Dr. Lindsay J. Hounjet

Research Scientist

Oil spill science and technology

Current research and/or projects


As an undergraduate student, I learned that organic compounds can do some interesting things when exposed to metals. This idea led me to pursue a PhD at the University of Alberta, where I developed a skillset in synthetic and analytical chemistry by creating versatile catalysts for chemical processes. After graduation, my passion for chemical science led me to the University of Toronto, where I discovered a fundamentally new type of acidic material. This breakthrough initiated a collaborative project, wherein I gained management and supervisory experience within a highly productive team, and made substantial contributions to the field of catalysis. While searching to apply my understanding of chemistry to environmental science, I was fortunate to be offered a position as a Research Scientist in the Environmental Impacts team at CanmetENERGY – Devon, Natural Resources Canada. In this role, I investigate the fate and behaviour of crude oil spilled into water environments, to enable federal policymakers and regulators to make informed decisions affecting the transportation of Canadian oil sands products.

Research and/or project statements

Current Research Projects:

  • Evaluating the effects of partial upgrading of oil sands crude on its behaviour in aqueous systems.
  • Investigating photo-oxidative decomposition of oil in water and exploring its catalytic acceleration as an environmental remediation strategy.



Professional activities / interests

I have co-supervised students in the past as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto.

Reviewed scientific papers for editors of journals, such as Inorganic Chemistry and Organometallics.

Education and awards


Postdoctoral Fellowship in Catalysis Research, University of Toronto, 2013.

Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry, University of Alberta, 2011.

B.Sc. (Hons) Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan, 2006.


Frederick Banting Award for exceptional contribution by a young scientist, CanmetENERGY – Devon, 2015.

Visiting Fellowship in a Government of Canada Laboratory, NSERC, 2014.

Graduate Research Award for innovation, versatility and value to research, Graduate Students’ Association, University of Alberta, 2011.

Doctoral Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship for outstanding academic achievement, Alberta Learning, 2008–2010.


Key publications

  1. Hounjet, L. J.; Dettman, H. D. (2016) Impacts of Pretreatment on Properties and Behaviour of Diluted Bitumen in Water. Proceedings of the 39th AMOP Technical Seminar, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 472–493.

  2. Pérez, M.; Mahdi, T.; Hounjet, L. J.; Stephan, D. W. (2015) Electrophilic Phosphonium Ions Catalyze Hydroarylation and Hydrosulfuration of Olefins. Chem. Commun. 51, 11301–11304.

  3. Hounjet, L. J.; Stephan, D. W. (2014) Hydrogenation by Frustrated Lewis Pairs: Main Group Alternatives to Transition Metal Catalysts? Org. Process Res. Dev. 18, 385–391.

  4. Caputo, C. B.; Hounjet, L. J.; Dobrovetsky, R.; Stephan, D. W. (2013) Lewis Acidity of Organofluorophosphonium Salts: Hydrodefluorination by a Saturated Acceptor. Science 341, 1374–1377.

  5. Hounjet, L. J.; Bannwarth, C.; Garon, C. N.; Caputo, C. B.; Grimme, S.; Stephan, D. W. (2013) Combinations of Ethers and B(C6F5)3 Function as Hydrogenation Catalysts. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 52, 7492–7495.

  6. Hounjet, L. J.; Caputo, C. B.; Stephan, D. W. (2013) The Lewis Acidity of Fluorophosphonium Salts: Access to Mixed Valent Phosphorus(III)/(V) Species. Dalton Trans. 42, 2629–2635.

  7. Hounjet, L. J.; Caputo, C. B.; Stephan, D. W. (2012) Phosphorus as a Lewis Acid: CO2 Sequestration with Amidophosphoranes. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 51, 4714–4717.

  8. Hounjet, L. J.; Ferguson, M. J.; Cowie, M. (2011) Phosphine-Amido Complexes of Ruthenium and Mechanistic Implications for Ketone Transfer Hydrogenation Catalysis. Organometallics 30, 4108–4114.
  9. Hounjet, L. J.; McDonald, R.; Ferguson, M. J.; Cowie, M. (2011) Comparison of Structure and Reactivity of Phosphine-Amido and Hemilabile Phosphine-Amine Chelates of Rhodium. Inorg. Chem. 50, 5361–5378.

  10. Hounjet, L. J.; Bierenstiel, M.; Ferguson, M. J.; McDonald, R.; Cowie, M. (2010) Coordinatively Diverse ortho-Phosphinoaniline Complexes of Ruthenium and Isolation of a Putative Intermediate in Ketone Transfer Hydrogenation Catalysis. Inorg. Chem. 49, 4288–4300.