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.

Current Lab Members:

Kennedy Bucci – MSc Student

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Kennedy is a Master’s student in the Rochman Lab. Her research focusses on the biological and ecological effects of microplastic pollution in freshwater environments. She is currently collaborating with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), studying the chemical and physical effects of various microplastics on freshwater fish. Her research goals include investigating the ecosystem-level effects of microplastic pollution using experimental mesocosms.

Alice (Xia) Zhu – MSc 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.

Lisa Erdle – PhD Student

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Lisa is a PhD student in the Rochman Lab and researches the effects of microplastics on fish in the Great Lakes. In her work, Lisa collaborates with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) as well as Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) to better understand how microfibers – one of the most common types of microplastics – impacts fish through physical and chemical processes.

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.

Jelena Grbic – Research Assistant


Jelena has her Master’s degree in Spatial Analysis from 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.

Clara Thaysen – Research Assistant


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.

Aimee Huntington – 499 Undergraduate Researcher

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Aimee is in her last year of her Honours Bachelor of Science, pursuing a double major in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology with Sociology. She is currently analyzing samples from the Eastern Canadian Artic, the first large-scale project to investigate the distribution of microplastics in this region. She hopes to explore the impact of microplastics on Arctic organisms next. Aimee is also passionate about studying anthropogenic stressors on biodiversity from an interdisciplinary approach.

Lara Werbowski – NSERC Undergraduate Research Fellow

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Lara is an undergraduate student double majoring in Environmental Science and Psychology and minoring in Environmental Studies. She is researching whether or not rain gardens filter microplastics from stormwater. This project is in collaboration with the San Francisco Estuary Institute.

Cole Brookson – Undergraduate Research Assistant


Cole is an undergraduate student majoring in Biodiversity & Conservation Biology with a double minor in Environmental Biology and Forest Conservation Science. In addition to assisting with microplastic monitoring in the San Francisco Bay, Cole’s research investigates the effects of plastic pollution on freshwater ecosystems.

Past Lab Members:

Monina Cepeda – 299 Undergraduate Student

Matthew Tulio – work study student