Diana Lin's picture

Diana Lin, PhD

Senior Scientist
Clean Water Program
Microplastic
510-746-7385

Diana Lin received a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. degree in Environmental Engineering and Science from Stanford University. Her dissertation investigated natural attenuation processes from DDT-contaminated sediment in an alpine lake and engineering methods to amend contaminated sediment with activated carbon for remediation.  After completing her Ph.D., Dr. Lin was a science and policy fellow in the California State Legislature through the California Council on Science and Technology Fellowship Program. Dr. Lin served as a legislative aid for a Bay area Assemblymember, where she managed two bills that were signed into law and reviewed legislation on water, natural resources, and public health issues.   At SFEI, Dr. Lin conducts investigations on contaminants of emerging concern and microplastics in the Bay.

Related Projects, News, and Events

Monitoring San Francisco Bay for microplastics - photo by Plus M Productions

Microplastic Pollution in San Francisco Bay and Adjacent Marine Sanctuaries (Project)

Plastic pollution is gaining global recognition as a threat to the resilience and productivity of ocean ecosystems. However, we are only just beginning to understand the scope and impacts of microplastic particles (less than 5 mm) on coastal and ocean resources, and the San Francisco Bay Area is no exception. A preliminary study of nine water sites in San Francisco Bay, published in 2016, showed greater levels of microplastics than the Great Lakes or Chesapeake Bay.

These scientists want you to rethink how you use plastics: SFEI and 5 Gyres issue a new video (News)

The short (3-min) video summarizes the goals of the SF Bay Microplastics Project, which aims to better understanding the distribution of microplastic in San Francisco Bay and adjacent National Marine Sanctuaries, the pathways by which these contaminants enter the Bay, and possible means of controlling their release. 5 Gyres and San Francisco Estuary Institute are collaboratively carrying out the project.

Photograph: Getty Images

Wired Magazine: A new report shows an astounding amount of microplastics, largely from car tires, are tainting the watershed (News)

Matt Simon from Wired Magazine writes:

San Francisco Bay, like Monterey Bay to its south, is a rare success story in ocean conservation. In the 1960s, three grassroots activists—Sylvia McLaughlin, Kay Kerr, and Esther Gulick—launched Save the Bay, which beat back developers trying to fill in parts of the iconic body of water.

Photograph: Sebastian Kennerknecht/Alamy

The Guardian publishes on article on SFEI's microplastics study, further extending the report's reach (News)

Maanvi Singh from the US edition of the Guardian, based in the UK, writes, “It was basically everywhere we looked,” said Rebecca Sutton, an environmental scientist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute, a local institution that led the three-year, $1.1m research effort.

Groundbreaking SFEI and 5 Gyres microplastics study featured in multiple media outlets (News)

Concurrent with a sold-out symposium on Oct 2nd, several media outlets, including the Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times, have released the articles relating the alarming findings regarding the pervasive presence of microplastics in our surface waters. The issue of microplastics is global in nature. However, the advances in understanding the magnitude of the problem are happening regionally through partnerships with 5 Gyres, the University of Toronto Trash Team, and other notable leaders.

Image by Ruth Askevold

2019 Symposium on San Francisco Microplastics (Event)

The San Francisco Estuary Institute and the 5 Gyres Institute have completed a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive regional study of microplastic pollution of a major urban estuary and adjacent ocean environment.

Rain garden, San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, CA

Newly published study shows rain gardens can filter PCBs, metals — and microplastics (News)

A new study from SFEI assessing the ability of rain gardens to remove contaminants from urban stormwater has shown that nature-based filtration may also be a solution for microplastic pollution. This solution and others will be featured in a symposium on microplastics for scientists, policy makers, and change leaders in Berkeley on October 2nd.

logo created for the San Francisco Estuary Partnership by SFEI

SFEI Provides Science Leadership and Support for State of the Estuary Report and Conference (News)

The San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP) brings together the estuarine community every two years at the State of the Estuary Conference and, periodically, SFEP also reports on the State of the Estuary, summarizing the latest scientific findings about ecosystem health. This State of the Estuary Report is the only place where a holistic view of ecosystem function is provided across both the Bay and the Delta. This year, SFEI provided scientific leadership and technical support for the report, which focuses on the ties between social and ecological resilience for our estuary.

SFEI at California Water Boards Water Data Science Symposium (Event)

SFEI’s Diana Lin and Tony Hale will be presenting at the California Water Boards Water Data Science Symposium on July 1-2, 2019.  Diana Lin will be sharing preliminary results from SFEI’s Microplastic Monitoring in San Francisco Bay and Adjacent National Marine Sanctuaries study, which is the first comprehensive regional study of mic

Medicating the Bay: RMP Science featured in Estuary News (News)

Highlighted in the December 2018 issue of Estuary News, a new report from the Bay’s Regional Monitoring Program documents the presence of numerous medications in the region’s wastewater. In 2016 and 2017, seven wastewater treatment facilities located throughout the Bay Area voluntarily collected wastewater samples and funded analyses for 104 pharmaceutical compounds.

SFEI’s drone technology is helping track the trash across California.

Photo courtesy of Shelly Moore, SCCWRP

California Trash Monitoring Methods Project (Project)

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), in close partnership with the State Water Board, has recognized the importance of standard methods for trash monitoring and has funded this project. The Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) and San Francisco Bay Estuary Institute (SFEI) have partnered up to test multiple trash monitoring methods with a goal of developing a library of methods with known levels of precision, accuracy, and cross-comparability of results, and linking these methods to specific management questions.

The Latest RMP Emerging Contaminant Strategic Plans (News)

The SFEI Emerging Contaminant team, led by Dr.

Contaminants of Emerging Concern Strategy (Project)

More than 100,000 chemicals have been registered or approved for commercial use in the US. For many of these chemicals, major information gaps limit evaluations of their potential risks, and environmental monitoring of these chemicals has not been required by regulatory agencies. Nevertheless, researchers and government agencies have begun to collect occurrence, fate, and toxicity data for a number of these chemicals.

El Cerrito Rain Garden

SFEI Science at International Marine Debris Conference (March 12-16) (News)

SFEI science will feature prominently at the Sixth International Marine Debris Conference in San Diego next week:

Image from KQED

Hunting for Plastic in California’s Protected Ocean Waters (News)

Rebecca Sutton, Meg Sedlak, and Diana Lin of SFEI, in partnership with Carolynn Box of 5 Gyres, conducted ocean water sampling associated with an ambitious project. The project is focused on determining the characteristics and fate of microplastics in the Bay and adjacent ocean waters. KQED reporter Lindsey Hoshaw published a story covering the team's activities along the California coast. After determinng that the Bay has greater than expected microplastic pollution, the science team, as reported by Hoshaw's story, is conducting further ground-breaking research.

RMP Completes Major Revision of its Strategy to Monitor Emerging Contaminants (News)

Global leaders in the study of emerging contaminants, the stakeholders that make up the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (RMP) believe that preventing a pollution problem is safer and more cost-effective than cleaning one up. For this reason, the RMP focuses on monitoring contaminants of emerging concern, or CECs.

SFEI scientists process microplastic samples collected from San Francisco Bay.

Local News: Scientists launch major study of microplastics pollution in San Francisco Bay (News)

SFEI and The 5 Gyres Institute have launched an ambitious two-year research project to monitor San Francisco Bay for pollution in the form of tiny particles of plastic pollution, reports ABC7 News. These microplastic particles are eaten by local fish, according to previous studies, which can expose them to harmful contaminants.