Department of Chemistry

Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, the university has shifted to virtual operations. Students, faculty, staff and visitors are not permitted on campus. Therefore the Chemistry Department has also transitioned to virtual operations in response to COVID-19. Our work is continuing and we appreciate your support and understanding. Should you wish a Chemistry Department member to contact you, please email the department at

For additional information on Saint Mary's University's operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit:

The Department of Chemistry at Saint Mary’s University offers undergraduate education in a supportive and friendly environment. Our broad range of courses offers a rigorous core education in the theory and practice of chemistry. We also provide students in other disciplines with an introduction to the principles and practices of this central science, which contributes to their fundamental understanding and appreciation of the physical world.

Our chemistry professors are committed to engaging undergraduate students in research activities. Motivated students have the opportunity to gain valuable experience as research assistants. Many present their research projects at regional and national conferences.  Students who may have an interest in a specific area of research are encourged to contact our Chemistry Faculty members directly.

Both our Majors and Honours programs are fully accredited‌ by the Canadian Society for Chemistry.




Jennifer Kolwich was awarded a First Prize in the Post Graduate Category for her paper Fighting Fungus with Fungus: A Microbe-Based Solution to Bat White-nose Syndrome”, Student Science Writing Competion hosted by the Nova Scotian Institute of Science (NSIS). April 2020.

Congrats Jenn!



Research Grant

Cory Pye is a co-investigator on a successful Compute Canada Research Platforms and Portals proposal of Raymond Poirier (MUN) entitled “Retrievium: The element of discovery”. The aim is to develop a computational chemistry platform for storage retrieval, and mining of computational chemical data. March 2020.



Peer-reviewed publication:

Cory C. Pye and C. Mahesh Gunasekara

An Ab Initio Investigation of the Hydration of Thallium(III) and Mercury(II), Journal of Solution Chemistry, 2020

This paper uses ab initio theory to benchmark several effective core potentials for hydrated mercury(II) and thallium(III) aqua ions, focusing on the incremental hydration energies, bond lengths, and totally symmetric M-O vibrational frequency



 Peer-reviewed publication:

Thomas L. King, Brian Robinson, Scott Ryan and  Jason A. C. Clyburne

Canadian bitumen is engineered for transport, but the type of product produced can affect spill contingency planning, Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 2020

Dr. Thomas King is a recent graduate from the Saint Mary's PhD program in Applied Sciences.




Fourth year chemistry student Maddison Eisnor has won the Chemical Institute of Canada’s CIC Analytical Chemistry Division Undergraduate Travel Award in Honor of Dr. Nick Toltl.

Congrats Maddy!



Peer-reviewed publication:

Kaitlyn L. Blatt-Janmaat, Stephanie L. MacQuarrie, Clarissa S.Sit

Does size matter? An investigation into the impact of coarse and fine ground inoculated biochar on Hordeum vulgare (barley) growth and yield, Rhizosphere, 2020

This is the first publicaiton from the Sit Research Group in 2020. Researcher Kaitlyn recent SMU Chemistry Honours (and biology major) graduate.



Peer-reviewed publication:

C. Pye

An ab initio study of the effect of hydration on the vibrational spectrum of hydrogen sulfate, Computational and Theoretical Chemistry, 2020

This paper uses ab initio theory to interpret the differences in the Raman spectra of the hydrogen sulfate ion (HSO4-) in gas-phase, aqueous solution, and the counterion in hexylmethylimidazolium hydrogen sulfate ionic liquid.



Peer-reviewed publication:

T. Hynes, D.S. Hall, A.W.H. Speed, J.D. Masuda, J.R. Dahn

A one-pot method for the synthesis of 3-(hetero-)aryl-1,4,2-dioxazol-5-ones, Canadian Journal of Chemistry, 2020



Peer-reviewed publication:

Shruti D. Bindesri, Ricardo Jebailey, Najwan Albarghouthi, Cory C. Pye, Christa L. Brosseau

Spectroelectrochemical and computational studies of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH), Analyst, 2020

This is the first publication from the Brosseau group in 2020. Representing the group are: Shruti (a Chemistry Honours student), Ricardo (a SMU undergraduate student), Najwan (a SMU PhD student) and Dr. Christa Brosseau. SMU Chemistry faculty member, Dr. Cory Pye provided support in the collaboration by providing ab initio calculations.



Peer-reviewed publication:

Bačić, G., Rankine, C.D.; Masuda, J.D.; Wann, D.A.; Barry, S.T.

Volatile and Thermally Stable Polymeric Tin Trifluoroacetates, Inorganic Chemistry, 2020



Peer-reviewed publication:

Land, M.A.; Robertson, K.N.; Barry, S.T.

Ligand-Assisted Volatilization and Thermal Stability of Bis(imido)dichloromolybdenum(VI) ([(t-BuN═)2MoCl2]2) and Its Adducts, Organometallics, 2019.

First PhD publication from SMU MSc graduate Michael Land and involving a collaboration with SMU chemistry department crystallography expert Kathy Robertson.



Peer-reviewed publication:

Griffiths, M.B.E; Dubrawski, Z.S.; Bacic, G.; Japahuge, A.; Masuda, J.D.; Zeng, T.; Barry, S.T.

Controlling the Thermal Stability and Volatility of Organogold(I) Compounds for Vapour Deposition with Complementary Ligand Design, European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 2019.