Dr Peng Zhang PhD

Dr Peng Zhang

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Zhang is considered a leading researcher with a broad vision and innovative ideas in developing solutions for sustainable nanotechnology and nano-enabled agriculture. He pioneered the use of synchrotron-radiation based techniques to study the transformation of nanomaterials in plants. He specifically established an isotope labeling approach for tracing the fate of nanoscale CeO2 in plants and the environment, which enhanced the detection sensitivity by several thousand-fold. In addition to advancing an understanding of the environment and health implications of nanotechnology, including neurological effects of nanoparticles, he has provided a unique roadmap that combines nanotechnology and artificial intelligence to enable and advance sustainable agriculture.

Dr Zhang is awarded the 2022 American Chemical Society James J Morgan Early Career Award.


  1. Nano-enabled Sustainable Agriculture
  2. Environmental toxicology and chemistry of contaminants
  3. Nanomaterials for biomedical and environmental application
  4. Nano-biointerface interaction

Other activities

Youth Editor, The Innovation (Cell Press), 2021-present

Editorial Board, Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 2021-present

Review Editor, Frontiers in Plant Science, 2021-present

Review Editor, Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 2022- present

Editor, PLoS One, 2019-present

Topic Editor, Agriculture, 2021-present

Editor of book, Nano-enabled agriculture (Elsevier), 2021 (ongoing)

Guest Editor, Environmental Pollution, 2021

Guest Editor, Frontiers in Toxicology, 2020

Editorial Board, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2018-2021


Recent publications


Wang, X, Jiang, M, Lynch, I, Guo, Z, Zhang, P, Wu, L & Ma, J 2023, 'Construction of urchin-like core-shell Fe/Fe2O3@UiO-66 hybrid for effective tetracycline reduction and photocatalytic oxidation', Environmental Pollution, vol. 336, 122280. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2023.122280

Guo, Z, Zhang, P, Xie, C, Voyiatzis, E, Faserl, K, Chetwynd, AJ, Monikh, FA, Melagraki, G, Zhang, Z, Peijnenburg, WJGM, Afantitis, A, Chen, C & Lynch, I 2023, 'Defining the Surface Oxygen Threshold That Switches the Interaction Mode of Graphene Oxide with Bacteria', ACS Nano, vol. 17, no. 7, pp. 6350-6361. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.2c10961

Yang, K, Wang, X, Lynch, I, Guo, Z, Zhang, P, Wu, L & Ma, J 2023, 'Design of cryogel based CNTs-anchored polyacrylonitrile honeycomb film with ultra-high S-NZVI incorporation for enhanced synergistic reduction of Cr(VI)', Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 442, 129923. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.129923

Chakraborty, S, Menon, D, Akhil Varri, VS, Sahoo, M, Ranganathan, R, Zhang, P & Misra, SK 2023, 'Does the doping strategy of ferrite nanoparticles create a correlation between reactivity and toxicity?', Environmental Science: Nano, vol. 2023, no. 10, pp. 1554-1569. https://doi.org/10.1039/d3en00076a

Wu, X, Wang, X, Lynch, I, Guo, Z, Zhang, P, Wu, L, Ning, P & Ren, N 2023, 'Exceptional photo-elimination of antibiotic by a novel Z-scheme heterojunction catalyst composed of nanoscale zero valent iron embedded with carbon quantum dots (CQDs)-black TiO2', Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 460, 132323. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2023.132323

Xie, C, Li, X, Guo, Z, Dong, Y, Zhang, S, Li, A, Ma, S, Xu, J, Pang, Q, Peijnenburg, WJGM, Lynch, I & Zhang, P 2023, 'Graphene oxide disruption of homeostasis and regeneration processes in freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica via intracellular redox deviation and apoptosis', Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, vol. 249, 114431. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2022.114431

Zhou, P, Zhang, P, He, M, Cao, Y, Adeel, M, Shakoor, N, Jiang, Y, Zhao, W, Li, Y, Li, M, Azeem, I, Jia, L, Rui, Y, Ma, X & Lynch, I 2023, 'Iron-based nanomaterials reduce cadmium toxicity in rice (Oryza sativa L.) by modulating phytohormones, phytochelatin, cadmium transport genes and iron plaque formation', Environmental Pollution, vol. 320, 121063. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2023.121063

Li, M, Zhang, P, Guo, Z, Cao, W, Gao, L, Li, Y, Tian, CF, Chen, Q, Shen, Y, Ren, F, Rui, Y, White, JC & Lynch, I 2023, 'Molybdenum Nanofertilizer Boosts Biological Nitrogen Fixation and Yield of Soybean through Delaying Nodule Senescence and Nutrition Enhancement', ACS Nano, vol. 17, no. 15, pp. 14761-14774. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.3c02783

Zhou, P, Jiang, Y, Adeel, M, Shakoor, N, Zhao, W, Liu, Y, Li, Y, Li, M, Azeem, I, Rui, Y, Tan, Z, White, JC, Guo, Z, Lynch, I & Zhang, P 2023, 'Nickel Oxide Nanoparticles Improve Soybean Yield and Enhance Nitrogen Assimilation', Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 57, no. 19, pp. 7547-7558. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.3c00959

Wu, X, Wang, X, Lynch, I, Guo, Z, Zhang, P, Wu, L, Deng, Y, Xie, Y, Ning, P & Ren, N 2023, 'Strategies to improve photocatalytic activity of nanoscale zero valent iron decorated MoS2: Construction of novel S-scheme nanoflower heterojunction with advanced visible-light degradation of tetracycline', Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 388, 135865. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2023.135865

Xie, C, Li, X, Hei, L, Chen, Y, Dong, Y, Zhang, S, Ma, S, Xu, J, Pang, Q, Lynch, I, Guo, Z & Zhang, P 2023, 'Toxicity of ceria nanoparticles to the regeneration of freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica: The role of biotransformation', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 857, 159590. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.159590


Li, M, Gao, L, White, JC, Haynes, CL, O’Keefe, TL, Rui, Y, Ullah, S, Guo, Z, Lynch, I & Zhang, P 2023, 'Nano-enabled strategies to enhance biological nitrogen fixation', Nature Nanotechnology. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-023-01392-5

Review article

Li, X, Chen, Y, Zhang, S, Dong, Y, Pang, Q, Lynch, I, Xie, C, Guo, Z & Zhang, P 2023, 'From marine to freshwater environment: A review of the ecotoxicological effects of microplastics', Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, vol. 251, 114564. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2023.114564

Ali, A, Javed, R, Farhangi, S, Shah, T, Ullah, S, ul Ain, N, Liu, T, Guo, Z, Lynch, I, Raza, F, Zhang, P & Rui, YK 2023, 'Metal phenolic networks (MPNs)-based pH-sensitive stimulus responsive nanosystems for drug delivery in tumor microenvironment', Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology, vol. 84, 104536. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jddst.2023.104536

Zhao, W, Adeel, M, Zhang, P, Zhou, P, Huang, L, Zhao, Y, Ahmad, MA, Shakoor, N, Lou, B, Jiang, Y, Lynch, I & Rui, Y 2022, 'A critical review on surface-modified nano-catalyst application for the photocatalytic degradation of volatile organic compounds', Environmental Science: Nano, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 61-80. https://doi.org/10.1039/D1EN00955A

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