The Green Safe Water Lab

Current members

Graduate Students + Post-doctoral researchers:

Negar Rahmati (she/her) PhD Student

Negar was born and raised in the Tehran, Capital of Iran. In 2013, She started her undergrad in Polymer Engineering at Amirkabir University of Technology. Main fields of studies were Polymer coatings and Surface chemistry. During 4 years of Bachelor program she spend her time working as an Intern in Colour management sector of a Car company as well as working on her undergrad thesis. The main Objective of her project was synthesis of a fluorescent organic dye which experiences shifts in emissions with the change of media’s polarity, known as solvatochromism effect (and of course she dedicated a large chunk of undergrad years to mountain climbing team of her own department as a committee and leader). To dive deeper into her passion with polymer coatings, she continued her studies as M.Sc. student at Institute for Colour Science and Technology. After a few times of mind changing and unexpected happenings, she focused on developing Amphiphilic foul-release coatings. Her project involved developing marine coating as well as characterization of them from several aspects such as mechanical properties, surface chemistry and foul-release studies. That was her very first step into ocean concerned studies. Seeking for more, she joined Green Safe Water Lab in January 2022 to start her PhD program. Her project mainly revolves around designing new foul-release smart marine coatings that are safe for deployment in marine environments. Outside the lab, most of her energy goes to getting fitted into the society as an international student, while spending the weekends in beautiful nature of BC. Negar enjoys hiking, camping and taking really long walks!

Georgia Douglas (she/they) MSc Student

Georgia was born in Toronto, ON, and grew up in the surrounding suburbs. In 2016, she moved to Montreal, QC to complete her undergraduate studies at McGill University. In the summer of 2019, she joined the Moores group and developed a passion for green chemistry. Her projects focused on the mechanochemical synthesis of phosphorus-containing materials, including nickel phosphide nanoparticles used as hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts. After two years with the Moores group, she graduated from McGill with a BSc degree in Environment and Atmosphere Chemistry. In January 2022, Georgia joined the University of Victoria’s Green Safe Water Lab to start her MSc degree. While she is here, her research will focus on the development of a colorimetric sensor for arsenic contamination in drinking water. Outside of the lab, Georgia enjoys hiking, reading and skiing.

Kirsten Aasen (she/her) MSc Student

Kirsten grew up in the rolling hills of Coquitlam, BC. In 2016, she began her undergrad at the University of Windsor, ON where she studied Forensic Science with a specialization in Biochemistry (and absolutely crushed it on the varsity volleyball court). After three years of being a lost and confused undergrad with no direction in life, she began her thesis with the Rondeau-Gagne group – a decision that opened her eyes to the world of material chemistry. Her project involved investigating a pre-metered process for the deposition of dielectric and semiconductive materials for use in various organic electronics. Through this work, she learnt a lot about organic synthesis, material deposition and characterization, and the electronic properties of polymers. After five years in Windsor, Kirsten emerged with a degree in Forensics – a field she is not emotionally equipped for – and a newfound passion for chemistry that brought her all the way to Victoria’s Green Safe Water Lab. Here, she hopes to use her knowledge of materials in pursuit of technologies that allow for equal distribution, optimized safety, and increased supply of the most important resource on the planet. In her free time, you will find her learning how to unicycle, learning how to play the piano, re-learning French, backpacking, and trying to do “The Worm” on a crowded dance floor.

Dr. Fatima Shatila (she/her) Postdoctoral Affiliate/ Researcher

Born and raised in Beirut the capital of Lebanon. I finished my BS and MS in Biology from Beirut Arab University (Beirut, Lebanon). My master thesis tackled the topic of Microbial Pigments. Since then I became fascinated by these tiny little factories and became passionate to know more about them. After which, I won the Türkiye Scholarships and finished my PhD in Basic and Industrial Microbiology from the Aegean University (Ege Üniversitesi) in Izmir/ Turkey. My PhD dissertation tackled the topic of Microbial Biofilms and aimed to assess the efficiency of Aptamers as antibiofilm and anti-invasion agents. I also participated in several studies especially in projects one of which tackled the determination of “Biosurfactants as antibiofilm agents” while the other one evaluated “Rhamnolipid production and Rhamnolipid synthesis gene expression by Pseudomonas aeruginosa”. I have recently joined the Buckley Group as a postdoctoral affiliate in a research Project “Breaking Biofilms with Ordinary Polymers – Light-Activated Antimicrobial Crosslinkers”. Which makes it my third experience in fighting microbial biofilms! When I am not inside the labs, I’d be mainly researching. Other than that I enjoy socializing, going for walks and watching movies.

Hayley Smith (she/her) PhD Candidate

Born in Edmonton, AB, Hayley is a Chemical Engineer with 4+ years of experience spanning production optimization, chemical plant and refinery systems management. She worked with Ecolab across North America, where she supported with feasibility study reviews, design modifications and water treatment improvement activities for clients spanning across the petrochemical, utilities and energy sectors. Passionate about research and sustainable environmental solutions, Hayley joined the Green Safe Water lab in January 2021. Her PhD research focuses on the characterization and optimization of extraction methods for alginate-based plastics to advance the development of higher-value biodegradable materials. She has also spent time developing safe chemical alternatives to mitigate biofouling for water treatment. Outside of work, Hayley loves coffee, her dog Molson and spends her free time hiking, swimming and exploring the outdoors.

Luiz Henrique Correa (he/him) PhD Candidate

Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Luiz is an environmental and water resources engineer who graduated from the University of California, Davis (the United States) and Universidade Federal Fluminense (Brazil). He holds a Master of Science degree from IHE Delft (The Netherlands), Ghent University (Belgium), and UCT Prague (Czechia). Luiz worked in renewable energy technology-related projects at Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates during 2018; in environmental consultancy of technologies applied to recover nutrients from organic wastes at United Experts in Lovenjoel, Belgium during 2019; & in the designing and optimization of decentralized wastewater treatment units and energy recovery technologies at PureBlue Water in Hulst, the Netherlands during 2020. In the Spring of 2021, Luiz joined the Green Safe Water Lab, as a Ph.D. student, to develop an economic, eco-friendly, and safe antifoulant to mitigate biofouling and membrane durability problems in RO systems. Outside of research, Luiz enjoys traveling, hiking, marvel movies, and singing.

Chris Tremblay (he/him) PhD Candidate

Chris comes from interior BC, growing up in the small town of Fruitvale. In 2015 he began studying chemistry at the University of Calgary, where he remained for five years. During his undergraduate degree, he worked as a research assistant in the Kimura-Hara group. His project involved studying the quantification of halogenated disinfection byproducts using adsorption, combustion and ion chromatography. After graduation, he returned to interior BC for 5 months to work for Metal Tech Alley on a joint project with the LCCDTS metallurgical committee. Here he spent his time analyzing opportunities to attract new regional developments in advanced materials. The goal of this research was to not only bring new insights to the regional materials sector, but also direct all new developments to incorporate circular economy. With a background in both materials and modern analytical chemistry, he now turns his research career to the University of Victoria’s Green Safe Water Lab. His PhD research focuses on designing greener, precious metal free electrocatalysts for hydrogen fuel cells and metal-air batteries. He has also spent time working on the development of groundwater fluoride sensors. In his spare time, you can find him backpacking, climbing or out for a motorcycle ride. He loves incorporating his hobbies with both film and digital photography.

Grace Tieman (she/her) PhD Candidate

I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta where I completed my Bachelor Degree in Science with a major in Chemistry at the University of Calgary. During my undergraduate degree, I completed 3 different research projects, all of which had a focus in organic chemistry. The first project was based on organic catalysis in the selective fluorination of azaheterocycles and my supervisor was Dr. Jeffrey Van Humbeck. This first research experience sparked my interest and desire to attend grad school because I realized how much I enjoy chemistry; I was always excited to work in the lab even when the chemistry was not working as expected. My second project, which sparked my interest in Green Chemistry, involved synthesizing organic molecules to be used in OFETs (Organic Field-Effect Transistors) under the supervision and guidance of both Dr. Jeffrey Van Humbeck and Dr. Gregory Welch. My final undergraduate research project, also under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey Van Humbeck, focused on the selective amination of azaheterocycles. Based on these research experiences and the knowledge I had gained during my undergraduate work, I decided to focus on Green Chemistry in grad school. The current research project I am working on for my PhD project is synthesizing molecules to be used as anti-biofoulants. Outside of the chemistry lab, I love rock climbing, running, and hiking.


Rafaela Godoy (she/her) BSc Chemistry Student

Rafaela was born in Brazil and is a undergraduate student in the 4th year of Chemistry at the State university of Londrina – UEL, in Londrina, Paraná. In Brazil, she works with analytical chemistry in the Chemometrics laboratory and, during the 2022 summer, Rafaela will work as a co-op student to assist the phD student Luiz Henrique Correa trying to prevent the biofouling on the reverse osmosis membrane for water treatment. She loves science and to learn the most that she can. When she is not working on her project she likes to play some instruments and listen to a good song as well as go hiking or camping with friends.

Nathan Leonard (he/his) BSc Chemistry Student

Hailing from Esquimalt (Greater Victoria), BC, Nathan is a first-year undergraduate student studying Chemistry at the University of Victoria. During the summer semester of 2022, Nathan will be working with PhD student Hayley Smith on her kelp bioplastics project. Nathan loves coffee, plants, and cool weather. His interests lie in the development of new materials, and how they can be used to improve daily life and safeguard the health of our communities and environments. When not studying or working, you can find Nathan relaxing with friends or wasting his money at a cafe.

Nicole Gamm (she/her) BSc Civil Engineering Student

Nicole grew up in Toronto, ON and is in her third year of her undergrad in Civil Engineering at the University of Victoria. Previously, Nicole was a co-op student for an acoustical consulting firm, Pliteq Inc., in Toronto. Nicole is very excited to be joining Dr. Buckley and the Green Safe Water Lab in fall 2021 to assist with research for safer prevention of biofouling on RO membranes for water treatment. Additionally, Nicole is a member of the UVic Vikes Women’s Rugby team. In her free time, Nicole enjoys running, camping, canoeing and lounging in her hammock.

Ethan Chan Software Developer

I am a high school student, currently in 11th grade at Glenlyon Norfolk School. Born in Hong Kong, I lived there for nine years before moving to Singapore, and then two years later finally landed in Victoria. When I was little, I loved to play video games and with electronics. As such, I initially started programming to try and create video games of my own, but as time has progressed even though my goals have changed I’ve been coding ever since. I am also an avid participant in science fairs. This year, I developed a device to read and digitize protein values on urinalysis strips to help others like myself with chronic kidney diseases. With this project I placed as the national winner of the 2019 Sanofi Biogenius Canada competition, leading me to represent Canada at the International BioGENEius Challenge in BIO 2019 in Philadelphia. I hope I can use my previous experience with working with sensor devices to aid with the fluoride sensor project! In my free time you can find me rock climbing or running.


Graduate Students + Post-doctoral researchers:

Andrew Freiburger (he/him) MASc in Civil Engineering (2022)



Dr. Jolie Lam Post-Doctoral Researcher (2021)



Anna Curtin MASc in Civil Engineering (2020)




Caitlin Vail MASc in Civil Engineering (2020)


Emma Coleman (she/her) BSc Chemistry and Environmental Studies Student



Meghan Molnar BSc Chemistry and Ocean Science Student



Matthew Thibodeau BSc Biochemistry Student



Bethany Welsh BSc Civil Engineering Student



Andrea Green BS Chemical Engineering Student



Emmanuelle Caws Research Assistant UNAC Green Corps



Elliot Howell BSc Chemistry Honor’s student



Camila de Lima Ribeiro PhD in Food Engineering



Sydney Hoffman BEng Civil Engineering Student



Shaheen Rabie BEng Software Engineering Student



Audrey Piper Arroliga BEng Civil Engineering Student



Dave Newcombe BSEng Student



Danika Schmidtke BSc Chemistry Student

Please look under Opportunities for details on how to join us!