Group Members

Post Doctoral Scholars

Dr. Elizabeth McLoughlin

Ph.D. Stanford University – 2019 – Chemistry

B.A. Wellesley College– 2014 – Chemistry

Liz’s tale of woe and triumph is a work in progress…

Dr. Erin Stache

Ph.D. Colorado State University – 2018 – Chemistry

M.S. Colorado State University – 2011 – Chemistry

B.S. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay – 2008 – Chemistry

Read more about her here!

Erin Stache (born June 21, 1997), is an American YouTuber and singer who gained extensive media coverage when the music video for her 2011 single “Friday” went viral on YouTube and other social media sites. “Friday” was derided by many music critics and viewers, who dubbed it “the worst song ever”. Stache went on to release other songs including her Dave Days collaboration “Saturday“. She currently uploads videos on her YouTube channel about various topics and researches the effectiveness of cookies on graduate student morale.

Graduate Students

Mike Supej

Fifth Year Graduate Student

B.A. Knox College – 2015 – Chemistry

Michael Joseph Supej was born (almost) on the Ides of March in 1993, in a dark hidden alley behind Portillo’s in Oswego, Illinois. Growing up with a large dose of Portillo’s Italian beef sandwich made him into the mustache-wielding sarcastic freedom-fighting American patriot we know today. Attending the Liberal Arts Knox College from 2011-2015 unveiled Mike’s secret musical alter ego. When he picked up his first trombone, a strong chemical bond formed between man and instrument. By day, you know him as Mike Supej, the elaborate chemist, by night, he is the talented Jazz legend “Duke Silver”. With his black fedora, sunglasses and Jazz trombone, “Duke Silver” mesmerizes mature Ithaca night life. As a cover for his true aspirations, the young “Duke Silver”, aka Mike Soupi, is pursuing his PhD at Cornell University in the Fors Lab.

Brian Peterson

Fifth Year Graduate Student

B.S. University of Wisconsin La Crosse – 2015 – Chemistry

Brian grew up in a van down by the river in Milwaukee Wisconsin where he developed a love of cheese, bratwurst, and Packers football. He then moved to Wisconsin – La Crosse where he became player hater of the year for four consecutive years. After a well deserved victory lap, Brian decided to move to Ithaca in a futile effort to get away from Wisconsin’s “winters.” Now in 2016, the world has called on one man who could make a difference. With hopes to improve national security and independence, Brian is pursuing his PhD in chemistry in the Fors research group. When not bogarting the rotovap, Brian enjoys asking questions such as “Why are we here?” and “What does it all mean?”

Stephanie Rosenbloom

Fourth Year Graduate Student

B.S. Pennsylvania State University – 2016 – Chemistry

In her past life, Stephanie was born into a gentle yet playful flock of Macaws in the Amazon Forrest. As she scavenged for food with her flock, Stephanie was the first to realize that eating damp soil could help neutralize the acid from the fruit consumed in a typical Macaw diet. It is no surprise that Stephanie is the great chemist we know her as today. However, due to an unfortunate accident with a gated doorway and the loss of a quarter inch of her middle claw (the details will be spared), Stephanie was reincarnated into her present day Atman. Her parents found her on the main line, a few miles away from Wynnewood, Pennsylvania where they decided to raise her as their own. Stephanie showed early interest in singing and had a special interest in mimicking bird calls. Furthermore, her aptitude for rock climbing stemmed directly from the large, gripping claws which were key to Stephanie’s survival as a Macaw, yet were also responsible for her fatal end. It took a while for Stephanie to adjust to the human life. This was most evident by her experimentation with clothing during her early stages of childhood. Trying to mimic the feathers of her flock, she constantly wore a multicolored reggae beanie as a child. Growing up, Stephanie showed an interest in paleontology. In an effort to reunite with her past, she would sleep walk through Philadelphia digging in the back yards of local houses trying to find any bird-like bones that may reunite her with her past. Finally realizing that Macaw’s were not indigenous to Pennsylvania, Stephanie applied to Pennsylvania State University as a wild life biology major, hoping her studies could take her back to the depths of the Amazon one day. To this day, it is unclear what drove Stephanie to the field of chemistry, but some have hypothesized that she plans to research a brush polymer that will have identical properties to that of Macaw bones.

Renee Sifri

Fourth Year Graduate Student

B.S. University of California, Berkeley – 2016 – Chemistry

The world got a little bit brighter at the wee hour of 5 o’clock in the morning, when Renee Jack Sifri was born. Amazingly, after only a few hours in this world, Renee was already talking. In fact, her first word was coincidentally poly(aryl ketone), something at the time her parents mistakenly heard as “mama.” Some would say that Renee’s destiny to be a chemist should have been realized in this moment, however, due to the unfortunate timing of NPR playing Beethoven’s Fifth da capo during their car ride home from the hospital, baby Renee felt the distinct Allegro con brio influence, and so she began her life as a prodigal pianist. At age 5, Renee’s parents enrolled her in the world famous Austrian conservatory, Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien, where after an inspiring performance at Hofburg palace, Renee became regarded as the next Chopin by the Viennese. Much like Chopin, Renee traveled far and wide performing original compositions, eventually traveling to India, where her love for channa masala and naan bread was discovered. After catching a glimpse of beloved TV series, Friends, at an airport, Renee mistook the show as reality TV, and believing that Ross and Rachel were actually her real parents, decided it time to return to the US to track them down. After the devastating realization that her birth city of Mission Hills, CA is nowhere near NYC where Rachel and Ross have called home for many years, Renee accepted that they could not be her parents, and decided to move back to California. There, she enrolled in college at the University of California, Berkeley. Sitting in her favorite Berkeley coffee shop, Café Strada, Renee overheard a conversation between John Hartwig, Bob Bergman, and her future PI, Felix Fischer. Enchanted by their talk of C-H activation, Renee understood that her next  move had to be a career in chemistry. Now, a graduate student in the Fors Group, Renee is known for her aptitude for breaking glassware, perhaps to elucidate the pitch at which glass breaks.


Scott Spring

Third Year Graduate Student

A.S. Flathead Valley Community College

B.S. Montana State University – 2017 – Chemistry

Scott may have been born in California, but he was raised in Montana by vagabonds and powder snobs on a diet of cutthroat trout and huckleberries. He spent his youth in the white room, throwing deep pow turns through Whitefish in the winter and slaying trout in the Bob during summer. He attended Flathead Valley Community College to learn carpentry, but unwittingly graduated in 2014 with an A.S. in chemistry, due to a misunderstanding. At the change of the season, Scott moved to Bozeman to pursue some new passions; mountain biking, rock climbing, and hot potting. Early mornings were spent on the Bangtail, climbing singletrack switchbacks before railing loamy banks on his steel 29er steed. You could find him in the evenings, clinging to some gneiss crimps, followed by a mandatory soak in the hot springs, swapping stories of peaks bagged and projects flashed. When bored, Scott would bike over to Montana State University and synthesize nanomaterials from the red Montana clay. He left MSU with a B.S. in Chemistry and a love for the mountain life. Since relocating to Cornell, Scott reminisces about topping out to steal first tracks down a pillowy couloir, or ripping through Bozeman cold smoke on a bluebird day.


Yuting Ma

Second Year Graduate Student

B.S. Nanjing Universiry – 2018 –  Chemistry


Yuting splashed her face in the stream. The sun had been unrelenting today, and the water felt cool and clean as she let it run down her temples. In the summer heat, the shade of the gorge seemed almost magical. Something moved in her field of vision as she lifted her head from the water, and she let out a gasp as it came into focus.

A beast drank from the stream across from her: its broad frame was covered in a coat so dark that at times it seemed to disappear. Its great black antlers glinted iridescent blue in the afternoon light, heavy above its milky white eyes. The creature reared its head, and its knowing eyes caught hers. Yuting held her breath, spellbound.

Then, it charged.


Luis Melecio-Zambrano

Second Year Graduate Student

Stetson University -2018- Chemistry


Far from his home of Florida, Spider-Man Luis came to New York searching for the Energy Stone—the last hope of humankind to save our planet from overconsumption of natural resources. Luis climbed onto the Empire State Building on a Friday night and caught a beam of blue light from upstate NY. Armed with his “Spidey Sense”, Luis sensed the Energy Stone buried down at the Beebe Lake, just besides Baker Lab. Right away he loaded tortillas with black beans, corns, jalapeños, tomatoes, cheddar cheese (you name it) and put them in his spidey suit and flew through mountains. He discovered that the energy stone was some kind of polymer-based perpetual energy source, now kept in the Fors Group laboratory and classified top secret. Besides the responsibility in keeping battery safe, Luis also helps spread the good word of Kanye West via rapping in lab. A favorite song of Luis which he likes singing is “Yuting”. He was born in a big spider family and has some cool brothers (see the photo on the left).

Guess which one is Luis. The winner gets the Energy Stone.

Shelby Shankel

First Year Graduate Student

B.S. University of California, Santa Barbara – 2018 – Chemistry

Shelby’s tale of woe and triumph is a work in progress.

Jesse Hsu

First Year Graduate Student

B.S. Ithaca College – 2019 – Chemistry

B.A. Ithaca College 2019 – Physics

Jesse’s tale of woe and triumph is a work in progress.

Undergraduate Students

Audrey Kennedy

Cornell University – 2019 – Chemistry

Audrey Kennedy always dreamed of attending Barden University and becoming the leader of the world famous Barden Bellas, longing for the day where she could outshine Becca and become the nbt among her fellow aca-people. With her acceptance into Barden and her successful audition for the Bellas, Audrey’s dreams were slowly becoming a reality, and things were getting aca-awesome. Her first move: slipping some nauseating medicine into Aubrey Posen’s water right before the Bella’s performance at the ICCA finals. As she was slowly making her way up the line of acauthority and gaining respect of the Barden Bellas, fat Amy revealed her mischievous schemes to the group, forcing Audrey to be expelled from Barden (aca-awkward). However, Audrey’s aca-spirations remained strong. She transferred to Cornell and joined the Bella’s biggest rivals, Hearsay. Aca-believe it or not, Audrey reverted to kindness and love towards her new aca-pitches to avoid getting into treble and repeating her past mistakes. Now spending her spare time doing research in the Fors group, she secretly organizes her rise to the top, one half step at a time, for she refuses to become a dis-aca-pointment to her aca-fans across the world.


Joe-Yee Mak

Cornell University – 2020 – Chemistry


Joe-Yee’s tale of woe and triumph is a work in progress.


Rachel Mends

Cornell University – 2022 – Chemical Engineering


Rachel’s tale of woe and triumph is a work in progress.


Daniel Beitler

Cornell University – 2021 – Chemistry


Daniel’s tale of woe and triumph is a work in progress.