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  • Fiona McNeill

Better Living through Chemistry

A factoid that has surprised many colleagues is that I managed to successfully graduate with a degree in physics without ever taking an undergraduate chemistry course. This choice has now come back to bite me. Many of the questions and answers about the danger of 18th century make-up hinge on the chemistry. A big question is: what happens when white lead is mixed with other ingredients in recipes?


Confident as I am in leaping into research projects, I also know when to call in the experts.

I am delighted to have recruited Ryan Tretter, a 5th year chemistry student who has lots of lab experience, into the team. This project fits well with Ryan's interests because he is taking a minor in history.


Ryan will be co-supervised by Dr. Andrea Armstrong, a research chemist in McMaster's nuclear facilities. Like Ryan, Andrea brings expertise beyond chemistry to the team because she has a Ph.D. in chemistry and a B.A. in history.


Ryan and Andrea have already given us great insights into the make-up and helped move the project forward. We are looking forward to sharing their work with you soon!



Ryan's Bio has been added to the 'Meet the Team' section, and Andrea's Bio will be posted soon.

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