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): Molecular mechanisms of reactive DNA methylation toxicity with evolution of drug resistance with a focus on genetic adaptation and plasmid homeostasis

Karen Ottemann (METX): How bacterial pathogens are able to chronically colonize mammalian hosts and cause disease outcomes such as inflammation and cancer

Chad Saltikov (METX): Microbial processes that influence the biotransformation of pollutants in the environment

Donald Smith (METX): Neurotoxicity, cellular and organismal responses to environmental toxins

Myra Finkelstein (METX Adjunct): Human impacts to wildlife with an emphasis on contaminant-induced effects

Ron Oremland (METX Adjunct): Microbial metabolism of reduced gases and of toxic elements, especially in extreme environments (e.g. Mono Lake)


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

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): Electron paramagnetic resonance; nuclear magnetic resonance, protein structure and function, peptide synthesis, prions, melanocortin signaling

Adina Paytan (Institute of Marine Science): Biogeochemistry, paleoceanography, environmental and aquatic chemistry

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