annual retreat 2023

2023 Annual Retreat

Confronting Emerging Environmental Health Risks: Health Effects of Microplastics & Warehouse Pollution 

November 8th @ 1-6 PM | UC Davis Alumni Center and Zoom

Join Us

The UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center Annual Retreat brings together researchers, advocates, and policy-makers committed to reducing inequities and improving environmental health outcomes in rural and overburdened California communities. Our goal is to promote impactful collaborations across disciplines, institutions, and sectors and to thereby incubate, catalyze, and foster new environmental health research, advocacy, and policy endeavors.

Join us to learn about health effects of microplastics and the warehouse construction boom in California live on November 8th at 1 PM:


If you would like to join us in person and have not yet registered, please register with us in person on November 8th at the UC Davis Alumni Center at 12:50 PM. If you have any questions, please reach out to

Call for Poster Presentations

We are interested in poster presentations addressing all aspects of environmental health sciences, broadly defined, for our 2023 Annual Retreat. Submit your poster abstract using the registration link above by Oct 6th.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Ruth Williams <>.


  • 12:50 pm: Registration 
  • 1:00-1:10pm: Welcome
  • 1:10-2:40 pm: Microplastics and Human Health 
  • 2:40-4:10 pm: Poster Session
  • 4:10-5:40 pm: Health Effects of California's Warehouse Boom

Panel 1: Microplastics and Human Health 

Dr. Karen Shapiro

Featured Presentation

Dr. Karen Shapiro is an Associate Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at the UC Davis School of Veterinarian Medicine. This research investigates the role of microplastics as potential carriers for zoonotic protozoan parasites, frequently present in shellfish and posing potential health risks when consumed. Dr. Shapiro is the co-author of a 2022 paper on the Association of Zoonotic Protozoan Parasites with Microplastics in Seawater.

Dr. Pamela Lein


Dr. Pamela Lein is a co-director of the EHSC Career Development Program, chair of the Department of Molecular Biosciences, director of the CounterACT Center of Excellence, and professor of Molecular Biosciences at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Lein is among eight faculty from UC Davis as new fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Research studies in Lein's laboratory include how environmental factors interact with genetic factors to increase risk for neurodevelopmental disorders and determining how pesticides alter communication between nerves and immune cells in the lung to cause airway hyperactivity. She recently authored an article on The plastic crisis: What's the big deal with microplastics?

Dr. Randy Carney

Dr. Randy Carney is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis. Dr. Carney develops cutting-edge Raman spectroscopy and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) tools to characterize circulating exosomes and related extracellular vesicles (EVs). In 2020, Dr. Carney was named EHSC Scholar.

Dr. Allison Ehrlich 

Dr. Allison Ehrlich is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Toxicology. Dr. Ehrlich's research centers around the mechanisms by which the environment influences susceptibility to immune-mediated disease. This year, Dr. Ehrlich was named EHSC Scholar.

Shelly Moore

Ms. Moore has more than 25 years experience in the water quality field and specializes in trash and marine debris in aquatic environments. She has done research to provide both the regulated and regulator communities with baseline information necessary to determining the efficacy of recent policies and legislation around trash in the environment. She is the Executive Director of the Moore Institute for Plastic Pollution Research which is dedicated to expanding knowledge surrounding the impact of plastic pollution in our environment.

Microplastics Resources: 

Panel 2: Health Effects of California's Warehouse Boom 

Dr. Deb Niemeier

Featured Presentation

Dr. Deb Niemeier is the Clark Distinguished Chair in Energy and Sustainability at the University of Maryland, College Park, a professor in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Director of UMD Center for Disaster Resilience, and an affiliate professor in the College of Information Studies. She was recently awarded the 2023 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science from the Franklin Institute for her research on how infrastructure can be redesigned to minimize the effects of climate change. Her current research involves assessing risks associated with the intersection of finance, housing, infrastructure, and environmental hazards. Dr. Neimeier recently collaborated on a paper that revealed a connection between warehouse operations and heightened levels of air pollution, increased noise levels, and a surge in traffic collisions. Dr. Niemeier is the co-author of a 2022 paper on The Environmental and Traffic Impacts of Warehouses in Southern California

Dr. Jonathan London


Dr. Jonathan London is Professor at the Department of Human Ecology, and Faculty Director of the Community Engagement Core at the Environmental Health Sciences Center. Dr. London’s research is predominantly centered around environmental justice for vulnerable communities in California. You can read more about his work here.

Dr. Nicholas Spada

Dr. Nicholas Spada is a researcher at the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center. He is an EHSC 2023 Pilot Recipient. Recently, he conducted a pivotal study on PM 2.5 pollution caused by coal trains passing through terminal operations in Richmond, California, highlighting significant health concerns. 

Alondra Mateo

Alondra Mateo grew up in Orange County but moved to the Inland Empire in 2017 to attend UC Riverside. Throughout her time there she advocated for resources for women in STEM and helped create inclusive spaces. She joined PCEJ in 2021 and has learned a lot more about the strength of community efforts since then. She is passionate about working together in the struggle to create a healthier and safer community in her role as a Programs and Community Organizer.

California's Warehouse Boom Resources: 
Contact Ruth Williams ( if you have questions or need more information.