Postdoctoral Researchers

Christopher W. Leishman, PhD

Email: cleishman(at)

Dr. Leishman grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He studied physics and applied math at the University of New Mexico, where he became fascinated with quantum dynamics in biological energy transport processes. After graduating, he moved to Oregon, earning an additional bachelor’s degree (Chemistry) at Portland State University while performing computational modeling of sensitizing dyes and photoactive polymers for solar cells in the research group of Prof. Carl Wamser. In July 2016, he earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the Department of Chemistry of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, under the mentorship of Prof. Jeanne L. McHale. In his doctoral research, he coordinated resonance Raman spectroscopy with nanoscale imaging to distill insights into relationships between structure and optical properties of supramolecular porphyrin aggregates. He published the findings from these investigations in an interlinked series of three first author papers.

Dr. Leishman joined Prof. Eisele’s research group as a postdoctoral researcher in September 2016 at the City College of New York, where he is working on structural and optical studies of energy and charge transfer dynamics in composite nanoscale systems including hybrid excitonic and plasmonic materials. He is driven by a vision to engage cutting-edge optical spectroscopy, microscopy and theoretical investigations to enable future advances in sustainable energy.


Three Selected Publications:

1. Leishman, C. W.; McHale, J. L. Light-Harvesting Properties and Morphology of Porphyrin Nanostructures Depend on Ionic Species Inducing Aggregation. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2015, 119, 28167–28181.DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b08849

2. Leishman, C. W.; McHale, J. L. Illuminating Excitonic Structure in Ion-Dependent Porphyrin Aggregates with Solution Phase and Single-Particle Resonance Raman Spectroscopy. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2016, 120, 12783–12795. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b00867

3. Leishman, C. W.; McHale, J. L. Morphologically-Determined Excitonic Properties of Porphyrin Aggregates in Alcohols with Variable Acidity. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2016. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b04998


Nikunjkumar Visaveliya, PhD

Email: nvisaveliya(at)

Dr. Nikunjkumar Visaveliya was born in Devkigalol, India. He earned his B.Sc. in Chemistry and M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry both at the Sardar Patel University, Gujarat, India. After completing his M.Sc., he moved to National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India where he worked as a research project assistant under Dr. BLV Prasad on the synthesis of different bio-surfactants and their applications. He then joined Prof. J. Michael Koehler’s group at the Technical University of Ilmenau, Germany in order to obtain his PhD. In Prof. Koehler’s group, Nikunjkumar gained extensive expertise in state of the art microfluidic nanosynthesis. He applied these microfluidic techniques to synthesize different types of multi-functional nanoparticles (organic as well as inorganic) with a wide variation of parameters such as size, shape, assembly, and composition for different functional applications. During his PhD career, Nikunjkumar published 17 manuscripts in peer reviewed journals, of which he is first author of 11 publications.

In November 2016, Dr. Visaveliya joined Prof. Eisele’s research group at the City College of New York as a postdoctoral researcher. His research interests concern nanomaterials for light-matter interactions. Specifically, he is interested in utilizing microfluidics for supramolecular self-assembly as well as for polymeric nanomaterials and novel nanocomposites for optical and biomedical applications. Nikunjkumar is passionate about pushing microfluidics forward to new frontiers.

Three Selected Publications:

1. N. Visaveliya and J. M. Köhler; “Microfluidic Assisted Synthesis of Multipurpose Polymer Nanoassembly Particles for Fluorescence, LSPR, and SERS Activities”, Small, 11, 6435–6443 (2015) (Inside Cover Article).

2. N. Visaveliya, S. Lenke and J. M. Köhler; “Composite Sensor Particles for Tuned SERS Sensing: Microfluidic Synthesis, Properties and Applications”, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 7 (20), 10742-10754 (2015).

3. N. Visaveliya and J. M. Köhler; “Single-Step Microfluidic Synthesis of Various Non-Spherical Polymer Nanoparticles via in-Situ Assembling: Dominating Role of Polyelectrolytes Molecules, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 6 (14), 11254-11264 (2014).

Joseph Brisendine, PhD

Email: josephbrisendine(at)

Dr. Brisendine grew up in Georgia, US. Initially, he pursued graduate studies in Philosophy. He received a Master’s degree in Philosophy from Staffordshire University, UK, and he then moved to New York City to pursue a PhD in Philosophy. His studies in natural Philosophy led to him having a change of heart about his career path at 25, and he decided to pursue Science instead. This led him to the City College of New York and eventually the CUNY Graduate Center, where he joined the research group of Prof. Ronald Koder. In February 2018, he received his doctoral degree (Ph.D) from CCNY’s Physics Department. His thesis work was concerned with the information content, computational capacity, and charge transport properties of natural proteins, and he is fascinated by the connections between biology, computation, and energy transport. In May 2018, Dr. Brisendine joined the Eisele group as a postdoctoral researcher, where he is working on modeling and optimizing the energy and charge transport properties of the group’s bio-inspired material systems.

Dr. Brisendine’s vision is that the efficiency and power of future synthetic light-harvesting systems compare as favorably against leaves as jet airliners do against eagles. Neither necessarily “fly better,” but both are certainly suited to different tasks! In this same way, light-harvesting systems designed for optimizing photocurrents need not necessarily look like “artificial leaves” at all, and this offers the opportunity to rethink the process of light-harvesting and charge separation from the level of fundamental physics to the coarse-grained details of practical engineering applications. In addition to helping provide a sustainable future of clean energy for the world, it is, for him, an exciting intellectual opportunity to examine the fundamental constraints nature has placed on energy and charge transfer towards the goal of outperforming nature at its own game.