Poulin, Brett A.

Headshot of Brett Poulin

Assistant Professor
Email: bapoulin@ucdavis.edu
Office: 4145 Meyer Hall
Phone: 530-754-2454


My research interests focus on the environmental transformations and toxicologic pathways of trace metal contaminants in the environment, with an emphasis on the neurotoxic element mercury.  Active areas of research include investigation of (1) the processes controlling the methylation of mercury in hydrologic reservoirs in the arid western US (Snake River, ID), to inform reservoir management; (2) the implications of sulfur applications from agricultural practices on mercury transformations in managed wetlands; and (3) pathways of methylmercury detoxification in organisms using X-ray techniques.


  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Trace Metal Biogeochemistry and Toxicity
  • Aqueous Organic Geochemistry

Education and Experience:

  • U.S. Geological Survey, Boulder, Colorado, 2016-2020
  • University of Colorado Boulder, Ph.D. Environmental Engineering, 2016
  • University of Colorado Boulder, M.S. Environmental Engineering, 2013
  • University of California Santa Cruz, B.S. Chemistry, 2008
  • University of California Santa Cruz, B.S. Biology, 2008


  • TBD

Campus Memberships:

  • Agriculture & Environmental Chemistry Graduate Group
  • Pharmacology & Toxicology Graduate Group
  • Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group

Recent Publications:

Sikder, M., Wang, J., Poulin, B.A., Tfaily, M.M., Baalousha, M. (2020) Nanoparticle size and natural organic matter composition determine aggregation behavior of polyvinylpyrrolidone coated platinum nanoparticles. Environmental Science: Nano. DOI: 10.1039/D0EN00659A. (link)

Baldwin, B.K., Poulin, B.A., Naymik, J., Hoovestol, C., Clark, G.M., and Krabbenhoft, D.P. (2020) Seasonal dynamics and interannual variability in mercury concentrations and loads through a three-reservoir complex. Environmental Science & Technology 54, 9305-9314, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b07103. (link)

Poulin, B.A., Ryan, J.N., Tate, M.T., Krabbenhoft, D.P., Hines, M.E., Barkay, T., Schaefer, J., and Aiken, G.R. (2019) Geochemical factors controlling dissolved elemental mercury and methylmercury formation in Alaskan wetlands of varying trophic status. Environmental Science & Technology 53, 6203-6213, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b06041. (link)

Poulin, B.A., Ryan, J.N., Nagy, K.L., Stubbins, A., Dittmar, T., Orem, W., Krabbenhoft, D.P., and Aiken, G.R. (2017) Spatial dependence of reduced sulfur in Everglades dissolved organic matter controlled by sulfate enrichment. Environmental Science & Technology 51, 3630-3639, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b04142. (link)

Poulin, B.A., Gerbig, C.A., Kim, C.S., Stegemeier, J.P., Ryan, J.N., and Aiken, G.R. Effects of sulfide concentration and dissolved organic matter characteristics on the structure of nanocolloidal metacinnabar. (2017) Environmental Science & Technology 51, 13133-13142, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b02687. (link)