Chelsea Rochman – Assistant Professor


I am currently on the faculty in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of Toronto.

Previously, I was a David H. Smith Postdoctoral Fellow at the Aquatic Health Program at the University of California, Davis. I received my PhD in a joint program with San Diego State University and UC Davis in Ecology and was advised primarily by Swee Teh and Eunha Hoh. For more about me, please download my CV.

Alice (Xia) Zhu – Masters Student

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Alice is a Master’s student in the Rochman Lab and is thrilled to be working on the issue of microplastics. Alice’s research involves collaborating with the San Francisco Estuary Institute to monitor microplastics in the San Francisco Bay, to model the sources of microplastics entering the Bay, and to propose policies to help protect the Bay from further pollution.

Joel Kim – PhD Student


Joel is a PhD student with an interest in anthropogenic contaminants, their effects on freshwater ecosystems, and revolving consequences to humans. In the Rochman Lab, his research involves looking at microplastics and associated chemical contaminants in freshwater fish caught for human consumption. This research is in collaboration with Paul Helm, Tim Ksrul, and Satyendra Bhavsar at the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

Dr. Anna Kolomijeca – Postdoc (Rochman and Sinton Group)


Anna holds an Engineering Degree in Chemical Technology (2010) from Riga Technical University (Latvija) and a PhD in Physics from Technical University Berlin (Germany). Anna has vast international work experience, which includes an Erasmus internship in France at MSC (Matière et Systèmes Complexes), a scholarship in Norway at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), a secondment in France at IFREMER oceanographic center, a research cruise in the Arctic, a short placement at Vree University Amsterdam and one postdoc in the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Anna specializes in environmental sensing (optical and remote sensing). Currently she is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto, where she works on problems related to environmental pollution and climate change.

Clara Thaysen – NSERC USRA Undergraduate Fellow


Clara is an undergraduate student majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Earth Sciences. Her research looks at the potential leaching and toxicity of styrenes and other volatile chemicals from food packaging into food products. This project is in collaboration with 5 Gyres and MOECC. Clara is also continuing and finishing a project investigating plastic ingestion in seagulls and examining the fate of flame retardants to and from plastic debris in the gulls. This project is in collaboration with Miriam Diamond and Jonathan Verreault.

Lara Werbowski – 299 Undergraduate Student and Research Assistant

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Lara is an undergraduate student double majoring in Environmental Science and Psychology and minoring in Environmental Studies. She is researching how effectively rain gardens filter microplastics from stormwater. This project is in collaboration with the San Francisco Estuarine Institute.

Monina Cepeda – 299 Undergraduate Student

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Monina is majoring in both Cells and Systems Biology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Her research explores the frequency of microplastic debris on aquatic and terrestrial birds in Ontario. This research is in collaboration with Kim Fernie at Environment Canada.

Matthew Tulio 


Matthew is double majoring in environmental biology and human biology. His research involves looking at marine microplastic debris and their impact on aquatic ecosystems.

Jelena Grbic – Masters Student (Ryerson)


Jelena is a Master’s student in Spatial Analysis at Ryerson. We have the pleasure of working with Jelena on research projects that measure how best to identify microplastics in complex matrices and use spatial analyses to identify sources and sinks of microplastics in Lake Ontario. This research is also in collaboration with Paul Helm at the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change as well as the Smith Fellowship.