Sascha Nicklisch (PI)

My academic background is a Masters in Biological Sciences and a Ph.D. in Protein Biochemistry at the University of Cologne in Germany. Since 2005, I have been working on structural and functional analysis of soluble and membrane proteins in a variety of organisms. During that time, I have been a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Experimental Physics Department at the University of Osnabrueck, in the Marine Science Institute at UC Santa Barbara and at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at UC San Diego. My areas of expertise are in Protein Biochemistry, Structural Biology, and Molecular Toxicology.

In my (limited) free time, I like to run with my dog Yoshi and practice different types of martial arts (Vo Dao Vietnam, Muay Thai, Escrima, Capoeira).


Graduate Students

Matthew Michel (AGC)

Matthew completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UC Davis in 2016.

After graduation he worked in the Davis area, first at a seed pathology lab and then running a small genotyping laboratory for an alfalfa breeding program. His experience in agriculture and love of the outdoors led him back to UC Davis to pursue a master’s degree in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry.

Matthew’s primary research interests have to do with the toxicological and environmental fates of chemicals used in industry. He wants to help industries mitigate the effects of environmental pollutants and prevent toxic action from occurring.


Angela Encerrado (AGC)

Angela received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in 2018, where she worked with Dr. Wen-Yee Lee on green chemistry method development for the analysis of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in complex matrices. After her bachelor’s she continued to work under Dr. Lee’s mentorship but now as part of her Master of Science degree in Chemistry which she obtained from UTEP in 2020. Her thesis project was on the development of an analytical method using a green chemistry extraction technique for the analysis of fatty acids from adipose tissue using GC-MS.

At UC Davis, Angela is pursuing her Ph.D. degree in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry. In the future, she would like to continue her academic career in a related postdoctoral position, and later work in a national laboratory or in education back at her hometown.

In her free time, Angela enjoys drawing, listening to a podcast, watching documentaries, and preparing/eating a good Mexican dish.


Riccardo (Ricky) Romersi (PTX)

Ricky received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Environmental Science from Duke University in 2021, where he also conducted research with Dr. Joel Meyer. His research focused on neurodegeneration and Parkinson’s Disease development in response to environmental exposures in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Ricky is pursuing his Ph.D. at UC Davis and is interested in studying the uptake and metabolism of environmental contaminants and aspires to ultimately conduct research and teach as a professor.

Outside of research, Ricky is an avid cyclist who loves to eat, despite not being a great cook.




Lily Hinh


Honorary Members

Yoshi (吉 good luck, 義 righteous, or 良 good)

Yoshi is a male Standard Poodle (Canis lupus familiaris) and joined the lab on December 24th 2018. His main interests are in distracting the PI (and lab members) from overworking and from not getting enough sleep during the week. Yoshi is carnivorous with noticeable omnivorous traits, including left out shoes, sandals, socks, carpet corners and kitchen towels. Initially bred as a water dog in Germany for retrieving game from ponds and rivers, Yoshi is supposed to belong to one of the most intelligent dog breeds after Border Collies.

As such, Yoshi’s current project is on developing novel strategies to keep up the high morale and to boost positivity in the Nicklisch Lab. In addition, he relentlessly embodies and promotes some of the most critical values for a successful scientist in many fields of research by being calm, adventurous, social, hard-working, devoted, loyal, people-friendly, easy-to-train, alert, hyperactive, trustworthy, sure-footed, willing-to-learn and just HAPPY!


Salvatore “Sal” Monella

Enter the Dragon: Sal is a male Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) that originates from the deserts in Australia and joined the Nicklisch Lab as a rescue lizard in October 2019. His main interests are in devouring giant mealworms, pooping and getting daily head scratches and pets from all lab members. 

While Sal is well-tamed, his bite is actually venomous with a similar toxin composition as in rattle snake venom. However, the proteinogenic toxins in Sal’s mucous are mild and not harmful to humans.

Sal likes to chill on his rocks and branches under the basking lamps and watching stressed out students and postdocs through his glass terrarium in the lab office. Sal enjoys to be at the center of action, which is why lab members often put him on their shoulders while searching for literature or analyzing data on their computers. Sal then typically rewards them with cuddling up to their ears and neck or just by simply falling asleep. Legend has it that if you listen closely, Sal will give you good ideas for your next publication!