About Zhenyu Tian
Zhenyu Tian is an environmental chemist curious about organic pollutants in the environment. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, where he studied the transformation products and co-occurring pollutants of PAHs in contaminated soil. Then he worked as a postdoctoral research scientist at the Center for Urban Waters, University of Washington Tacoma, applying non-target screening to identify emerging contaminants in water and biota and to evaluate engineered treatment systems. With the research group, he identified 6PPD-quinone, a ubiquitous tire rubber chemical that kills coho salmon via urban stormwater.
Tian lab focuses on the identification and quantification of known and unknown contaminants in our environment, to assess their risks to human health and the ecosystem. Since hundreds of thousands of synthetic chemicals are used in our daily life, many of them go into the water, soil, air, and biota. To understand what are the harmful chemicals we are exposed to, we use high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) and chemoinformatics to perform non-target analysis (NTA). Coupling NTA with bioassays and chromatography, we will assess the risk of contaminants, and pinpoint the causal pollutants for observed toxicities. We will also explore the impact and behavior of microplastics, especially tire wear particles that are produced every day all over the world.