Zulin Zhang

Organic Chemist
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
T: +44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)
Zulin Zhang is a Senior Research Scientist and joined the institute in 2007. He has over 10 years of experience on environmental organic chemistry (Researcher ID: B-2879-2010). Zulin obtained his PhD in 2001 from Xiamen University, China. Before he moved to Aberdeen, he conducted his post doctoral research and worked as an assistant and associate scientist in Tsinghua University at Beijing, and then carried his Marie Curie Fellowship from 2004 to 2007 at the University of Sussex in Brighton.

Zulin is interested in investigating environmental geochemical behavior (source, transport and fate), removal, effect and risk assessment of organic contaminants including endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and emerging organic contaminants (e.g. pesticides, pharmaceutical and personal care products). Also he is interested in developing new analytical and monitoring techniques (e.g. passive sampling, online extraction, chromatography and mass spectrometry) for emerging organic contaminants of different environmental matrices with an emphasis on compounds entering the food chain and having an effect on environmental quality, animal and human health.


Prior to appointment

  • Irvine, K.N.; Roberts, M.; Eastwood, A.; Colley, K.; Currie, M.; Zhang, Z. (2021) Environmental science and mental health review., Report via Valuing Nature Program.
  • Zhang Z.L.; Zhou J.L. (2007) Simultaneous determination of various pharmaceuticals in environmental waters by solid-phase extraction-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry., Journal of Chromatography A, 1154, 205-213.
  • Li, L.S.; Zhu, W.P.; Zhang, P.Y.; Zhang, Q.Y.; Zhang, Z.L. (2006) AC/O3/BAC process for removing refractory and hazardous pollutants in raw water., Journal of Hazardous Materials, 135, 129-133.
  • Li, L.S.; Zhu, W.P.; Zhang, P.Y.; Zhang, Z.L.; Wu, H.H.; Han W.Y. (2006) Comparison of AC/O3-BAC and O3-BAC process for removing organic pollutants in secondary effluent., Chemosphere, 62, 1514-1522.
  • Zhang, Z.L.; Hibberd, A.; Zhou, J.L. (2006) Optimisation of derivatisation for the analysis of estrogenic compounds in water by solid-phase extraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry., Analytica Chimica Acta, 577, 52-61.
  • Zhang, Z.L.; Yu, G.; Cheng, J.; Wang, X.; Zhang, F.S. (2005) Carbon Isotopic Fractionation during Photolysis of Hexachlorobenzene., Progress in Natural Science, 15, 82-88.
  • Zhang, Z.L.; Hong, H.S.; Zhou, J.L.; Yu G. (2004) Phase association of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the Minjiang River Estuary, China., Science of the total Environment, 323, 71-86.
  • Zhang, Z.L.; Hung, J.; Yu, G.; Hong, H.S. (2004) Occurrence of PAHs, PCBs and organochlorine pesticides in the Tonghui River of Beijing, China., Environmental Pollution, 130, 249-261.
  • Zhang, Z.L.; Hong, H.S.; Zhou, J.L.; Huang, J.; Yu, G. (2003) Fate and assessment of persistent organic pollutants at multi-phase from Minjiang River Estuary, Southeast of China., Chemosphere, 52, 1423-1430.
  • Zhang, Z.L.; Hong, H.S.; Zhou, J.L.; Dai, M.H.; Maskaoui, K.; Chen, W.Q. (2002) Contamination by Organochlorine Pesticides in the Estuaries of Southeast China., Chemical Research in Chinese Universities,18,153-160.
  • Zhang, Z.L.; Dai, M.H.; Hong, H.S.; Zhou, J.L.; Yu, G. (2002) Dissolved insecticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in the Pearl River Estuary and South China Sea., Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 4, 922-928.
  • Zhang, Z.L.; Hong, H.S.; Zhou, J.L.; Yu, G. (2002) Occurrence and behaviour of organophosphorus insecticides in the River Wuchuan, Southeast China., Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 4,498-504.
  • Zhang, Z.L.; Hong, H.S.; Zhou, J.L.; Yu, G.; Chen, W.Q.; Wang X.H. (2002) Transport and fate of organochlorine pesticides in River Wuchuan, Southeast China., Journal of Environmental Monitoring , 4, 435-441.
  • Zhang, Z.L.; Hong, H.S.; Wang, X.H.; Lin, J.Q.; Chen, W.Q.; Xu, L. (2002) Determination and load of Organophosphorus and Organochlorine pesticides at water from Jiulong River Estuary, China., Marine Pollution Bulletin, 45, 397-402.

Books / chapters

  • Dawson, L.A.; Rhind, S.M.; Zhang, Z.L.; Poggio, L.; Kyle, C.E.; Mayes, R.W.; Aalders, I.H.; Osprey, M.; Ross, J.; Cuthbert, A. (2012) Linking distribution of soil PaHs to location as a forensic tool., In: Morrison, R.D. & O’Sullivan, G. (eds.). Environmental Forensics: Proceedings of the 2011 INEF Conference. Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing, Cambridge, pp199-205.
  • Zhou J.L.; Zhang, Z.L. (2011) Analysis of hormones in food., In: Nollett, L. (ed.). Analysis of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in Food. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxon, 243-254.
  • Zhou J.L.; Zhang, Z.L. (2009) Pharmaceutical compounds in estuarine and coastal waters., In: Wurl, O. (ed.). Practical Guidelines for the Analysis of Seawater. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 351-367.
  • Zhang, Z.L.; Grover, D.P.; Zhou, J.L. (2009) Monitoring of pharmaceutical residues in sewage effluent., In: Ahuja, S. (ed.). Handbook of Water Quality and Purity. Elsevier Science, New York, 315-342.

Technical / contract reports

Conference papers

  • Dawson, L.; Zhang, Z.; Ramage, S. (2023) Forensics and pollutants (plasticisers and microplastics, Poster presentation and on SEFARI Gateway website.
  • Dawson, L.A.; Rhind, S.M.; Zhang, Z.L.; Poggio, L.; Kyle, C.E.; Mayes, R.W.; Aalders, I.H.; Osprey, M.; Ross, J.; Cuthbert, A. (2011) Distribution of PAHs across the soils of Scotland., International Network of Environmental Forensics Conference, St John’s College, Cambridge, 24-27 July 2011. Conference Proceedings, pp.18-19.

Conference posters / abstracts

  • Gomez-Banderas, J.; Freitag, S.; Cooper, P.; Watson, H.; Zhang, Z. (2023) Assessment of pharmaceutical levels in the River Dee a Scottish priority catchment, Poster at #EnvChem2023: Chemistry of the Whole Environment, 1-2 June 2023, Glasgow
  • Baggaley, N.; Roberts, M.; Loades, K.; Parker, T.; Zhang, Z.; Lilly, A.; Rivington, M.; Sharififar, A.; Jabloun, M.; Hallett, P.; Fraser, F. (2023) Assessing the socio-economic impacts of soil degradation on Scotland’s water environment, Catchment Science 2023 Conference, 7-9 November 2023, Wexford
  • Zhang, Z.; Osprey, M.; Kerr, C.; Lebleu, M.; Cooper, P. (2019) Environmental monitoring, occurrence and potential risks of emerging contaminants in waters., EGU General Assembly 2019, Vienna, Austria, 7-12 April 2019. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Volume 21, EGU2019-17992-1. Abstract.
  • Helliwell, R.C.; Glendell, M.; Zhang, Z.; Dodd, N.; Beier, S.; Ferrier, R.C.; Stutter, M.I. (2019) Working at the science-policy interface: Lessons from CREW on emerging issues and innovative approaches to monitoring and management in Scotland., India UK Water Centre Workshop, Science and Innovation for Catchment Management, University of Warwick, Coventry, 8-10 May 2019.
  • Troldborg, M.; Pohle, I.; Zhang, Z.; Glendell, M. (2019) Combining detailed land use data with national surveys on pesticide usage to better understand the spatiotemporal variability of pesticides in a Scottish catchment., LuWQ2019, International Conference on Land Use and Water Quality: Agriculture and the Environment, Aarhus University, Denmark, 3-6 June 2019.
  • Zhang, Z.L.; Lebleu, M.; Li, L.; McKenzie, C.; Gibb, S.; Osprey, M.; Kerr, K.; Courtot, E. (2018) Technical strategies for monitoring and removal of emerging contaminants in waters., SETAC Europe 28th Annual Meeting, Rome, Italy, 13-17 May 2018. (Poster)
  • Niemi, L.; Gibb, S.; Zhang, Z.; Taggart, M.; Boyd, K. (2016) Assessment of the degradation pathway, persistence and eco-­toxicological impacts of pharmaceuticals and degradation products in the aquatic environment., 17th European Meeting on Environmental Chemistry, Inverness, 30 November – 2 December 2016. Poster.
  • Li, Y.; McKenzie, C.; Zhang, Z.L.; Taggart, M.; Lu, Y.L.; Gibb, S. (2016) Optimising the removal of steroid hormones and pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) from aqueous media by using low cost biosorbents., 17th European Meeting on Environmental Chemistry (EMEC), Inverness, Scotland, 30 November – 2 December 2016.
  • Niemi, L.; Gibb, S.; Zhang, Z.L.; Taggart, M.; Boyd, K. (2016) Assessment of the degradation pathway, persistence and eco-toxicological impacts of pharmaceuticals and degradation products in the aquatic environment., 17th European Meeting on Environmental Chemistry (EMEC), Inverness, Scotland, 30 November – 2 December 2016.
  • Zhang Z.L.; Lin H.; Osprey M.; Chapman S.J.; Freitag T.E.; Rhind S.M.; Kyle C.E.; Hamilton D. (2016) Occurrence and changes of classic and emerging contaminants in soils treated by organic wastes., ESPP (European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform) Workshop: Pharmaceuticals in Sewage Biosolids, Malmo, 27 November 2016.
  • Inglis, T.; Yates, K.; Troldborg, M.; Hallett, P.; Zhang, Z. (2016) Using accelerated solvent extraction and liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry to quantify pesticides in soils., Ninth Scottish Symposium on Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Royal Society of Chemistry, Dundee, 14 December 2016. Poster.
  • Zhang, Z.L.; Osprey, M.; Kerr, C.; Morais-Afonso, F.; Jayakody, S.; Hallett, P.; Troldborg, M.; Hough, R.L.; Cooper, P.; Rhind, S.M.; Dawson, J.; Yates, Y. (2014) Environmental transport and seasonal changes of pesticides in catchment scale., International Symposium on Environmental and Health, (ISEH 2014), Beijing, China, 4-5 July 2014.
  • Zhang, Z.; Rhind, S.M.; Kyle, C.; Osprey, M.; Kerr, C.; Coull, M.; McKenzie, C. (2012) Source and trend of polychlorinated biphenyls in soils of Scotland., Proceedings of SESEH (Sino-European Symposium on Environment and Health) 2012, Galway, Ireland, 20-25 August 2012.
  • Pocar, P.; Fiandanese, N.; Borromeo, V.; Berrini, A.; Rhind, S.M.; Zhang, Z.L.; Fischer, B.; Schmidt, J.S.; Schadlich, K.; Secchi, C. (2011) In-utero and lactational exposure to PCB 101 and 118 results in transgenerational disturbance of reproductive development., Proceedings of the 6th Copenhagen Workshop on Endocrine Disruptors, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark, 26-29 April 2011.
  • Thornton, B.; Zhang, Z.; Mayes, R.W.; Midwood, A.J. (2010) Can GC-C-IRMS quantify organics?, Joint Meeting of SIMSUG 2010 and ISO-SIG, Exeter University, 27-30 April 2010.
  • Zhang, Z.; Zhou, J.L. (2007) Determination of estrogenic and pharmaceutical chemicals in sewage effluent and receiving river water by spot and passive sampling., Abstracts of Papers of The American Chemical Society.