Mercury (Hg) is a global and ubiquitous pollutant that can extremely toxic even at very low levels. Understanding and identifying its sources and transformations in the environment is largely complicated due to both its complex biogeochemical cycle as well as the analytical challenge of quantifying its different species at trace amounts, especially in natural waters. The recent development of extremely precise and accurate instruments to measure Hg stable isotope ratios together with the improvement of specific sampling techniques (such as DGT in our group) is very promising in order to better track Hg sources and bioavailability to living organisms in different environmental contexts.
In the project I am involved at VUB-AMGC, I will mostly focus on Hg isotopic composition and bioavailable fractions in samples from the water column of the Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea).
Mercury, methylmercury, aquatic environment, speciation, bioavailability