Andrew Whitehead

Andrew Whitehead

Associate Professor

Department of Environmental Toxicology

Office Phone: 530-754-8982


Whitehead, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, is a comparative genome biologist and molecular ecotoxicologist. He completed his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory, and joined CA&ES in 2012 from the faculty of Louisiana State University.

Research interests:

Fish and aquatic ecosystems, pollutants, environmental, ecological, and evolutionary genomics, population genomics, conservation genetics, stress physiology, and ecotoxicology.

Brief overview:

We want to understand how genomes (the complete set of genes in an organism) evolve and adapt to changing environmental conditions such as temperature, salinity, pollutants. We also want to know what genetic differences facilitate the resilience of some organisms to environmental stress. We use minnows called killifish as our model organism and are examining their rapid evolution to survive in highly polluted areas. One application of our research is to diagnose the impacts of environmental pollutants such as contaminating oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill on local aquatic life.

Current projects:

  • Killifish genomics
  • Ecotoxicogenomics of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
  • Comparative genomics of osmotic stress tolerance
  • Genomics of adaptation to polluted environments


Updated August 2014

Student News

Condors land at UC Davis

Feb 07, 2018 Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology acquires six California condor specimens

Student News - More Student News…
Research News

UC Davis Receives Unique, $1.5 Million Gift from Aggie Couple

Jul 07, 2016 Michael and Joelle Hurlston have pledged $1.5 million to endow a first-of-its-kind chair position.

Research News - More Research News…
Outreach News

Summer Internships

Jul 28, 2015 CA&ES students and Salinas Valley employers find common ground.

Outreach News - More Outreach News…
Web Editors

Content in this section is managed by Robin DeRieux. If you have any suggestions or need something changed, please contact her at