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Our Lab

We are an international group of interdisciplinary researchers - including chemists, biologists, data scientists, and engineers. Our work and lab is built on a philosophy of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). This stems from the belief that increasing the intersections of identity in research improves our research and us as environmental scientists. Our aim is to create more inclusive science, where the quality of teams and inclusion of teammates is a key factor.


Prinipal Investigator

Roxana Suehring

Roxana is an environmental analytical chemist with a research focus on the fate and behavior of emerging organic contaminants in the aquatic environment.

She holds a doctor of natural sciences from the Leuphana University Lueneburg and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (Germany) and a Dipl. Ing. (FH) degree in Environmental Engineering from the University for Applied Science in Luebeck Germany.

She has been a postdoctoral fellow at Leuphana University (2015), University of Toronto (2015 - 2016), and Stockholm University (2018 - 2020). From 2016 - 2018 she led a team of regulatory scientists at the Centre for Envirnoment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science in the UK.

She joined the Department for Chemistry and Biology at Toronto Metropolitan University in 2020 where she leads the Emerging Contaminants Lab.

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Mandana Barghi

Mandana received her Ph.D. degree in Environmental science and engineering from Pohang University of Science and Technology (South Korea) in 2017. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Biology at Toronto Metropolitan University. She has experience in monitoring a variety of organic contaminants (PCDD/Fs, BFRs, PCBs, and OCPs) in biological samples. Her current research focuses on the method optimization for PFAS analysis in water samples using the LCQ-ToF. She is a mom and enjoys cooking, reading, hiking, and visiting new places.

Graduate Students

Brunela Costanzo

Brunela is a recent graduate student from York University, earning her bachelor in Environmental Studies specialized in Management. She will be pursuing her Masters degree in Environmental Applied Science and Management at Toronto Metropolitan University with Dr. Roxana Sühring, focusing on the implementation of theoretical frameworks regarding non-recyclable plastic waste within Canada. She hopes to one day be able to incorporate what we regard as plastic waste into a circular system by looking at how countries are incorporating plastic into their own social systems. Brunela is also very passionate about conservation, the environment and in her spare time likes to jog, hike and paint.

Eric Fries

Eric is a recent graduate of the Chemical Biology Co-op program at McMaster University, who is currently pursuing his Masters of Molecular Science at Toronto Metropolitan University. Throughout his undergraduate studies, Eric has gained a great appreciation and passion for analytical chemistry and method development, which he looks to apply in the Suehring Group through his work on the development of a method for characterizing and detecting plastic additives in urban water samples. When he is not in the lab, Eric enjoys cooking and baking, trail biking, and catching up on the latest movies.


Tanjot Grewal

Tanjot is a recent graduate of the Chemical Biology Co-op program at McMaster University, who is currently pursuing her  Masters degree in the Environmental Applied Science and Management program.  She is conducting environmental analytical chemistry research with a focus on identifying plastic-associated contaminants in wastewater with the Emerging Contaminants Lab. Her primary objective is to identify chemicals that are not removed from our drinking water through the current wastewater treatment processes. In her free time she enjoys listening to kirtan and gurbani, going for long walks, and volunteering to help raise awareness about the water crisis.

Zanina Ilieva

Zanina is a second year MASc student in Environmental Engineering at Toronto Metropolitan University. Her research project is about the removal of PFAS from wastewater using aerobic granulation. Zanina holds a Bachelor and a Masters degree from the Netherlands, with a focus on water management and water technology and has worked in different laboratories in several countries. Professionally, her interests lay in water treatment and sustainable development. In her free time, Zanina is interested in reading novels, trying out new foods and travelling the world. Zanina is co-supervised by Dr. Rania Hamza and Dr. Sühring.


Huy Nguyen

Huy is a PhD student working on the identification of microplastic sources using deep learning and multivariate analysis. Prior to joining the Emerging Contaminants lab, he studied Biological Sciences at University of Konstanz in Germany. His background is diverse. He started his bachelor in Medical Biotechnology in Vietnam, then moved to Germany for his master program on Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, where he earned technical skills in Computer Vision and Data Modelling at Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior. At the personal level, Huy can be considered as an onion, with multiple interesting layers to be unfolded and discovered. Outside of his scientific life, he is an amazing cook, a semi-professional badminton player and a bass-playing musician for the band Zed13 (a jazz-hip hop-bossa nova-fusion prog Metal/Acoustic/Cover band).

William Chen

Rahi Chowdhury


Brooke Filsinger


Victoria Onyedibe

Victoria is a second year PhD student in Environmental Engineering at Toronto Metropolitan University. Her research focus is the fate and removal of microfibers from wastewater treatment plants using aerobic granulation. In her free time she is a mom and loves dancing, trying out new recipes and reading novels. Victoria is co-supervised by Dr. Rania Hamza and Dr. Sühring.

Graduate Students

Thomas Crookes

Lab Space and Equpment

Our lab is situated in the Center for Urban Innovation in the heart of Toronto. The lab features an Agilent technologies 6546 Quadrupole Time-Of-Flight mass-spectrometry System with liquid chromatography (HPLC-QToF) with on-line solid-phase microextraction, as well as a wet chemistry lab for sample preparation and clean-up. We are currently in the procurement process for a gas-chromatograph with head-space solid-phase extraction and thermal desorption unit. Moreover, we have access to a laser-directed infrared spectrometer for rapid microplastic identification through our project with Agilent technologies.

Interior of EC lab with lab equipment

Wet Chemistry Lab

Interior of EC lab with lab equipment

Agilent technologies 6546 Quadrupole Time-Of-Flight mass-spectrometry System with liquid chromatography (HPLC-QToF)

Interior of EC lab with lab equipment


Interested in joing oue lab?

Undergraduate students are accepted into the lab on an ongoing basis. Please contact us if you are interested in undergraduate thesis projects or summer research positions in the lab. Prospective MSc and PhD students are welcome to contact us directly to discuss project and funding opportunities. Potential students can only be accepted into the lab if they are admitted into the Molecular Science program or the Environmental Applied Science and Management program.