Research at the Junction of Microbiology and Environmental Health

Researchers in the Department of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology at U.C. Santa Cruz seek to understand how harmful agents—including pathogens and chemicals—interact with the environment and damage humans and animals. The department has two main research foci: microbiology and environmental health and toxicology. These studies are by nature multidisciplinary and members of the METX department are passionate contributors to multidisciplinary efforts that cross departmental boundaries. We frequently collaborate in research and educational programs with colleagues in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biomolecular Engineering, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, Ocean Sciences, and the Institute for Marine Sciences

Research Emphases

  • Environmental Health and Toxicology

    Research in the area of environmental health and toxicology focuses on investigation into 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 on exposure to metals. [More]
  • Microbiology

    Research in the area of microbiology focuses on the analysis of molecular genetics of both pathogenic  and non-pathogenic bacteria. Faculty address a diverse range of questions focused on how bacteria can transform metals to enhance or diminish their toxicity, and how bacteria themselves act as harmful agents by infecting humans. [More]