Members of the Rivard Group

Graduate Students

Alvaro A. Omaña

Hello, I'm Alvaro! I was born in Valencia, Venezuela, but grew up in London, Ontario. I received my B.Sc. (Materials Chemistry specialization) from the University of Waterloo in 2017. Since I first joined the Rivard group, I have grown to love studying highly reactive main group fragments using Frustrated Lewis Pairs (FLPs). Recently, I studied the use of FLPs for the recyclable and controlled deposition of tetrel metal films (0), Ge(0). Currently, I am working on expanding this chemistry to other industrially valuable materials. Outside of the lab, I can be found playing music, running, cooking or just having beers with friends.

Samuel "Samwise" Baird

I was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1996 but grew up in Chipman, New Brunswick. I completed my undergraduate degree at Mount Allison University in the duck themed town of Sackville, NB in 2018. I moved out to the frozen city of Edmonton due to my interest in fundamental research in inorganic chemistry. In my spare time you can find me convincing people garlic fingers are an East Coast delicacy and that they are not the same thing as garlic bread, sleeping or trying to convince myself that I don't need to drink on school nights.

Brandon Frenette

Hey, I'm Brandon and I'm from Bathurst, New Brunswick. I completed my BSc in chemistry at the University of New Brunswick in 2019, then migrated west to join the Rivard group. I'm interested in fundamental main group chemistry and the strange compounds within that field. Outside of chemistry, I love movies (both old and new), music (mostly metal, but I dabble in other genres), reading, and fountain pens.

William Medroa

Hello! I am William. I grew up in the "grey" Lima, Peru, where I also obtained my Bachelor's and Master's degree in Chemistry at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru in 2014 and 2017. While working in my Master's thesis I developed a liking in polymer Chemistry and inorganic materials, this fixation drew me into Dr. Rivard's investigation and, happily, I was accepted into the UoA university and his lab. I am now researching the use of Germanium to develop novel Ge-polymeric compounds with different applications. On my free time, you can surely find me playing board games, listening to music, and going out with friends to chat.

Abhishek Muralidharan

Hi, I am Abhishek. Originally from Kerala, India. I completed M.Tech from CUSAT and M.Sc from MG University. My master's thesis program as a visiting student at the University of British Columbia attracted me to stay in Canada for graduate studies. Lucky me, to be a part of Rivard group and happy to work on some interesting inorganic materials. Other than chemistry, I would like to play games, travel around and trying to cook some veggie dishes.

Mamak Bakhtiari

Hi, I am Mamak. I was born and raised in Tehran which is the capital city of Iran. For my undergrad degree, I studied polymer engineering at the University of Tehran and I graduated with the first rank in my class. Then I decided to move to another country to continue my studies so I travelled about 10,000 km to Edmonton and I am so excited to begin my journey in Canada. Luckily, I got the opportunity to join the Rivard group and explore inorganic/polymer chemistry. In my free time, I love to play sports (especially running), go to the theater, and watch movies.

Janelle Bykowski

Hi! I am Janelle. I grew up just south of Edmonton in Lethbridge, Alberta, and obtained my B.Sc. from the University of Lethbridge where I completed an Honours project in inorganic fluorine chemistry. I joined the Rivard group in 2021 to pursue my interest in fundamental inorganic chemistry and deepen my understanding of main group and materials chemistry. I am so excited to begin my graduate career with this group! In my spare time, I enjoy running, playing badminton, and baking sweet treats for my friends and family! Stay tuned for a baking blog in the near future...

Undergraduate Students

Hannah Dokken

Hi, I'm Hannah! I was born in Lexington, Kentucky, but moved to Edmonton when I was three. I transferred from Mount Royal University to complete my BSc Chem Honours at the U of A. I think inorganic chemistry is cool and I am excited to get research experience in this field. In my free time, I like to watch TV, play soccer and chill with my dog.