Patricia Holden

Patricia Holden, portrait close up
Professor, Bren School Faculty Director, UCSB Natural Reserve System

Patricia (Trish) A. Holden is a Professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Faculty Director of the UCSB Natural Reserve System, and a departmental affiliate in Mechanical Engineering; Ecology, Evolution and Marine Science; Earth Science; and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Marine Science (IGPMS). She received her Ph.D. in Soil Microbiology (1995) and M. Eng. from U.C. Berkeley, and her Civil & Environmental Engineering M.S. and B.S. degrees from Purdue University and the University of Tennessee, respectively. Holden worked professionally as an environmental engineer for 8 years preceding her doctorate.  The broad motivation in her research is environmental pollution: its origins, extents and consequences, and how to manage and prevent it. Her group is particularly interested in microbial processes affecting pollutant fates, but also in microbes as pollutants. Current research projects include: the urban water environment (UWE), integrating spatial relationships between urban infrastructure and subsurface contamination for diagnosing and addressing shallow groundwater micro- and conventional pollutants;  origins and fates of microbiological contamination in coastal waters;  the distribution and function of bacteria in subsurface soils, including controls on carbon availability and processing; and microbial and plant interactions with manufactured and engineered nanomaterials.


Research Area/s: 

Contact Information


Office Location: 

3508 Bren Hall

Lab Location: 

2318 Bren Hall

Office Phone: 


Mailing Address: 

Bren School of Environmental Science & Management 3508 Bren Hall Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131 United States