Getting to know...Chemistry professor Dr. Danielle Tokarz

Danielle Tokarz in lab.png

Dr. Danielle Tokarz is an Assistant Professor at Saint Mary's University Halifax and new to Nova Scotia.

She was recently profiled in Scientists of the Maritimes’ Women in Science Series, an online platform dedicated to telling the stories of scientists based in the Maritimes. See her story below!

“[During my undergraduate] we decided to make uniform thin films [to use it to study platinum], and I ended up building my own spin coater to make the films. The spin coater was made out of a fan from the dollar store, and I placed magnetics on the blades of the fan to optimize the speed. I was too embarrassed to show my professor the home-built instrument, so I purposely showed him the thin films first, and he was like ‘these are amazing!’ as he was impressed how thin and homogeneous the films were. Then I pulled out my instrument, and he was shocked to see how the films were developed. At that point, I realized that my interests extended much further than chemical synthesis. I was also interested in instrumental and engineering work, you know, building things.”

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Dr. Danielle Tokarz is now an Assistant Professor at Saint Mary's University Halifax and new to Nova Scotia. She developed her specialization in nonlinear optical techniques and instruments during her time as a PhD student at University of Toronto and as a Postdoc at University Health Network and Harvard Medical School. Her research group is the only one in the Maritimes building these specialized microscopes, and she sees opportunities to study the structure of cellulose, starch, and marine algae for applications in local biofuels industries