Environmental Toxicology

Forensic Proteomics, a New Tool for Crime Labs and Anthropology

September 09, 2019

DNA evidence has revolutionized forensic science in the past few years, cracking open cold cases and bringing both convictions and exonerations. The same techniques help archaeologists and anthropologists studying remains from ancient peoples or human ancestors. 

But DNA is a relatively fragile molecule that breaks down easily. That’s where proteomics, the new science of analyzing proteins, comes in. By reading the sequence of amino acids from fragments of protein, scientists can work backwards to infer the sequence of DNA that produced the protein. 

An Evolutionary Rescue in Polluted Waters

May 02, 2019

How Genetics, Resources and a Long-Distant Relative Helped One Lucky Fish Species Adapt to Extreme Pollution

The combination of a big population, good genes and luck helps explain how a species of fish in Texas’ Houston Ship Channel was able to adapt to what normally would be lethal levels of toxins for most other species, according to a study to be published May 3 in the journal Science

Environmental Toxicology

Environmental Toxicology is the study of how chemicals move within the environment and affect biological systems. The program at UC Davis is unique by studying living harmful agents as well as chemical agents.


May 17, 2017

Ron Tjeerdema named to NAS committee on dispersants for oil spills

Ronald Tjeerdema, CA&ES Associate Dean for Environmental Sciences, has been named to a select committee for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that will evaluate the use of dispersants in future oil spills.

 “I am looking forward to contributing my 30 years of experience in oil spill research,” said Tjeerdema, who is a professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology and also holds the Donald G. Crosby Endowed Chair in Environmental Chemistry.

Against the Tide

December 08, 2016

What can we learn from a fish that adapts quickly to lethal levels of pollution?

Evolution is working hard to rescue some urban fish from a lethal, human-altered environment, according to a study led by the University of California, Davis, and published Dec. 9 in the journal Science.

Clearing the Air

October 20, 2016

UC Davis has a large concentration of air quality experts, including these CA&ES scientists

Qi Zhang
"The atmosphere is like a big reactor that's always cooking stuff," says Qi Zhang, a professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology.

Zhang and colleagues study the chemistry and physical properties of aerosols—atmospheric particulate matter and aerial droplets—that cause poor air quality and affect human health. Her research has taken her all over the world to analyze air samples with sophisticated equipment.