Martin Tsz-Ki Tsui

Martin Tsz-Ki Tsui

Assistant Professor

(336) 256-0087
306 Sullivan Science Building


Ecotoxicology and biogeochemistry of environmental pollutants.


Ph.D., University of Minnesota


I study mercury cycling in inland habitats including stream and river, lake, wetland and forest. Mercury is a highly toxic metal, but it is present in all ecosystem types due to long-range atmospheric transport and deposition. I use concentration and speciation analyses to quantify the levels of mercury present in different types of environmental matrices including water, sediment, soil and biota. I also use stable isotopes of mercury to better understand the sources and transformation of mercury in the environment. I have worked on various projects as related to mercury cycling in “natural” ecosystems. Recently, I have started to examine the effects of environmental perturbations — namely forest wildfire, prescribed burning/forest thinning, and saltwater intrusion to coastal wetlands, as an effort to better understand the effects of global climate change on mercury cycling. In addition, I am interested in studying the toxicity and cycling of other pollutants such as heavy metals, pesticides and organic chemicals in the environment.

Recent Publications:

A list of full publications and citations.

Woerndle GE, Tsui MTK, Sebestyen SD, Blum JD, Nie X, Kolka RK (2018) New insights on ecosystem mercury cycling revealed by Hg isotopic measurements in water flowing from a headwater peatland catchment. Environ. Sci. Technol. (in press)
Kritee K, Motta LC, Blum JD, Tsui MTK, Reinfelder JR (2018) Photo-microbial mass independent fractionation of mercury in a marine microalga. ACS Earth and Space Chemistry (in press)
Blum PW, Hershey AE, Tsui MTK, Hammerschmidt CR, Agather AM (2018) Methylmercury and methane production potentials in North Carolina Piedmont stream sediments. Biogeochemistry 137: 181-195.
Tsui MTK, Adams EM, Jackson AK, Evers DC, Blum JD, Balogh SJ (2018) Understanding sources of toxic methylmercury to songbirds with stable mercury isotopes: Challenges and future directions. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 37: 166-174.
Majidzadeh H, Uzun H, Ruecker AM, Miller D, Vernons J, Zhang H, Bao S, Tsui MTK, Karanfil T, Chow AT (2017) Extreme flooding mobilized dissolved organic matter from coastal forested wetlands. Biogeochemistry 136: 293-309.
Ruecker AM, Uzun H, Karanfil T, Tsui MTK, Chow AT (2017) Influences of an extreme flooding on disinfection byproduct precursors and water treatability in a coastal black water river, South Carolina. Chemosphere 188: 90-98.


BIO 431: Biosphere
BIO 488: Essentials of Toxicology
BIO 520: Ecosystem Ecology & Biogeochemistry
BIO 549: Applications of Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Sciences
BIO 597: Toxicological Research Laboratory
BIO 636: Ecotoxicology
BIO 731: Environmental Health Sciences I: Ecosystems to Individuals