UNCG Ecotoxicology & Biogeochemistry Laboratory
Our current research is focusing on understanding mercury cycling in inland ecosystems including streams and forests. Mercury is transported as a gas in the atmosphere and deposited to these ecosystems by precipitation. Mercury cycling is very complicated and we do not understand well, even after three decades of research.
Our lab will use a combination of approaches to probe the mercury cycling in the environment, including concentration and speciation measurements, and we can also measure the natural abundance of mercury isotopes in environmental samples (through collaboration with University of Michigan where highly precise measurements can be made).
Apart from environmental processes, we are also interested in toxicity of mercury and many other chemicals to the ecosystems, namely the food webs. It is an interesting topic because organisms can find a way to handle toxic chemicals, they can get used to toxic chemicals through a multiple ways of adjustment of handling them in their bodies, such as getting rid of them or storing them indefinitely, so here biology matters!
Examples of what we collect from nature to measure mercury and its stable isotopes!