katie Thompson 🇬🇧, Visiting PhD student, 2022
Gurpriya Bhangoo 🇨🇦, Undergraduate RLE student, 2021
Jon Went 🇨🇭, Bachelor thesis student, 2019-2020
Andrew Leoppky 🇨🇦, MSc student (for 1 semester), 2020
Sebastian Zala 🇨🇭, Master thesis student, 2020
Anna Miller 🇺🇸, Master student and thesis student, 2018-2020
Silvan Müller 🇨🇭, Master thesis student and intern, 2019-2020
Lisa Leist 🇩🇪, PhD student, 2019
Killian Brennan 🇨🇭, Bachelor thesis student (2018) and Master student assistant, 2019
Max Aragon Cerecedes 🇲🇽, Bachelor summer student, 2019
Lin Boynton 🇺🇸, Master student assistant, 2018
Vera Weichlinger 🇨🇭, Bachelor thesis student, 2017
Julia Werz 🇨🇭, Bachelor thesis student, 2017


Defining diversity, inclusion and equity:

To foster a diverse environment, proactive inclusion efforts are necessary to ensure that a person associated with any underserved, marginalized or excluded populations, feels welcomed, supported, safe and valued. Our group defines equity in academia as equal rights and equal access to opportunities to all students and staff. 


How does our group promote diversity and foster inclusion?

To encourage diversity, we believe one has to be themselves diverse in their own life experiences, skills and research. We know from firsthand experience that science is global, and only through diversity can one truly reach research excellence. A multicultural research group has the advantage of tapping into a rich resource of experiences, point of views and innovative ideas. The student-mentor relationship is dynamic, and consequently taking feedback and learning from colleagues, including students at all levels, is just as important as giving feedback. From our own experience, this type of relationship helps to foster inclusion through a supportive learning environment. This mentality is applicable to research, by diversifying research topics based on student expertise and interest, in mentoring, by being considerate of cultural backgrounds, and in teaching/outreach, by adapting to different learning styles and catering to different audiences. Finally, we hold each other to high standards of integrity, accountability and respect, necessary to foster an inclusive work and study environment. In times of struggle, we also know to seek assistance whether it be personal and/or professional help and encourage our peers to do so as well.

The NBD Group aims to be a trailblazingly diverse research group!