Research Staff

Elise Gilcher, Ph.D. (she/her)

Postdoctoral Associate

- Elise received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying heterogeneous catalysis, biomass degradation and chemical conversion of products towards useful platform molecules. Her research interests and current projects at the Center focus on green solutions for sustainable extraction and chemical conversion of algae biomass to high value products that further an initiative towards a robust bioeconomy.

- Elise enjoys time outside gardening, running, and exploring the CT forests, lakes, and coastline. She also loves cooking and creating experimental, innovative recipes.

Ho Yin TSE's picture Ho Yin TSE, Ph.D. (He/His)

Postdoctoral Associate


-Leo’s research focuses primarily on the sustainable photonic functional materials development, with a particular emphasis on the fabrication of new lignin-based photo-responsive nanoparticles and their fundamental photo-physics studies. During his Ph.D. training, he also involved in a numerous of professional consultation projects, including biotechnology assisted food-waste upcycling, energy and elements recovery from wastewater treatment processes and urban biorefinery engineering, etc. Currently, he is further developing new bio-based photonic materials and carbon sequestration processes at the Center.

-Outside of the lab, Leo enjoys driving, watching movies and documentaries on science & philosophy discussion.


Hannah Feldman, (she/her)

Program Coordinator

- Hannah will provide administrative, clerical, and program support to the Center, specifically the Yale-UNIDO project (Global GreenChem Innovation and Network Programme). She has a background in environmental history, with a specific interest in energy and climate change. She wrote her Master's thesis on the 1970s energy crisis and the use of alternative energy sources. Previously, Hannah also worked at Rutgers University.

- Outside of work, Hannah loves reading books and listening to (and playing) music of all types. You can probably find her somewhere with headphones on.


Tetyana Budnyak's picture Tetyana Budnyak, , PhD (She/Her)

Research Fellow

Tetyana Budnyak's research endeavors revolve around developing functional materials for environmental applications. Her primary focus lies in finding green solutions to valorize biopolymers, thereby producing value-added materials for promoting water purification. An ongoing joint project between the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering and Uppsala University is dedicated to developing green lignin-biochar composites capable of removing organic and inorganic pollutants from water. 

Elena Subbotina, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

- During my PhD studies at the department of organic chemistry at Stockholm University my work was focused on the production and transformation of organic compounds from lignin via catalytic approaches. After the graduation I joined the group of Prof. Lars Berglund at KTH, where I expanded my research interests to include nanocellulose based materials. Currently, as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering at Yale, I am involved in a project where we aim to develop novel recyclable materials from bio-based building blocks.

- Outside of the lab, Elena enjoys making chemical reactions and publishing papers in Nature Chemistry for leisure.

Heather LeClerc's picture Heather LeClerc, PhD (she/hers)

Donnelley Post-Doctoral Fellow

- Heather received her PhD studying the molecular degradation (and repolymerization) pathways of waste to energy in hydrothermal systems. Her work at Yale will focus on transferring these skills towards understanding the complexities of lignin valorization in continuous flow systems. Her research interests span the realm of sustainable waste utilization and using analytical techniques as puzzle pieces to reveal chemical mechanisms.

- Outside of the lab, Heather loves to play with her dog Stanley and go on walks on the Farmington Canal train. She also loves traveling and has been to over 30 countries!