Group Members

CURRENT MEMBERS

(total of 17 current group members)

Dr. Garrett Whitworth
PhD (Post-Doctoral Fellow)

Dr. Iran Ocana Rios
PhD (Post-Doctoral Fellow)

Dr. Iran Ocana Rios is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Thompson Rivers University (TRU), she got a Mitacs Accelerated Award in January 2021. Dr. Ocana Rios obtained her Master and Doctorate degrees in Analytical Chemistry from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM). She has participated in environmental chemistry research projects, and also projects of the pharmaceutical and agri-food industries. Dr. Ocana Rios specializes in sample preparation techniques, liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, and capillary electrophoresis. Her research focuses on developing analytical methods applied to aqueous, biological, environmental, and food matrices. 

Elizabeth Andrucson
MSc. student

Beth is an organic chemistry laboratory instructor for TRU CHEM 2120/2220. She received her BSc in Chemistry from TRU and in August 2021 will defend her thesis for her MSc in Environmental Science from TRU. Her MSc thesis research developed a method using capillary electrophoresis for detection of bisphenol A in drinking water and British Columbia mussels. She also contributed through her graduate research to the paper “Determination of Fatty Acids in Beef by Liquid Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry” published in Food Analytical Methods. Highlights from her undergraduate degree included training at the University of Saskatchewan’s Canadian Light Source Synchrotron and participating in the organizing committee for the Western Canadian Undergraduate Chemistry Conference when it was held at TRU.

Zhi Chao Guo (Michelle)
MSc. student
Website administrator
michelle8472@hotmail.com

Zhi joined Donkor Research Group in the summer of 2013, and received her B.Sc degree in chemistry at Thompson Rivers University in 2016. Since 2013, she has participated in research projects in food safety, pharmacology, mineralogy, ecology, biology, phytology, soil science, and other fields. Of all the research areas, she is most passionate about environmental or food safety related research, which led her to choose to study and evaluate the potential of reusing industrial ash residual as a fertilizer in agriculture by monitoring the nutrients in the ash residual treated soil over a growth season using FAAS, CE and ICP-MS as her Master of Science in Environmental Science thesis project.

Tracy Asingo
Undergraduate student

My name is Tracy Asingo and I am a fourth-year Bachelor of Science student, majoring in cellular molecular biology. 
During my first year, I heard about research from the students that would move around from class to class looking for participants in their research projects as well as the posters around Old Main. I also approached one of my instructors in second year to ask about research opportunities. 
The first project I participated in was as an Undergraduate Research Assistant for a Masters student here at TRU. The project is about determination of metal element composition in soil samples using ICP-MS. My main role in the project is sample preparation and determination of pH and conductivity. 
I am also doing a UREAP project which is the identification of parabens in cosmetic foundations using capillary electrophoresis. 
If you are interested in research, do not be hesitant when it comes to asking professors about it. Keep an eye out for different events that may expose you to research opportunities.

Karizza Catenza
Undergraduate student

I received my B.Sc. degree in Chemistry at Thompson Rivers University in Spring 2021. Before that, I was also conferred a B.Sc. degree in Food Technology at the University of the Philippines in 2016. Hence, most of my research was mainly focused on applying analytical techniques in the analysis of biomolecules and heavy metals in food matrices. I joined Dr. Kingsley Donkor’s research group in January 2020, where I worked on developing a method for quantifying milk oligosaccharides in commercial dairy products using capillary electrophoresis. Furthermore, in collaboration with Dr. Donkor, I wrote a review article on the recent analytical techniques used for analyzing functional oligosaccharides in food and biological matrices. This review article was submitted and published in the Food Chemistry journal. Currently, I am working on developing a method for determining heavy metals in cannabinoid products using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). This research involves the development of a working microwave digestion procedure using dilute concentrations of HNO3 to digest various cannabinoid products such as chocolate, beverages, and tea.
In the Fall 2021 term, I would be starting my graduate studies in bioorganic chemistry at the University of Alberta. I am particularly interested in applying NMR and mass spectrometry in the discovery and characterization of natural products in microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria.
Kelsey Cruz
Undergraduate student

Carla Figueroa
Undergraduate student

My name is Carla Figueroa and I am an international student from El Salvador going into my 3rd year of Chemical Biology. This summer, I’m helping Kingsley with a project regarding the quantification of epicatechin mostly in black teas. I will be doing this through UV-Vis spectroscopy, and I’m really excited! 

Katelyn Frymire
Undergraduate student

Hi, my name is Katelyn Frymire! I am a third year Chemical Biology Major from Kamloops, BC. The project I am working on is detecting small amounts of the biopreservative nisin, using Capillary Electrophoresis. We are using a technique called Large Volume Sample Stacking (LVSS) to help us achieve higher sensitivity.

Seth Keenan
Undergraduate student

My name is Seth Keenan. I am about to enter my final term studying for a Chemistry degree at TRU. I chose this field of study because I felt that I would have the potential to make a difference in the world as there is still so much that we do not know in the field of chemistry. I am from Langley, and I currently live in Knutsford while I am studying at TRU. The project I have been working on with Dr. Kingsley Donkor is an interaction study between β-Cyclodextrin and the benzimidazole fungicides carbendazim, fuberidazole, and thiabendazole using Affinity Capillary Electrophoresis (ACE). My ultimate educational goal is to continue on to grad school after I achieve my undergraduate degree.
Yuyang Li
Undergraduate student

Abu Nadeem
Undergraduate student

Hey! My name is Abu Harera Nadeem and I am currently in my fourth year of a Bachelor of Science degree. I have been in Donkor Research Group since the second year of my degree. Using ICP-MS, I am currently working on determining the presence of heavy metals in certain types of teas.

Lauren Okano
Undergraduate student

Hi! My name is Lauren, and I am a fourth-year Chemical Biology major at TRU. I joined the Donkor research group in the winter of 2020 and I have worked on several research projects including the determination of aspartame in 7-Up using UV-Vis spectrophotometry and the utilization of Fly-Ash to remove bisphenols from the environment using Capillary Electrophoresis. I have also completed a UREAP project studying the sensitive detection of nisin, a biopreservative, using Large-Volume Sample Stacking Capillary Electrophoresis. I am currently studying cannabinoid derivatives and their oxidation products called hydroxyquinones using Capillary Electrophoresis. I love research in Analytical Chemistry because it allows you to explore how small changes at the molecular level can have broad implications on a system as a whole. I am specifically passionate about research projects that use analytical chemistry to solve problems related to human health and disease. After my undergraduate degree, I hope to attend medical school where I can continue learning about the chemical foundations that are important for maintaining and improving human health.

Natalie Pietramala
Undergraduate student

My name is Natalie Pietramala, and I am going intomy third year of Chemical Biology atThompson Rivers University. I am one of the researchersworking on the AvicannaProject. Through oxidation processes, we are studyingthe stability of cannabinoids andtrying to determine their quinones and degradationproducts. We are primarily usingcapillary electrophoresis for this research, but willbe venturing into UV-Vis andpotentially NMR. This is my first year as a memberof Kingsley’s research team, and Iam thoroughly enjoying it thus far!
Malika Sharma
Undergraduate student
Fanqi Wu
Undergraduate student
Xingtong Ye
Undergraduate student
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PAST MEMBERS

(total of 154 past group members)

Gurcharan Uppal2020 – 2021Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Zahkary Barone2020 – 2021Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Jaime Ferreira2020 – 2021Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Malika Sharma2020Supervisor: High School Research
Madeline Tuai2020
2019 – 2020
Supervisor: Summer Research
Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Cyrene Catenza2019 – 2020Supervisor: UREAP & NSERC USRA
Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Fraucis O. Ogunyemi2019 – 2020Supervisor: UREAP & CHEM 4480
TRU Apprentice
Kali Mailhot2019 – 2020Co-Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Katie Shouldice2019 – 2020Co-Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Jinghan Tan2019 – 2020Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Nicky Siguoin2019 – 2020Co-Supervisor: BIOL 4480
Puneet Parihar2019 – 2020Co-Supervisor: CHEM 4480 & UREAP Research
Elisha Balazo2019 – 2020Co-Supervisor: UREAP Research
Seth Keenan2019 – 2020Supervisor: UREAP Research
Nicholas Piroddi2019 – 2020Co-Supervisor: UREAP Research
Will Primrose2019 – 2020Supervisor: UREAP Research
Chris Melvin2019Supervisor: UREAP Research
Chris Birch2018 – 2020Supervisor: TRU Apprentice Research
Ravinder Sappal2018 – 2020Co-Supervisor: PDF MITACS Research
Aramide Taiwo2018 – 2020Supervisor: MSc Thesis Research
Lynnea Carr2018 – 2019Co-Supervisor: BIOL 4480
Brady Zappone2018Supervisor: Research Assistant
Jess Dio2018Supervisor: Research Assistant (TRU-IRF)
Iran Rios Ocana2018Supervisor: PhD Research (Mexico Exchange)
Austin Pietramala 2019 – 2020
2018 – 2019
2017 – 2018
Co-Supervisor: MITACS Research
Supervisor: CHEM BIOL Hons Research
Supervisor: UR Apprentice Research
Emmet Suttil2019 – 2020
2017 – 2018
Supervisor: Undergraduate Research
Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Keegan Koening2017 – 2019Co-Supervisor: BIOL 4480
Domenic Mercuri2017 – 2018Co-Supervisor: BIOL 4480
Mae Frank2017 – 2018Co-Supervisor: BIOL 4480
Rory McKerchar2017 – 2018Co-Supervisor: BIOL 4480
Drayden Kopp2017 – 2018Co-Supervisor: CHEM BIOL Honors
Adrian Batista2017 – 2018Supervisor: CHEM BIOL Hons Research
Richenda McFarlane2017 – 2018Co-Supervisor: BIOL 4480
Aidan O’Neill2017 – 2018Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Mat Norman2017 – 2018Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Jordan Schofield 2017 – 2018Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Osmin Aviles2017 – 2018Supervisor: MSc Research (Mexico Exchange)
Jagdeesh Uppal2017Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Noor Shubear2019
2016 – 2017
2016
Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Supervisor: Summer Undergrad Research
Supervisor: TRU Apprentice Research
Danielle Belliveau2016 – 2018Supervisor: TRU Apprentice Research
Tyson Bodor2016 – 2018Supervisor: NSERC Engage Research
Supervisor: Research Assistant,NSERC Engage
Albert G.A. Rodriguez2016 – 2018Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Julie McNutt2016 – 2017Co-Supervisor: CHEM 4480; UREAP
Braedon Paul2016 – 2017Co-Supervisor: TRU-IRF Research
Hector Martinez2016 – 2017Supervisor: MSc Research (Mexico Exchange)
Mitchell Wihlidal2016 – 2017Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Isra Jaffar2016 – 2017Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Ngoc Nguyen2016Supervisor: Mitacs Globalink Research
Khalid Alenezi2016Supervisor: Summer Research
Vi Tranh Tran2015 – 2017Supervisor: MSc Thesis Research
Carlee Poleschuk2015 – 2017Supervisor: CHEM BIOL Honors
Maryaum Tawhid2015 – 2017Supervisor: Summer Research
Trevor Johnson2015 – 2016Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Chantal Holm2015 – 2016Co-Supervisor: BIOL 4480
Parta Pisaraei2015 – 2016Co-Supervisor: BIOL 4480
Kile McKenna2015 – 2020
2015 – 2016
Co-supervisor: MSc Thesis Research
Co-Supervisor: UREAP Research
Vahab Nazeri2015 – 2016Co-Supervisor: Ph.D. Thesis Research
Chantal Holm2015Co-Supervisor: UREAP Research
Humberto Hernandez2015Supervisor: Mitacs Globalink Research
Tallon Milne2014 – 2017Co-Supervisor: MSc Thesis Research
Cindy Lam2014 – 2015Co-Supervisor: CHEM BIOL Honors
Brian Tong2014 – 2015Co-Supervisor: BIOL 4480
Devin Chattu2014 – 2015Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Kelsey Reay2014 – 2015Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Kevin Cooley2014 – 2015Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Matthew Drayton2015
2014 – 2015
Supervisor: UREAP Research
Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Kelsie Sallis2015
2014 – 2015
Supervisor: UREAP Research
Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Paige Wildeman2015
2014 – 2015
Supervisor: UREAP Research
Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Madeline Brooks2014 – 2015Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Antonio Rodriguez2014 Supervisor: Mitacs Globalink Research
Katie Sparrow2015 – 2016
2015
2014
2013 – 2014
2013
Co-Supervisor: CHEM BIOL Hons
Co-Supervisor: USRA Summer Research
Co-Supervisor: USRA Summer Research
Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Supervisor: Summer Research
Lindsay Jmaiff2014 – 2015
2013
Supervisor: URA Summer Research
Supervisor: Co-op Summer Research
Amna Farooq2013 – 2015Supervisor: MSc Thesis Research
Ivan Hartling2014
2013 – 2014
Co-Supervisor: Research Assistant
Co-Supervisor: CHEM BIO Honors
Jovan Gill2014
2013 – 2014
Supervisor: UREAP Summer Research
Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Tallon Milne2013 – 2014Co-Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Co-Supervisor: MSc Thesis Research
Alison McClean2013 – 2014Co-Supervisor: CHEM BIOL Honors
Scott Borden2013 – 2014Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Taran Main2013 – 2014Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Amanda Robinson2011 – 2017Joint Supervisor: MSc Thesis Research
Jagdeesh Uppal2016
2015 – 2016
2014
2012
Co-Supervisor: Mitacs Globalink Research
Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Supervisor: URA Summer Research
Supervisor: Summer Research
Dipesh Prema2012 – 2015Joint Supervisor: Post-Doctoral Fellow
Jessica Krauchi2012 – 2014Joint Supervisor: Research Associate
Jessica Pilfold2012 – 2014Joint Supervisor: Research Associate
Raniyah Alnahdi2012 – 2014Co-Supervisor: MSc Thesis Research
Erika Koeck2012 – 2013Co-Supervisor: UREAP; CHEM BIOL Honors
Juan Francisco2012 – 2013Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Yuen Ting Law2012 – 2013Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Christina Drescher2012 – 2013Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Chris Ewanyshyn2012 – 2013Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Hayfaa Golapkhan2012Supervisor: Summer Research
Gareth Bloudell2011 – 2012Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Michael Bregoliss2011 – 2012Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Michael Reid2011 – 2012Supervisor: CHEM 4480 & UREAP
Connor Kulchyski2011 – 2012Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Corbin Sallis2011 – 2012Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Yulia Egorova2011 – 2012Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Rebecca Paliwoda2011 – 2012Supervisor: UREAP & CHEM BIOL Honors
Jennifer Olsen2011 Co-Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Aisha Musa2011 Supervisor: Summer Research
Andrew Owusu2011 Supervisor: Summer Research
Nicholas Azad2011 Co-Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Rachel Corbett2011 Co-Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Jessica Risley2012
2010 – 2012
2010 – 2011
Research Assistant
Supervisor: UREAP
CHEM BIOL Honors
Hoa Nguyen2012
2010 – 2011
Supervisor: Summer Research
Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Nisha Jaswal2011
2010 – 2011
Supervisor: NSERC Research
Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Akemi Darlington2010 – 2011Supervisor: UREAP & CHEM BIOL Honors
Tiffany Campbell2010 – 2011Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Mark Chase2010 – 2011Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Darren Bishop2010 – 2011Supervisor: UREAP & CHEM 4480
Evangeline Lu2010 – 2011Supervisor: UREAP & CHEM 4480
Megan Campbell2009 – 2012Supervisor: NSERC Research
Megan MacGillivray2009 – 2011Supervisor: Summer/NSERC Research
Supervisor: CHEM 4480
Dustin Jones2009 – 2010Co-Supervisor: CHEM 448
Ian Heppner2009 – 2010Supervisor: CHEM 448
Jared Curle2009 – 2010Supervisor: CHEM 448
Natasha Hayden2009 – 2010Supervisor: U-REAP/NSERC Research;
Supervisor: CHEM BIOL Honors
Dan Patterson2009 – 2010Supervisor: NSERC Research
Brennan Arduini2009 – 2010Supervisor: CUEF and CHEM 448
Brittany Dever2009 – 2010Supervisor: CUEF and CHEM BIOL Honors
Supervisor: NSERC USRA
Bob Stanley2008 – 2009Supervisor: CUEF and CHEM 448
Kin Wong2008 – 2009Supervisor: NSERC Research
Trent Kellock2008 – 2009Co-Supervisor: NSERC Research
Supervisor: NSERC USRA
Kyle Burns2008 Co- Supervisor: Summer/ Co-Op
Ursal Williams2008 Co- Supervisor: Summer/ Co-Op
Laiel Soliman2012 – 2014
2008 – 2010
2007
Joint Supervisor: Research Associate
Supervisor: NSERC Research
Supervisor: CHEM 448 and CUEF
Jaret Laquerre2008- 2009
2007
Supervisor: NSERC Research
Supervisor: URA Summer Research
Kevin Mehr2007- 2008Supervisor: Co-Op /CHEM BIOL Honors
Lain Dekowny2007- 2008Supervisor: CHEM 448
Kent Colville2007Co-Supervisor: CUEF
Brent Rudyk2007Supervisor: Summer Research
Bryan Karolat2006- 2007Co-Supervisor: CHEM 448
Adi Chikkara2006- 2007Co-Supervisor: CHEM BIOL Honors
Mark Crawford2006- 2007Co-Supervisor: CHEM BIOL Honors
Karla Taylor2006Supervisor: Industry Research
Greg Kaufmann2007
2005
Supervisor: CHEM 448
Supervisor: YTL, Summer Research
Michael Prystai2005-2006Supervisor: CHEM 448
Adam Klassen2005-2006Co-Supervisor: CHEM BIOL Honors
Gilberto Jerez2005-2006
2005
Supervisor CHEM 448 / CUEF
Supervisor: YTL
Laura Muraca2005Joint-Supervisor: Co-Op student
Trevor Brown2005Co-Supervisor: CHEM 448
Marcus Trayer2005Joint-Supervisor: NRC-IRAP
David Ward2004- 2005Supervisor: CHEM 448
Eric Bottos2004Joint-Supervisor: NRC-IRAP
Sheila Beacom2004Supervisor: YTL
Nola Wilde2004Supervisor: YTL
Andrew Roy2004Co-Supervisor: NRC-IRAP
Stuart Chambers2003-2004Supervisor: CHEM 448
Veron Novosad2003-2004Supervisor: CHEM 448
Jason McHarg2003Supervisor: RESL/CUEF
Rhea Underwood2002-2003Co-Supervisor: CHEM 448
Derek Bleackley2002-2003Supervisor: CHEM 448
Lori Philips2001-2002Co-Supervisor: CHEM 448
Sonja Schenkeveld2001-2002Supervisor: CHEM 448
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VISITING RESEARCHERS
Dr. Marina Espinoza2019 – presentUNAM, Mexico
Dr. J. de Jesus Olmos Espejel 2019UNAM, Mexico
Iran Ocãna-Rios 2018 – 2019UAEM, Mexico
Dr. Oscar Olea Mejia 2018 – 2019UAEM, Mexico
Dr. Reyna Natividad2017 – 2018UAEM, Mexico
Dr. Rubi Romero 2016 – 2017UAEM, Mexico
Dr. Samuel Mugo 2016Grant McEwan University
Dr. James Kariuki 2016University of Alberta
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