Current Lab Members

Meet Ning Yan’s Group:
Graduates
Nicole Tratnik (Ph.D)
Shrestha Roy Goswami (Ph.D)
Lunding Fan (Masters)
Visiting Students
Liu Liu (Ph.D)
Xiao Zhang (Ph.D)
Post Doctorates and Research Associates
Dr. Heyu Chen
Dr. Nicolas Tanguy
Dr. Pitchaimari Gnanasekar
Visiting Scholars
Dr. Licheng Li
Dr. Xiangyu Li

Graduate Students

Shrestha Roy Goswami (Ph.D)
Office: ES 2016 Email: shrestha.roygoswami@mail.utoronto.ca
Starch-based wood adhesives

Shrestha completed her B. Tech in Biotechnology (2014) and MSc in Bioresource Engineering (2016). She joined Prof. Ning’s group in September 2016 as a Ph.D. student. Her research focus is on the synthesis of starch maleates in ionic liquids. Ionic liquids (ILs) are a class of green solvents which can dissolve and catalyze derivatization reactions of biopolymers without additional catalysts. The developed starch maleates are highly functionalized and have thermoplastic applications.

Nicole Tratnik(Ph.D)
Office: ES 2029 Email: nicole.tratnik@mail.utoronto.ca
Synthesis of Bio-based Formaldehyde Free Wood Adhesive from Starch

Nicole received her Bachelors in Honors Chemistry at the University of Waterloo while completing co-op terms at Crosslink Technologies and the Woodbridge Group in Toronto, Canada, Krka pharmaceutical company in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, and the Radiation Lab at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA. She joined Professor Ning Yan’s group in September 2016 as a Master of Science in Forestry Student focusing on the synthesis of a bio-based formaldehyde free wood adhesive made from starch and has since transferred into her PhD. Nicole is also part of the Forestry Graduate Students’ Association and enjoys organizing the woodsports team, playing ultimate frisbee, going out with friends, and backpacking.

Lunding Fan (Masters)
Office: ES 2016B Email: lunding.fan@mail.utoronto.ca

Lunding received his Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto. He joined Professor Yan’s group in 2019 as an MASc student in Chemical Engineering. His research focus is the room temperature curing of the novel vanillin-based phosphorus-containing flame-retardant epoxy adhesive developed by Dr. Gnanasekar.


Visiting Students

Liu Liu (Ph.D)
Office: ES 4017 Email: shely.liu@mail.utoronto.ca
Study of Intelligent Response and Structural Design of Nanocellulose Materials

Liu Liu joined Professor Yan’s group in October 2019 as a joint Ph.D student. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2016 and then becoming a Ph.D candidate at Central South University of Forestry and Technology in China. She has focused on the research of preparation and utilization of wood nanocellulose, such as temperature sensitive nanocellulose hydrogels. Her current project is about the confined self-assembly of cellulose nanocrystals and aims at obtaining functional materials with controllable structure. During her leisure time, Liu likes novels, movies, and broadcasts. 

Xiao Zhang (Ph.D)
Office: ES 2009  Email: emely.zhang@mail.utoronto.ca
Synthesis of Lignin Functional Composites and Smart Response Hydrogels

Xiao Zhang joined Professor Yan’s group in January 2020 as a joint PhD student. She is a PhD candidate at South China University of Technology. Now her research focuses on the synthesis of lignin functional composites, including high toughness film, water vapor barrier film, antibacterial composite film, etc.  Xiao’ hobbies include running, cooking and reading.

Synthesis of Lignin Functional Composites and Smart Response Hydrogels

Postdoctoral Fellows/Research Associates and Assistants

Heyu Chen (Ph.D)
Office: ES 2013 Email: heyu.chen@mail.utoronto.ca
Production of value-added green chemical products from tree barks

Heyu Chen joined Professor Yan’s group in September 2014 as a PhD student. He received his Bachelor and Master’s degree at Beijing Forestry University. Now his research focuses on the production of value-added green chemical products from tree barks. The use of natural renewable resources has attracted increasing worldwide attention as the environmental crisis and its associated socio-ecological burden are becoming a great concern. Bark, a nonfood-related biomass material available in large quantities, is a promising raw material. In addition to conducting his scientific works, Heyu likes playing badminton, hiking, and reading in his spare time.

Application of lignin-containing nanocellulose fibrils in pMDI wood adhesives for drastically improved gap-filling properties with robust bondline

Dr. Nicolas Tanguy
Office: ES 2016 Email: nicolas.tanguy@mail.utoronto.ca
Development of semiconductive nanostructures for energy storage and sensing applications.

Nicolas studied his Ph.D. under Professor Ning Yan supervision from January 2014 to March 2019. His Ph.D. focused on the design of wireless sensors for monitoring ammonia gas. His specialties include the synthesis of polyaniline, polyaniline nanocomposites, reduced graphene oxide and doped reduced graphene oxide. Nicolas is currently continuing his Ph.D. work as a Post-Doctoral Fellow as well as exploring the potential of polyaniline/graphene/nanocellulose nanocomposites as part “green-electronics” for energy storage applications. Nicolas’ hobbies include running, cooking and travelling.

Dr. Pitchaimari Gnanasekar
Office : ES4017 Email: mari.ganasekar@utoronto.ca
Phone: +1 (637) 741-4366
Synthesize of Bio Based Flame Retardant Epoxy Adhesives and Polyurethane Resins.

Dr. G. Pitchaimari received his Bachelor (2007) and Master (2009) degrees in Chemistry from ANJA College Sivakasi, (Affiliated to MK University), Tamilnadu, India. He completed his PhD degree (2015) from the Department of Polymer Technology, KCET, Virudhunagar (Affiliated to Anna University Chennai) under the guidance of Prof. C. T. Vijayakumar. In early 2015 to 2018, he worked as a Research Scientist to the synthesize of different type of bio based phenolic and epoxy adhesive resins, TWC group, Rajsha Chemicals Pvt Ltd. Vadodara, Gujarat, India. Later in April 2018, he joined Prof. Yan’s group as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. His present research focuses on synthesize of bio-based flame retardant wood adhesives and Polyurethane resins. Dr. Mari’s hobbies include cooking, travelling and music


Bio Based Phosphorus Containing Flame Retardant Wood Adhesive resin

Visiting Scholars

Dr. Licheng Li
Email: licheng.li@utoronto.ca
The relationship between surface properties of materials and their reaction/adsorption behaviors

Dr. Licheng Li joined Professor Yan’s group in Oct 2019 as a visiting scholar. He obtained his PhD degree at the Nanjing Tech University, China. He was an associate professor in the Nanjing Forestry University in Nanjing now. His research was focused on the relationship between surface properties of materials and their reaction/adsorption behaviors. In his spare time, he likes traveling and playing basketball.

Dr. Xiangyu Li
Email: xiangyu.li@utoronto.ca
Catalytic Conversion and Efficient Utilization of Waste Biomass Resources from Agriculture and Forestry

Dr. Xiangyu Li joined Professor Yan’s group in February 2020 as a visiting scholar. Xiangyu obtained her PhD degree at the East China University of Science and Technology in 2006, China. Now she is a professor and works in the Beihua University in Jilin, China. Her research work focuses on the biomass utilization and biomass energy. In her spare time, Xiangyu likes traveling and hiking.