The Department of Earth & Environmental Science
University of Pennsylvania
Invites you to attend a EES Seminar Series
Friday, March 24th - 3:00 PM
"Mercury Cycling in Warming Oceans"
Mercury is a naturally occurring element that has been mined and released by humans for over 3,000 years. Inorganic mercury is released by human activities and makes up most of the mercury reservoir in the environment. However, only the organic/methylated forms of mercury (methylmercury) accumulate in food webs and can lead to neurological and cardiovascular impairments in humans. Understanding the microbial transformations and geochemical conditions conducive to the formation of organic mercury has been the focus of many years of research due to global impacts on the health of fish-consuming wildlife and human populations. Most of the global methylmercury exposure for human populations is from marine ecosystems due to bioaccumulation in predatory fish at levels that are a million times, or more, higher than seawater. This presentation will provide an overview of recent advances in the understanding of organic mercury formation, uptake by phytoplankton, and biomagnification in marine food webs. My approach combines new field data collection, experimental measurements, isotopic tools, and numerical modeling. I will also discuss how changes in the biogeochemistry of marine ecosystems (temperature, stratification, dissolved organic carbon, trophic structure) are affecting the mercury cycle.
Dr. Amina Schartup
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Amina Schartup is an Assistant Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Scripps). Before coming to Scripps in 2019, Prof. Schartup was a Research Associate at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Prof. Schartup also spent two years as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the NSF Office of Polar Program–Arctic Section developing a federal guidance document on pursuing ethical research in the Arctic. Amina Schartup is a recipient of several awards such as the 2020 Sloan Research Fellowship awarded in “recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to her field or the 2020 Early-Career Research Fellowships by National Academies' Gulf Research Program given to “individuals who have demonstrated superior scholarship, exceptional scientific and technical skills, and the ability to work across disciplines.” Prof. Schartup holds a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Connecticut, an M.Sc. in geochemistry from the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, and a B.Sc. in chemistry from Paris Descartes University.