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Dr. Gregor Kos

Senior Lecturer, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Current office: SP 275.21

Dr. Gregor Kos
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 3374
Availability: By appointment. Please contact me by email.


Postdoctoral studies (2003-2007), McGill University, Montreal, QC (Prof. Parisa Ariya)
PhD (2003), Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria (Prof. Rudolf Krska)
Visiting scientist (2001), University of Idaho, Moscow, ID (Prof. Peter Griffiths)
MSc (2000), Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria (Prof. Gernot Friedbacher)
MSc research (1999-2000), University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK (Prof. Paul Worsfold)

Research activities

Research Interests

I am an experienced environmental analytical scientist with a strong background in statistical treatment of data. I have significant field experience in developing and deploying analytical instrumentation in the High Arctic.

My current research at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada focuses on long-term observations of urban pollutants in major Canadian cities and includes statistical analysis of current and past (10 year) pollution data. I am interested in statistical analysis of medium sized data sets, including multivariate data analysis of partially dichotomous data. I am very much interested interpreting measurement data for the application and validation of atmospheric chemistry models. My main statistical tools for data analysis are python and R.

I develop field deployable sensors to track urban air pollution, with a focus on critical air pollutants and organics. The goal is to determine local pollution sources and transport and accurately measure actual exposure levels in real-time. I am part of the Decolonizing Light project that develops and deploys a citizen-science low-cost sensor air quality monitoring network in collaboration with the community of Kahnawake.

Previously, I was chapter lead and main author of the (peer-reviewed) Canadian Mercury Science Assessment, responsible for the Emissions Chapter. I took on this project as a result of a previous collaboration with Environment and Climate Change Canada, focusing on modelling of mercury transport in the atmosphere and validation with observations from AMNet stations.

I was a collaborator on the (now completed) EU funded FP7 MYCOSPEC project, where I performed multivariate modelling of mid-infrared data for classification of contaminated agricultural commodities. This included non-parametric machine learning algorithms such as bagged decision trees. Current collaborations that emerged from this work include the statistical analysis of mycotoxin concentrations from a global survey and a meta--analysis of occurrence data provided by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

I also investigated the exchange of volatile organic compounds between snow and air. I employed GC-FID and GC-MS for field and lab based measurements and successfully deployed a GC-FID system in Alert, NU in 2006. Another field trip to Barrow, AK followed in 2009, where I participated in an IPY OASIS initiative. I now continue this work in an urban setting in a greater effort to trace local pollution levels.

My experience as a Manager for Analytics at Sixtron Advanced Materials in Dorval, Quebec in 2009 and 2010 included analytical development & process monitoring using GC-TCD/FID/MS. I performed and coordinated validation and data analysis from TGA, DSC, XRF, particle size measurements. I also was project manager for equipment deployment at a prospective Chinese customer.


Peer reviewed publications

  1. A. Imfeld, A. Ouellet, P. Douglas, G. Kos, Y. Gélinas, Molecular and stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ2H) of sedimentary n-alkanes in the St. Lawrence Estuary and Gulf, Quebec, Canada: Importance of even numbered n-alkanes in coastal systems, Organic Geochemistry 164, 104367 (2022), doi: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2022.104367

  2. A. Dastoor, A. Ryjkov, G. Kos, J. Zhang, J. Kirk, Parsons M, and A. Steffen, Impact of Athabasca oil sands operations on mercury levels in air and deposition, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 21, 12783–12807 (2021), doi: 10.5194/acp-21-12783-2021

  3. E. Manny, S. La Vieille, S. A. Dominguez, G. Kos, V. Barrere, J. Theolier, J. Touma, S. B. Godefroy, Probabilistic risk assessment for milk in dark chocolate, cookies and other baked goods with PAL sold in Canada, Food and Chemical Toxicology 152, 112196, (2021), doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2021.112196

  4. M. Eskola, G. Kos, C. T. Elliott, J. Hajslova, S. Mayar, R. Krska, Worldwide contamination of food-crops with mycotoxins: validity of the decades old FAO estimate of 25% today, Annual Review of Food Science and Technology, (2019), doi: 10.1080/10408398.2019.1658570

  5. T. Öner, P. Thiam, G. Kos, R. Krska, F. Schwenker, B. Mizaikoff, Machine learning algorithms for the automated classification of contaminated maize at regulatory limits via infrared attenuated total reflection spectroscopy, World Mycotoxin Journal, 12 (2019), 113-122, doi: 10.3920/WMJ2018.2333

  6. M. Sieger, G. Kos, M. Sulyok, M. Godejohann, R. Krska, B. Mizaikoff, MYCOSPEC: Harnessing Infrared Laser Spectroscopy for On-site Mycotoxin Analysis, Scientific Reports, 7 (2017), 44028, doi: 10.1038/srep44028

  7. P. Kovalsky, G. Kos, K. Nährer, C. Schwab, T. Jenkins, G. Schatzmayr, M. Sulyok, R. Krska, Co-occurrence of Regulated, Masked and Emerging Mycotoxins and Secondary Metabolites in Finished Feed and Maize – an Extensive Survey, Toxins (2016), 363, doi: 10.3390/toxins8120363

  8. G. Kos, M. Sieger, D. McMullin, C. Zahradnik, T. Öner, B. Mizaikoff, R. Krska, A Novel Chemometric Classification for FTIR Spectra of Mycotoxin-contaminated Maize and Peanuts at Regulatory Limits, Food Additives and Contaminants, Part A 33 (2016), 1596-1607, doi: 10.1080/19440049.2016.1217567

  9. Y. Nazarenko, R.B. Rangel-Alvarado, G. Kos, U. Kurien, P.A. Ariya, Novel Aerosol Analysis Approach for Characterization of Nanoparticulate Matter in Snow, Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2016), in press

  10. G. Kos, Y.-F. Li, D. Niemi, M. King, S.A. Smyth, C. Zdanowicz, J. Zheng, Releases of Mercury into Air and Water from Anthropogenic Activities in North America, in A. Steffen (ed.), Canadian Mercury Science Assessment (2016), isbn: 978-0-660-03315-0

  11. P.A. Ariya, M. Amyot, A. Dastoor, D.A. Deeds, M. Subir, A. Feinberg, G. Kos, A. Poulain, A. Ryjkov, K. Semeniuk, K. Toyota, Mercury Physicochemical and Biogeochemical Transformation in the Atmosphere and at Atmospheric Interfaces: A Review, Chemical Reviews 115 (2015) 3760-3802, doi: 10.1021/cr500667e

  12. G. Kos, V. Kanthasamy, N. Adechina, P.A. Ariya, Volatile organic compounds in Arctic snow: Concentrations and implications for atmospheric processes, Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts 16 (2014) 2592-2603, doi: 10.1039/C4EM00410H

  13. P.A. Ariya, G. Kos, R. Mortazavi, E.D. Hudson, V. Kanthasamy, N. Eltouny, J. Sun and C. Wilde, Bio-Organic Materials in the Atmosphere and Snow: Measurement and Characterization, in V.F. McNeill, P.A. Ariya (eds.), Atmospheric and Aerosol Chemistry, ISBN 978-3-642-41214-1, Springer, NY (2013). doi:10.1007/128_2013_461

  14. G. Kos, A. Ryzhkov, A. Dastoor, J. Narayan, A. Steffen, P. A. Ariya, L. Zhang,Evaluation of Discrepancy between Measured and Modeled Oxidized Mercury Species,Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics 13 (2013) 4839-4863, doi:10.5194/acp-13-4839-2013.

  15. D. Voisin, J.-L. Jaffrezo, S. Houdier, M. Barret, J. Cozic, M. King, J. France, H. Reay, A. Grannas , G. Kos , P. A. Ariya , H. Beine , F. Domine, Carbonaceous Species and HUmic LIke Substances (HULIS) in Arctic Snowpack During OASIS Field Campaign in Barrow, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 117 (2012) D00R19, doi:10.1029/2011JD016612.

  16. P. A. Ariya, F. Domine, G. Kos, M. Amyot, V. Cote, H. Vali, T. Lauzier, L. Legagneux, W. F. Kuhs, K. Techmer, T. Heinrichs, R. Mortazavi, J. Bottenheim, Snow: A Photo-Bio-Chemical Exchange Platform with the Atmosphere, Environmental Chemistry8 (2011) 62-73,  doi:10.1071/EN10056.

  17. G. Kos, P. A. Ariya, Volatile Organic Compounds in Snow from Mont Saint Hilaire and the Tremblant Areas in South-Western Quebec, Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres 115 (2010) D01302,  doi:10.1029/2009JD012391.

  18. P. A. Ariya, J. Sun, N. A. Eltouny, E. D. Hudson, C. T. Hayes and G. Kos, Physical and Chemical Characterization of Bioaerosols – Implications for Nucleation processes,International Reviews in Physical Chemistry 28 (2009) 1-32, doi:10.1080/01442350802597438.

  19. V. Cote, G. Kos, R. Mortazavi, P. A. Ariya, Microbial and “de novo” Transformation of Dicarboxylic Acids by Three Airborne Fungi, Science of the Total Environment340 (2008) 530-537, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.10.035.

  20. G. Kos, H. Lohninger, R. Krska, Optimisation of the Sample Preparation Procedure for the Rapid Screening of Fungal Infection on Corn Using Mid-infrared Attenuated Total Reflection Spectroscopy (ATR), Food Additives and Contaminants, 24 (2006) 721-729, doi:10.1080/02652030601186111.

  21. G.Kos, P. A. Ariya, Determination of Wide Range Volatile Organic Compounds in Snow Using Solid Phase Micro-Extraction (SPME), Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 385 (2006) 57-66, doi:10.1007/s00216-006-0333-5.

  22. J. Stroka, M. Spanjer, S. Buechler, S. Barel, G.Kos, E. Anklam, Novel Sampling Methods for the Analysis of Mycotoxins and the Combination with Spectroscopic Methods for the Rapid Evaluation of Deoxynivalenol Contamination, Toxicology Letters 153, 1 (2004) 99-107, doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2004.04.039.

  23. G. Kos, H. Lohninger, R. Krska, P. Griffiths, Rapid Screening of Fungal Infection on Corn using Mid-infrared Diffuse Reflection Spectroscopy (DRS) and Attenuated Total Reflection Spectroscopy (ATR): A Comparison Study, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 378 (2004) 159-166, doi:10.1007/s00216-003-2245-y.

  24. G. Kos, H. Lohninger, R. Krska, Validation of Chemometric Models for the Determination of Deoxynivalenol on Maize by Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy, Mycotoxin Research 19, 2 (2004) 149-153, doi:10.1007/BF02942955.

  25. G. Kos, H. Lohninger, R. Krska, Development of a Novel Rapid Method for the Determination of Fusarium Fungi on Corn using Mid-infrared Spectroscopy with Attenuated Total Reflection (FTIR-ATR) and Chemometrics, Analytical Chemistry75 (2003) 1211-1217, doi:10.1021/ac0260903.

  26. G. Kos, H. Lohninger, R. Krska, Fourier Transform Mid-infrared Spectroscopy with Attenuated Total Reflection (FT-IR/ATR) as a Tool for the Detection of Fusarium Fungi on Maize, Vibrational Spectroscopy 29 (2002) 115-119, doi:10.1016/S0924-2031(01)00196-5.

  27. G. Kos, H. Lohninger, R. Krska, Classification of Maize Contaminated with Fusarium Graminearum Using Mid-infrared Spectroscopy and Chemometrics, Mycotoxin Research, 18, S1 (2002) 104-108, doi:10.1007/BF02946074.

  28. G. Kos, H. Lohninger, R. Krska, Using Mid-Infrared Fourier-Transform-Spectroscopy with Attenuated Total Reflection (FT-IR/ATR) as a tool for the determination of Fusarium Graminearum on Maize, Mycotoxin Research, 17A, 1 (2001) 102-106, doi:10.1007/BF03036722.

Current and past teaching activities

CHEM 217 Introductory Analytical Chemistry I (3 credits)

Prerequisites: CHEM 205, 206; PHYS 204, 206, 224, 226; MATH 203, 205; or equivalents for all prerequisite courses

Precipitation methods and solubility products; activity, chemical equilibria and titration curves of neutralization and complexation systems; treatment of analytical data.

Lectures and laboratory.

CHEM 218 Introductory Analytical Chemistry II (3 credits)

Prerequisite: CHEM 217.

Chemical equilibria and titration curves of oxidation-reduction, precipitation, and non-aqueous systems; potentiometry and potentiometric titrations; introduction to spectroscopy with emphasis on molecular and atomic absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy.

Lectures and laboratory.

CHEM 234 Physical Chemistry I: Thermodynamics (3 credits)

Prerequisites: CHEM 205, 206; PHYS 204, 206, 224, 226; MATH 203, 205; or equivalents for all prerequisite courses.

The properties of ideal and real gases; first, second and third laws of thermodynamics; the phase rule; one‐ and two‐component systems; real solutions, and partial properties, chemical equilibrium.

Lectures and tutorials.

SFYX 201/202 Integrated Science Seminar (3/3 credits)

Prerequisites: None

This seminar provides an integrated view of what is covered in the BIOL, CHEM, MATH and PHYS courses and disciplines. An inquiry project-based approach is  at the centre of this course and includes aspects of all of the discipline-specific courses in order to foster an interdisciplinary perspective. A focus will be on the development of academic (e.g., writing/research) and personal (e.g., collaborative/communication) skills relevant to scientific disciplines.

Projects, presentations, field project (at an abandoned copper mine), guest lectures.

CHEM 298 Air, Water and Soil Processes (3 credits)

Prerequisites: CHEM212 or CHEM217

Introductory Environmental Chemistry with focus on atmospheric chemistry (air quality), water and soil chemistry. Includes an optional visit to a Montreal pollution monitoring station.

Lectures, student presentations.

CHEM 610/498 Advanced Data Analysis (3 credits)

Prerequisites: CHEM312

An introduction to statistical programming using R and application to chemical data sets. Exploratory data analysis and plotting. Statistical methods discussed include linear regression, ANOVA, multivariate data analysis methods (e.g., PCA, PCR, PLS, decision trees, ANN). Introduction to Experimental Design.

In collaboration with Dr. D. Vuckovic and Dr. C. Skinner.

Lectures, projects, presentations.

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