Michael Bates is an environmental and occupational epidemiologist in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. His undergraduate training was in chemistry in New Zealand, where he was born and raised, followed by an M.Sc. in toxicology at the University of Surrey in England. After working for a few years as a toxicologist in New Zealand, he became interested in epidemiology and subsequently obtained an M.P.H. in environmental health sciences and a Ph.D. in epidemiology at U.C. Berkeley (1987–1991). He then carried out epidemiologic research in New Zealand before returning to the School of Public Health at Berkeley in 2000.