PhD Research - Cruz Ortiz

MS Environmental Engineering Sciences, University of Florida; BS Earth Science, University of California Santa Cruz

As an automotive mechanic, Cruz saw first-hand the environmental pollution caused by automotive repair shops. He saw oil and fluid washed into gutters as runoff and stacks of lead batteries, and experienced exposure to hexavalent chromium via indoor welding. That experience helped generate his desire to better understand how pollutants cycle through the environment. As a Bren School PhD student, Cruz is particularly interested in developing technologies to contain, remediate, and monitor pollutants in the environment. In his previous research, Cruz has looked at atmospheric mercury and its uptake in terrestrial arthropods, and the cytotoxicity of encapsulated welding fumes. Cruz currently investigates the fate and transport of engineered nanomaterials. His research objectives are to better understand how these materials move and transform through the environment. Cruz is also a graduate student mentor for the UCSB McNair Scholars Program,which supports the academic achievement of students from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education.

Year Admitted: 2015
Research Areas: Environmental Toxicology, Nanomaterials, Pollutant Fate and Transport
Faculty Advisor: Arturo Keller

Office: Bren Hall 2324
Tel: 805-893-5352

Curriculum Vitae


Zhao, L., Ortiz, C., Adeleye, A. S., Hu, Q., Zhou, H., Huang, Y., & Keller, A. A. (2016). Metabolomics to Detect Response of Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) to Cu (OH) 2 Nanopesticides: Oxidative Stress Response and Detoxification Mechanisms. Environmental Science & Technology, 50(17), 9697-9707.

Zhao, L., Hu, J., Huang, Y., Wang, H., Adeleye, A., Ortiz, C., & Keller, A. A. (2016). 1 H NMR and GC–MS based metabolomics reveal nano-Cu altered cucumber (Cucumis sativus) fruit nutritional supply. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry.

Zhao, L., Huang, Y., Zhou, H., Adeleye, A. S., Wang, H., Ortiz, C., Mazer, S.J., & Keller, A. A. (2016). GC-TOF-MS based metabolomics and ICP-MS based metallomics of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) fruits reveal alteration of metabolites profile and biological pathway disruption induced by nano copper. Environmental Science: Nano, 3(5), 1114-1123.

Ortiz, Jr. C., Weiss-Penzias, P. S., Fork, S., & Flegal, A. R. (2014). Total and Monomethyl Mercury in Terrestrial Arthropods from the Central California Coast. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 94(4), 425-430.

Weiss-Penzias, P.S., Ortiz, Jr. C., Acosta, R.P., Heim, W., Ryan, J.P., Fernandez, D., Collett, Jr. J.L., Flegal, A.R. (2012). Total and monomethyl mercury in fog water from the central California coast. Geophysical Research Letters, 39(3). Publication: Featured in the cover of Geophysical Research Letters

Fellowship Awards

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2014 - 2019 Fellow)
NSF Bridge to Doctorate Fellowship (2013-2015)