Alicia Taylor
Alicia A. Taylor, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
Ecological & Biological Sciences
Oakland

Dr. Taylor has 10 years of experience in a broad range of biological sciences, with a primary focus in environmental toxicology and microbiology. Her specialty is investigating changes in microbial community function in disturbed ecosystems (wetlands, wastewater treatment, and human intestines). Dr. Taylor uses traditional and emerging toxicity assays, water quality monitoring, and phenotypic/genotypic characterization of microbial communities to monitor system changes caused by newly occurring contaminants, such as nanomaterials.

Dr. Taylor has experience in developing phytoremediation strategies for saline wetlands impacted with crude oil, heavy metals, and carbon black. Here, she used plant-, bacterial-, and fungal-based biodegradation studies to design a cost-effective and green mitigation solution. Dr. Taylor’s expertise also includes whole-effluent acute and chronic toxicity testing and biomonitoring, as well as research with agricultural pesticide run-off and its impacts to aquatic invertebrates. Dr. Taylor also has international research experience where she investigated microbial aerobic and anaerobic degradation pathways of organic hydrocarbons in groundwater. 

Dr. Taylor has an interest in science education and has guest lectured at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Riverside. She has also developed material for science outreach/education at the California Academy of Sciences. 

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Riverside, 2015
  • M.S., Biology, Texas State University, San Marcos, 2010
  • B.S., Biology, University of North Texas, 2007
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Berkeley, 2015-2016

    Visiting Scholar at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Albert Katz International School of Desert Studies, Israel, 2013–2014

    Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship, UC Riverside, 2011

    George H. Meyer Award in Microbiology, Texas State University, 2010

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response 24 hour training program, certificate number 1601132158081

Publications

Xia M, Li Y, Taylor AA, Fu D, Khan AR, Terry N. Crude Oil Depletion by Bacterial Strains Isolated from a Petroleum Hydrocarbon Impacted Solid Waste Management Site in California. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 2017; 123:70-77.

Keller AA, Adeleye A, Conway J, Garner KL, Zhao L, Cherr G, Hong J, Gardea-Torresdey J, Godwin H, Hanna S, Ji Z, Kaweeteerawat C, Lin S, Lenihan H, Miller R, Nel A, Peralta-Videa J, Walker SL, Taylor AA, Torres-Duarte C, Zink J, Zuverza-Mena N. Comparative Environmental Fate and Toxicity of Copper Nanomaterials. NanoImpact 2017;7: 28-40.

Chen Z, Taylor AA, Rodriguez-Astor S, Terry N. Boron phytoextraction and tolerance of seven poplar clones in saline environments. Chemosphere 2017;167:146-154.

Zhu H, Taylor AA, Rodriguez-Astor S, Terry N. Enhancing saltgrass germination and growth in compact, saline and hydrocarbon impacted soil. Plant and Soil 2017; 412(1):189-199.

Taylor AA, Khan MY, Helbley J, Walker SL. Evaluating the toxicity of nano silver hair dryers via physicochemical characterization and the Kirby-Bauer assay. Safety Science 2017; 93:121-126.

Gu HH, Zhou Z, Gao YQ, Yuan XT, Ai YJ, Zhang JY, Zuo WZ, Taylor AA, Nan SQ, Li FP. The influences of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus on phytostabilization of lead/zinc tailings using four plant species. International Journal of Phytoremediation 2017; 19(8):739-745.

Taylor AA, Walker SL. Effects of various copper particles on a model septic system function and microbial community. Water Res 2016; 91(15):350-360.

Lin S, Taylor AA, Ji Z, Chang CH, Kinsinger NM, Ueng W, Walker SL, Nel AE. Understanding the transformation, speciation, and hazard potential of copper particles in a model septic tank system using zebrafish to monitor the effluent. ACS Nano 2015; 9(2):2038-2048.

Taylor AA, Marcus IM, Guysi RL, Walker SL. Metal oxide nanoparticles induce minimal phenotypic changes in a model colon gut microbiome. Environ Eng Sci 2015; 32(7):602-612.

Xing SF, Sun XF, Taylor AA, Walker SL, Wang YF, Wang SG. D-Amino acids inhibit initial bacterial adhesion: thermodynamic evidence. Biotechnol Bioeng 2014; 112(4):696-704.

Taylor AA, Chowdhury I, Gong A, Cwiertny DM, Walker SL. Deposition and disinfection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 on naturally occurring photoactive materials in a parallel plate chamber. Env Sci Process Impact 2014; 16(2):194-202.

Taylor AA, Bryant S, McLean RJC. Overcoming the challenges associated with laboratory preparation with the help of students. J Coll Sci Teach 2013; 43(1):10-11.

Taylor AA, Aron GM, Beall GW, Dharmasiri N, Zhang Y, McLean RJC. Carbon and clay nanoparticles induce minimal stress responses in gram negative bacteria and eukaryotic fish cells. Environ Toxicol 2012; 29(8):961-968.

Presentations

Taylor AA, Freeman EL. Nanotechnology regulation implementation in industry. Nanotech 2017 Conference & Expo, Washington D.C., USA, May 14-17, 2017.

Taylor, AA. Nanomaterials in the environment. Northwest Remediation Conference, Seattle, WA, October 4, 2016.

Balaban N, Taylor AA, Bernstein A, Gelman F, Ronen Z. Mutualistic interactions in the biodegradation of the brominated flame retardants bis(bromomethyl)propanol (TBNPA) and bibromoneopentyl-glycol (DBNGP). Israeli Society of Microbiology Annual Meeting 2016, Tel Aviv, Israel, February 17-18, 2016.

Taylor AA, Walker SL. Transformation and hazard potential of copper particles in a septic system using a zebrafish high-throughput screening assay. The International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies 2015, Honolulu, HI, December 15-20, 2015.

Taylor AA, Walker SL. Transformation and hazard potential of copper particles in a septic system using a zebrafish high-throughput screening assay to monitor effluent. 2015 AEESP Research and Education Conference, New Haven, CT, June 13-16, 2015.

Taylor AA, Lin S, Ji Z, Chang CH, Kinsinger NM, Ueng W, Walker SL, Nel AE. Understanding the transformation, speciation, and hazard potential of copper-based particles in a model septic tank using a zebrafish high-throughput screening assay. Poster presentation. 54th Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting & ToxExpo, San Diego, CA, March 22-26, 2015.

Taylor AA, Walker SL. Use of a model laboratory-scale septic system for studying emerging contaminants. Poster presentation. 2014 Annual Meeting of the Southern California Society of Toxicology, San Diego, CA, October 16, 2014 (third place poster prize).

Walker SL, Taylor AA. From ideal to real: utilizing a model colon and septic system to elucidate the impacts of bacterial and nanoparticle contamination. 248th ACS National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 10-14, 2014.

Taylor AA, Walker SL. Release and impact of copper nanoparticles on a model septic system. 248th ACS National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 10-14, 2014.

Taylor AA, Walker SL. Impact and fate of copper nanoparticles on a model septic system. Poster presentation. Gordon Research Conferences: Environmental Sciences: Water, Holderness, NH, June 22-27, 2014.

Taylor AA, Ronen Z, Walker SL. Impact of copper nanoparticles on the function of a model septic system and microbial community. Poster presentation. Israel Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting, Haifa, Israel, April 7, 2014.

Coyoca A, Taylor AA, Walker SL. Fate and partitioning of copper nanoparticles in a model septic system. Poster presentation. Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR), Whittier College, Whittier, CA, November 23, 2013.

Chow T, Taylor AA, Walker SL. Effects of copper nanoparticles on a microbial community in a model septic tank. Poster presentation. Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR), Whittier College, Whittier, CA, November 23, 2013.

Cruz B, Taylor AA, Walker SL. The use of Live/Dead and C. elegans assays to determine viability and virulence in disinfection surviving bacteria. Poster presentation. Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR), Whittier College, Whittier, CA, November 23, 2013.

Cruz B, Taylor AA, Walker SL. The use of Live/Dead and C. elegans assays to determine viability and virulence in disinfection surviving bacteria. Poster presentation. 26th Annual Mentoring Summer Research Internship Program (MSRIP) Symposium, UC Riverside, Riverside, CA, August 16, 2013.

Walker SL, Taylor AA. Linking environmental and human health to nanoparticle exposure: experimental and educational approaches. 2013 AEESP 50th Anniversary Conference: Environmental Engineers and Scientists of 2050: Education, Research and Practice, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO, July 14-16, 2013.

Taylor AA, Marcus IM, Guysi RL, Walker SL. Effects of metal oxide nanoparticles on a model colon gut microbiome. 87th American Chemical Society Colloids & Surface Science Symposium, UC Riverside, Riverside, CA, June 23-26, 2013.

Taylor AA, Walker SL. Effects of metal oxide nanoparticles on a model colon gut microbiome. Environmental Toxicology Annual Student Symposium, UC Riverside, Riverside, CA, June 21, 2013.

Taylor AA, Walker SL. Fate and transport of micro copper in a model septic tank: effects on microbial community health and water treatment. Poster presentation. UC-CEIN Nano EH&S Forum: Scientific Advances Towards Reducing Complexity in Decision Making, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, May 8-9, 2013.

Taylor AA, Valle J, Guysi RL, Walker SL. Evaluating the toxicity of nano silver hair dryers via physicochemical characterization and the Kirby-Bauer assay. Poster presentation. Setac North America 33rd Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA, November 11-15, 2012.

Valle J, Guysi RL, Taylor AA, Walker SL. Evaluating the toxicity of nano silver hair dryers via physicochemical characterization and the Kirby-Bauer assay. Poster presentation. 25th Annual Mentoring Summer Research Internship Program (MSRIP) Symposium, UC Riverside, Riverside, CA, August 15, 2012.

Taylor AA, Gong A, Chowdhury I, Cwiertny DM, Walker SL. Influence of surface coatings and extracellular polymeric substances on Escherichia coli 0157:H7 attachment and disinfection. Poster presentation. 2012 SoCal SETAC Annual Meeting, Costa Mesa, CA, April 19-20, 2012.

Taylor AA, Gong A, Chowdhury I, Cwiertny DM, Walker SL. Influence of surface coatings and extracellular polymeric substances on Escherichia coli 0157:H7 attachment and disinfection. Poster presentation. UCR Water Research Symposium, UC Riverside, Riverside, CA, April 17, 2012.

Taylor AA, McLean RJC. Carbon and clay nanoparticles provoke numerous responses in Salmonella enterica var. typhimurium and Escherichia coli. Second International Research Conference for Graduate Students, San Marcos, TX, November 3-4, 2010.

Taylor AA, McLean RJC. Carbon and clay nanoparticles provoke numerous responses in Salmonella enterica var. typhimurium and Escherichia coli. American Society of Microbiology Texas Branch Meeting, San Marcos, TX, October 28-31, 2010.

Taylor AA, McLean RJC. Nanoparticle influence on bacterial toxicity. American Society of Microbiology Texas Branch Meeting, New Braunfels, TX, April 8-11, 2010.

Taylor AA, McLean RJC. Nanoparticle influence on bacterial toxicity. 15th Annual Texas State Biology Colloquium, San Marcos, TX, April 2, 2010.

Taylor AA, McLean RJC. Nanoparticle influence on bacterial mutagenesis. Texas Academy of Science Meeting, Stephenville, TX, March 4-7, 2010.

Taylor AA, McLean RJC. Nanoparticle influence on bacterial mutagenesis. American Society of Microbiology Texas Branch Meeting, Tyler, TX, November 5-8, 2009.

Professional Affiliations

American Chemical Society

Society of Toxicology (SOT), Northern California Regional Chapter

Society of Wetland Scientists

Project Experience

Environmental Fate and Toxicity of Chemicals

Provide technical support on environmental toxicity of metals in coal ash regulated under the US EPA’s Coal Ash Rule. Specifically, metals regulated under the rule but lacking maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) were reviewed for their acute and chronic effects on aquatic and terrestrial organisms.

Provide assessment of environmental safety of excipients used in veterinary medicine undergoing FDA approval. Review fate, transport, toxicity to ecological receptors, and biodegradation of excipients in the environment.

Review Natural Resource Damage Assessments specific to Superfund sites primarily contaminated with PCBs. Determine variation in NRDA process to suggest standardization of procedures for these sites.

Evaluated former industrial chemical and pesticide manufacturing sites including the manufacturing site use, waste disposal, and the assessment of potential impacts to groundwater, surface water, and soil. This evaluation was part of the assessment of the fate and transport and the determination of potential third-party damages. 

Water Quality and Policy

Review of California State Water resources Control Board’s amendments to the Water Quality Control Plans for Ocean waters and for Inland Surface Waters and Enclosed Bays and Estuaries specific to establishing procedures to address discharge and dredged fill to state waters. Review non-jurisdictional wetland definition and delineation procedures.

Technical support on a state-of-the-art review on the fate and transport of cosmetic and personal care product polymers in wastewater treatment plants, focusing on biodegradation within WWTPs and the likelihood of release into the aquatic environment. 

Review 303d impairments and NPDES permits. 

Provide estimated natural attenuation rates for untreated wastewater in a failed oxidation pond. 

Performed habitat assessment for marine species off the California coast to determine baseline species abundance habitat locations of specific life stages. Assessed how environmental and anthropogenic changes alter species abundance. 

Spatial analysis of DDT and dieldrin in sediment to determine source location. 

Metal Toxicity

Ecological assessment of trace metals, lithium and molybdenum, as a component of coal combustion products. Metals were selected for review based upon current regulation under the Coal Combustion Residuals Rule and in conjunction with no current maximum contaminant level set by the EPA. 

Toxicological review of current knowledge of copper effects on human health, assessment of data for proposing an oral reference dose, and review of alternative methods, such as a categorical regression analysis, for determining optimal intake of copper. 

Develop plan for assessing metal bioaccumulation in human food sources associated with fugitive dust from mines. 

Review multi-increment sampling study for investigating concentrations of trace metals from fugitive dust associated with a mine. Moss was used as the ecological receptor for assessing bioaccumulation. 

Regulatory Assessments

Assisted with human health risk assessment at a manufactured gas plant in the Midwest for legacy contamination. 

Prepared a terrestrial ecological evaluation to determine if risk from hazardous chemicals present at a site are likely to cause potential adverse effects to ecological receptors. 

Reviewed baseline ecological risk assessments for litigation support. 

Assess DSAYs to propose best restoration project options for Superfund site. 

Habitat assessments of freshwater and marine species.

Additional Information

Peer Reviewer

Reviewer for the ASTM International for WK48313 Collaboration — New Standard — Collection and Generation of Environment, Health, and Safety Information for Nanomaterials and Nano-enabled Products.

Knowledge

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Riverside, 2015
  • M.S., Biology, Texas State University, San Marcos, 2010
  • B.S., Biology, University of North Texas, 2007
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Berkeley, 2015-2016

    Visiting Scholar at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Albert Katz International School of Desert Studies, Israel, 2013–2014

    Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship, UC Riverside, 2011

    George H. Meyer Award in Microbiology, Texas State University, 2010

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response 24 hour training program, certificate number 1601132158081