Y. (Yujia) Zhai MSc

  • PhD researcher
  • nanomaterials
  • adsoroption behaviour

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 1476
E-Mail: y.zhai@cml.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen, Centrum voor Milieuwetenschappen Leiden, CML/Conservation Biology
Office Address: Van Steenis gebouw
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number A311

Professional Experience

 Yujia Zhai received her bachelor’s degree (2012) in Environmental Science at Beijing Forestry University. She received her master’s degree from the same university in 2015. Research mainly focused on synthesis of nanomaterials and adsorption behavior. She joined Institute of Environmental Sciences in September 2015 to pursue her doctoral degree.

Research topic

The primary aim of his CSC-funded PhD-project is to use an ecologically sound theory as the trait approach as the basis to explain profiles of metal ecotoxicity and metal-based nanoparticles (NPs) toxicity. This way he use ecological traits not only for illustrating the target morphological and physiological characteristics of organisms, but traits will also be used for extrapolation of toxic effects between different species that not have been tested. Overall this constitutes a novel approach towards effective chemical risk assessment that has not been exploited before by other research groups.

Her PhD-topic is ‘Effect of Nanoparticles on Microbial Catabolism and community structure’. This research is aimed at investigating the effects of metallic nanoparticles on soil microbial communities using Biolog Technique. The properties, behavior, fate and toxicity of different kinds of nanoparticles are also investigated.


Nanoparticles (NPs) are substances in the size range of 1-100 nanometers in at least one dimension. The widespread application of nanoparticles in the areas of medicine and high technology is projected to result in a $1.5 trillion industry by 2015. The risk and adverse impacts associated with NPs for human health and the environment are increasingly gaining attention, which now makes the new research field of nanotoxicity blooming. In ecosystem, soil microorganisms play a role of decomposer and have irreplaceable place in energy flow and matter cycle, from which bacteria communities have the largest number and vital function. Therefore learning the metabolic ability, utilization of carbon sources, genetic and functional diversity of soil bacterial communities is meaningful. Commercially available plates, such as the Biolog plate, are available for assessing a community’s ability to utilize a variety of different carbon . This research is aimed at investigating the fate assessment of nanoparticles and the nanotoxicity on soil microbial communities using Biolog Technique.

Last Modified: 29-03-2016