The Group

Ross Lab October 2018 (L-R) Nayeon Kim, Dragos Chiriac, Yagya Paudel, Jonathan Weir, Katherine Picott, Avena Ross, Hailey Tomm, Marshall Timmermans (Not Pictured Lorena Ucciferri and Julie Deichert)

Graduate Students

PhD Students
Yagya Paudel
My name is Yagya Paudel. I am from a beautiful country of the Himalayas, Nepal and completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. After immigrating to Canada in 2011, I joined Lakehead University for another Master’s degree to make my research background strong in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology. While working in the group of Professor Wensheng Qin at Lakehead, I was familiar with the mechanism by which the microorganisms produce different enzymes and worked on the isolation and characterization of novel cellulase and pectinase producing bacteria. I was looking for an opportunity to pursue further study in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology and found the interesting research area of Professor Avena Ross.  I joined the Ross group in the fall of 2015. I am currently working on the biosynthetic investigation of a unique peptide gene cluster from Pseudoalteromonas using Transformation-Associated Recombination capture and heterologous expression.
Marshall small
Marshall Timmermans
Marshall Timmermans is a PhD student originating from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He has studied Biology and Biotechnology at the undergraduate level at the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, SK), and Molecular and Synthetic Biology at the Master’s level at Concordia University (Montreal, PQ). His research interests include using molecular biology and metabolic engineering techniques to facilitate natural product discovery and characterization.  Outside of the lab, he is most likely found exploring nature on foot or bicycle, playing guitar with friends, or telling intensely boring stories at parties.


hailey tomm
Hailey Tomm
Hailey Tomm is a current Masters student in the Ross Lab who graduated from her Bachelor’s of Science in the spring of 2018 from Vancouver Island University. Her undergraduate degree consisted of microbes and biological chemistry making the Ross Lab feel like home where her main goal is to try to find new chemical compounds from microbes. She loves lab work but when she’s not in lab, she can be found wearing dresses with toms and playing with her dog named Tonks and/or husband. Her words to live by: bears, beats, battlestar galactica.




Dragos Chiriac
Dragos Chiriac
Dragos Chiriac is a Master’s student in the Ross lab. He finished his undergraduate degree in Life Science at Queen’s University but found his love for chemistry in 3rd year. His main interest is developing new tools for bottom up natural product discovery; ranging from bioinformatics to molecular biology. When he isn’t in the lab he can be found capsizing sail boats, crawling between bars, and hitting the gym so he doesn’t have to ask Marshall for help with removing glass adapters.




Lorena Ucciferri
Lorena Ucciferri is a Master’s Student in the Ross Lab. Project info to come……





Julie Deichert
Julie Deichert is a joint Master’s student in the Ross and Snieckus labs. Project info to come………





Undergraduate Students

jonathan weir
Jonathan Weir
Hello, my name is Jonathan Weir I am currently working on my undergraduate thesis in Dr. Ross’s Lab. I am in my final year of the Queen’s Chemistry program with an interest in the unique chemistry of biological systems. Dr.Ross’ lab interested me as I hope to learn the skills necessary to pursue research in this field. I am currently working with Marshall on determining the genes responsible for the sulfonalation of petrobactin in Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus. When not in the lab I enjoy reading while spending time outdoors and rock climbing.



nayeon kim
Nayeon Kim
Nayeon (pronounced Na-yon) Kim is a Toronto-based undergraduate student specializing in biochemistry who is excited to be doing her 4th-year thesis project in the Ross lab! Her research will be an extension of Katherine’s, focused around studying the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of the tambjamine natural products family. Outside the lab, she can be found reading a good book or binge-googling bizarre anthropological phenomenons, cryptozoology, and modern mysteries.



Ross Group Alumni

Graduate Students

Katherine Picott (M.Sc. and B.Sc. Thesis and NSERC USRA Student) 2015 – 2018, NSERC CGS-M Scholar

Undergraduate Students

Ella DeKemp (SWEP and NSERC- USRA student) 2017 – 2018

Madelyn Athanasiou (B.Sc. Thesis student) 2017 – 2018

Polina Novoseltseva (NSERC- USRA Student) 2017

Kasia Donovan (B.Sc. Thesis Student) 2016-2017

Simran Sharma (B.Sc. Thesis and SWEP Student) 2016-2017

Caitlin Armer (B.Sc. Thesis and NSERC USRA Student) 2015-2016

Erika Chadwick (B.Sc. Thesis Student) 2015-2016

Old Group Photos

The Ross Group April 2017 (L-R Avena Ross, Yagya Paudel, Katherine Picott, Marshall Timmermans, Simran Sharma, Dragos Chiriac and Kasia Donovan)
Ross Group 2016 cropped
The Ross Group June 2016 (L-R Marshall Timmermans, Yagya Paudel, Caitlin Armer, Simran Sharma, Dragos Chiriac. Avena Ross in the front. Missing- Katherine Picott is off exploring science in Germany for the summer!)
Group Photo
The Ross Group November 2015 (L-R, Yagya Paudel, Avena Ross, Katherine Picott, Caitlin Armer, Erika Chadwick, Marshall Timmermans)