Our Team



Anna Zhenova | Co-Chair

Anna is a PhD student at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, where she works on novel green solvents that can replace hazardous conventional ones in chemical syntheses. She has previously worked at the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council, which promotes adoption of green chemistry in industry, and as NESSE’s Director of Communications. As co-chair of greenSTEMS, Anna aims to promote interdepartmental communication between researchers in sustainability, as well as educate the public about the benefits of green innovation. She believes that public engagement is a key part of scientific research, and encourages greenSTEMS members to develop their academic interests into outreach events.


Aritha Dornau | Co-Chair

Aritha is a PhD student at the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) in the Department of Biology. Her project aims to produce biofuels from garbage. This involves characterising useful microorganisms that can grow on the biodegradable fraction of municipal solid waste and developing them to produce commercially useful quantities of biofuel. She previously held the role of Promotions and Social Media Manager at greenSTEMS.  As Co-Chair, Aritha aims to support and further develop greenSTEMS as a platform for facilitating communication between departments at the University of York and beyond. She strongly believes that interdisciplinarity is vital to solving complex global environmental issues and hopes to share her enthusiasm for science and sustainability with the public through outreach events.


Tabitha Petchey | Treasurer

Tabitha is a 2nd year PhD student at the University of York Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence under Prof. James Clark and Dr. Thomas Farmer. Her research involves the development of alternative, renewable solvents to replace toxic and petrochemical-derived industry standards. This year, she is taking part in the Newton fund project in collaboration with the Federal University of São Carlos with a view to making a link between citrus waste and these renewable solvents.


Thomas Wilkinson | Events Facilitator

Tom is a 3rd year BBSRC White Rose DTP student at the university of York investigating interactions between beneficial soil fungi and crop pests in agricultural settings. He is interested in investigating biological alternatives to pest management and is currently on an industrial placement at A.D.A.S.


Nathan Innard | Events Facilitator

Nathan in an MSc by research student at the University of York. His current research involves improving the genetic tools in microorganisms which can be used to produce biofuels. His previous work has been focused on plant genetics and he is interested in sustainable agriculture.


Ana Pacheco | Social Media Manager

Ana is an MSc student at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence and is currently working on greener formulations for agrochemicals in partnership with iFormulate Ltd, whit focus on greener solvents and surfactants selection. She has previously worked in the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence in 2015 as part of her exchange program scholarship, Science without Boarders. Ana was a greenSTEMS member in 2015 and now got more involved with the team. As Social Media Manager, Ana’s goal is to spread information about greenness, science developments and sustainability to the community, as well as promote greenSTEMS events and achievements.


Siân de Bell | Blog Editor

Siân is a final year PhD student in the Environment Department at the University of York. She is studying links between environmental health and human health as part of the Health of Populations and Ecosystems (HOPE) project. Her research focuses on the the ecological restoration of blue space – rivers, lakes, and streams – and the benefits this can have for both ecosystem health and human health.


A big THANK YOU to our past committee members:


Giulia Paggiola – FOUNDER & CHAIR (2014/2015)


Maria Magdalena Razalan – Co-chair & Events manager (2014/2015)

Jennifer Chapman – Co-chair (2015)

Ruth Haley – Associate Member (2015)

Karla Valenzuela Beltran – Events Manager (2015)

Emily Johnston Secretary, Seminars coordinator (2014/2015)

Ian Ingram Public dialogues “greenReactions” project (2014/2015)

Heather Tanner  –  Awareness campaign (2015)

Rebecca Kariuki – Social Media Editor (2015)

Esther Githumbi – Campus Impact Officer (2015)

Phil Brailey – Promotions Manager (2015)

tdTom Dugmore – Events Facilitator (2014/2016)

Tom was Events Facilitator from 2014 to 2016 and helped organise and run many excellent outreach events, symposia and workshops during that time. Tom has a PhD from the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence at the University of York where he now works, assisting local businesses in deriving value from food waste.


Rachael Evans – Membership and Community Officer (2014-2015); Secretary (2015/2016)

Rachael was Membership and Community Officer and Secretary between 2014-2016 while doing her PhD in the Biology Department. Her research looks at the evolution of microbial communities and how they work together to degrade wheat straw. Rachael really enjoys the multidisciplinary nature of greenSTEMS and the wide range of topics we cover. She is very interested in public engagement and during her time at greenSTEMS did an excellent job of finding ways to make the public enthusiastic about topics such as sustainability and climate change.


Rosemary Erin Haskell – Chairperson (2015-2016)

Erin was Chairperson of greenSTEMS while doing her PhD in the Biology department at the University of York. Her research focused on the impact of symbiotic root fungi and plant defences, particularly silica deposition in grasses. She feels that encouraging dialogue between different academic departments and institutions, industry and members of the public is a crucial parameter for the success of research. As such, she was very excited to play a part in the greenSTEMS initiative. Erin was an excellent Chairperson and during her time at greenSTEMS did a great deal to promote interdisciplinary ties and the public presence of the university through workshops, outreach events and symposia.


Aritha Dornau | Promotions and Social Media Manager


… and other amazing volunteers:

Richard Randle-Boggis

Sytze van Stempvoort

Iris Houthoff

Kyriakos Tzafestas

Ana Patricia Pacheco

Rosa Mato Amboage

Nicola Oates

Federico Sabbadin

Zakuan Azizi Shamsul Harumain


 … and those who believed in our initiative and supported its development:

  • Prof. Sue Hartley

  • Prof. Ian Graham

  • Prof. Richard Taylor


  • Dr Jane Dalton

Our sponsors:



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