Environmental Health and Toxicology Emphasis

Research in the area of environmental health and toxicology focuses on the exposure of organisms to toxic agents, as well as examination of the molecular and physiological processes that are impacted by these exposures—with a special emphasis exposure to metals. Faculty members address a range of questions, including environmental concentration, speciation, and isotopic composition of toxic agents, exposure pathways, and toxic consequences for key molecular and cellular mechanisms.


METX Department faculty members investigating environmental health and toxicology:

Manel Camps (METX): Repair of methyl-DNA adducts; mechanisms of action and resistance to chemotherapeutic agents; detection and quantification of random mutations

Russ Flegal (METX): Biogeochemical Cycling of Metals

Karen Ottemann (METX): Bacterial pathogens, inflammation and cancer

Chad Saltikov (METX): Microbes and arsenic contamination of drinking water

Donald Smith (METX): Mechanisms underlying responses and adaptations of organisms to toxic metal exposures

Myra Finkelstein (METX Adjunct): Wildlife toxicology—forging links between individual and population level effects


Affiliated UCSC faculty members who conduct research on environmental health issues include:

Kenneth W. Bruland (Ocean Sciences): Biogeochemistry of trace metals

Ted Holman (Chemistry and Biochemistry): Bioinorganics and biological chemistry

Raphael Kudela (Ocean Sciences): Ecological modeling and remote sensing, satellite oceanography, phytoplankton ecology and harmful algal blooms

Glenn Millhauser (Chemistry and Biochemistry): Peptide structure and dynamics, electron spin resonance spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, agouti proteins

Adina Paytan (Institute of Marine Science): Biogeochemistry, chemical oceanography, paleoceanography (accepts students from METX graduate program)

Peter T. Raimondi (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology): Applied marine ecology