Vrije Universiteit Brussel
1050 Brussels | Belgium
My interest is the Ocean’s cycling of trace element mercury, and in particular, which factors and conditions drive the microbes to produce its most toxic organic form, the monomethylmercury. This needs an interdisciplinary approach; combining passive and active sampling techniques, methods of analytical chemistry, understanding the structure of microbial community and their metabolism; all of these wrapped in the physico-chemical realm of the ocean.
As mercury’s cycle is intimately connected with carbon cycling, redox state and oxygen concentration in the seawater, the variations in these will likely be reflected in the cycling of mercury. In the globally changing Ocean, the fate of mercury is unclear and it’s both challenging and important to understand the pathways of its biogeochemical transformations in order to avoid or mitigate the possible adverse effect.