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February: Former student Kati’s paper examining fluxes of Hg and MeHg from sediments and their bioaccumulation into phytoplankton is accepted for publication in Environmental Pollution.

February: Ocean Sciences meeting in New Orleans. While none of the current lab members attended there were presentations on our Arctic studies in 2021 looking at Hg and Rn and gas exchange (Stephens et al.) and vertical mixing (Hammond et al.) and also a presentation by Emma Bullock from WHOI on her Hg studies in the Arctic and groundwater fluxes.

February: Gunnar’s paper on uptake of Hg and MeHg into different bivalve species is accepted for publication in Archives of Environ. Contam. and Toxicol. 

February: The Science Steering Committee of the ICMGP convenes remotely to assess the submitted abstracts and to assign them to sessions, posters and oral presentations. A successful meeting was had. Next, is the conference in Cape Town in July 2024!

February: Hannah returns to UConn after a very successful Geotraces cruise around Antarctica, and some time off in New Zealand after the cruise. Lots of good data already and more to come.

February: Yipeng submits his paper on methylmercury gas exchange and atmospheric methylated Hg dynamics in the Arctic based on results from the 2021 Arctic cruise.

January 2024: A new semester begins….

January: Rob, Hannah, Sophia, Melissa and Yipeng submit abstracts to the International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP). They are also co-authors on many other abstracts submitted.

2023 is done!!!

December: As the year ends the Geotraces GP17-ANT cruise continues to collect samples of water, sediment and in the atmosphere for Hg species and Hg stable isotopes. Everything is going well and looks like lots of interesting data will emerge from this expedition. Cheers to Hannah, Marissa and Carl who are on board. They managed to get out on to the ice and were visited by penguins!!!

December: The winter department newsletter also includes a story on the Nature publication detailing Emily’s studies during her PhD. See here

December: Emily Seelen’s recent paper in Nature Geosciences is the subject of a news article in the UConn Newsletter. See here

November: The Geotraces GP17-ANT cruise on the RV Nathaniel B. Palmer departed a week late due to several problems but the Hg systems were finally up and running measuring underway Hg0 and DMHg, and the Terkan air speciation unit up and working. Additional sampling will be for stable Hg isotopes in air and in surface waters. On-board analysis of total Hg will be done in water, as well as in porewater and ice, when collected. Samples for MMHg will be stored for later analysis. On board DGHg for Hg0 and DMHg will be done for water column samples.

November: Another successful Gulf of Maine cruise completed with lots of samples to be analyzed! From UConn, Sophia and Melissa were on board, with lots of help from Dartmouth folks.

October: Emily’s paper examining the role of thiol concentrations in organic matter in influencing methylmerucry bioavaibility in coastal waters is published in Nature Communications. See here

October: Preparation and packing for the upcoming short cruise in the Gulf of Maine in November is underway. Cruise will be on the RV Endeavor and will include folks from UConn and Dartmouth.

October: Because of an unforeseen personal issue Rob could no longer participate in the Geotraces GP17-ANT cruise. Marissa Despins, as the alternate, will go in his place. Hannah will be a “Supertech” on the cruise helping collect samples for all research groups and not actively helping with the Hg analyses. The Hg team will be Marissa and Carl Lamborg.

October: UConn and Dartmouth folks gather for a meeting at Dartmouth to review progress on sample collection and analysis from the gulf of Maine cruises and to plan for the November cruise.

October: Rob attends a meeting organized by Mae Gustin at the University of Reno, NV focused on discussing ways to improve measurement of Hg speciation in the atmosphere, and examining issues with current commercial instruments and other methods.

September: Lauren Barrett’s paper on sediment fluxes of DIC and related constituents from Arctic sediments is published. Data collected on the 2021 Arctic cruise in conjunction with our mercury studies. See here

August: Another successful Gulf of Maine cruise completed with lots of samples to be analyzed!

August: Maodian’s papers detailing the methylation and cycling of Hg in Long Island Sound and the role of the river-estuarine interface is accepted for publication in ES&T.

July-August: Preparation and packing for the upcoming short cruise in the Gulf of Maine in mid-August is underway. Cruise will be on the RV Endeavor and will include folks from UConn and Dartmouth.

July: Rob is a co-author of a chapter in the book Oceans and Human Health: Opportunities and Impacts, Second Edition, published by Elsevier.

June-July: Preparation and packing for the upcoming GEOTRACES GP17-ANT cruise consumed much of Hannah, Bridget and others time in the last months. Equipment needed to be in California to be shipped to Punta Arenas where Hannah and Rob will board the ship in November for the cruise. Some Tekran equipment needed repair and will be shipped as well. Isotopes samplers will be shipped from USGS for the cruise. UCSC collaborators also shipping equipment for their proposed Hg studies.

June: Many birds and whale sightings during the Agulhas II cruise. Pictures by Steve McCue from DFFE.

June: Rob participates in the Seamester cruise on the RV Agulhas II off the coast of South Africa  (https://seamester.co.za/?doing_wp_cron=1690905504.5788450241088867187500) , doing both research and teaching. Measured underway Hg(0) and atmospheric Hg as well as collecting samples throughout the water column in collaboration with SAWS, SU, the University of Cape Town and Lar-Eric Heimberger’s Hg research team. Mariia Petrova was on board also collecting Hg samples.

June: Rob arrives in South Africa for 6 weeks of research and teaching under the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship working with colleagues at Stellenbosch University (SU), the South African Weather Service (SAWS), and others.

May: Marissa’s paper on linking mercury methylation and nitrification in the Arctic accepted – congrats to Marissa. See here

May: Rob’s paper on modeling the bioaccumulation of methylmercury into mummichogs published in Science of the Total Environment. See here

May: Non-science trip to meet new granddaughter Farran Mason McDade and daughter Nina and Campbell in London, on way to South Africa for a Carnegie Diaspora Fellowship

May: Yipeng and Patricia’s thesis approved by the graduate school and they are done! Congratulations again to the 2 new PhDs!

April: Hannah has been chosen as a “supertech” for the Geotraces GP17-ANT cruise so someone needs to fill her slot doing the atmospheric Hg/air-sea exchange studies – that’s me!! Exciting to have an opportunity to participate on the cruise,

April: Revised versions of papers for publication are submitted to the respective journals by Marissa and Rob. Galleys proofs received for the chapter to appear in a book on Oceans and Human Health. Rob is a co-author.

April: Patricia and Yipeng submit revised versions of their thesis and the committees sign off. They will both graduate this May. Congratulations again.

April: Gear from the GP17-OCE cruise that ended in Punta Arenas in January arrives at WHOI and is picked up. Time to fix, check out and prepare for the shipping for the next cruise – GP17-ANT. Gear needs to be in California in August.

April: A successful, short and very hectic cruise in the Gulf of Maine is complete. Rob, Hannah, Sophia and Melissa participated from UConn. Collected water samples and measured dissovled gaseous Hg species on baord, collected plankton samples wqith McLane pumps and zooplankton nets, and with sequential filtration, and also ran an underway elemental Hg system. so, lots of great data will come from all this work. Others on baord collected DOC samples for characterization and future experiments, and also other collaborators were on board.

March: The two synthesis papers on mercury in the Southern Hemisphere that were written as part of the synthesis activities of the 2022 ICMGP have been published in Ambio. One on anthropogenic  sources and the other on natural sources

March: Packing and preparation underway for the upcoming Gulf of Maine cruise, loading April 1, on the Endeavor.

March 20: Patricia successfully defends her thesis. Some revisions to do, but nothing too daunting! Congratulations!

March: Its been a while since I updated the news, so here goes….!

March: Patricia submits her thesis to her committee and will defend her PhD on March 20, 2023.

March: Hannah and Rob will be in Norfolk at ODU for the Antarctic Geotraces meeting for initial planning of lab space, sampling and etc. Cruise will be at the end of 2023 into 2024.

March: The two synthesis papers on Mercury in the Southern Hemisphere, part of the special issue related to the ICMGP 2022, are accepted for publication in Ambio and galley proofs have been received. Look out for them soon!

March: Planning is underway for the Gulf of Maine cruise which will occur in early April. Rob, Hannah, Sophia and Melissa will participate. The previous cruise, that was meant to happen in Nov 2022 was cancelled initially because of Covid concerns, and then because of bad weather. Looking foreward to the upcoming cruise

Feb: As the month ends,, Yipeng leaves the lab for his post-doc at FIU with Mark Stephens – from Hg to beryllium – using 7Be to track ocean mixing and air-sea exchange.

Feb: Rob submits a paper that models the factors impacting the bioaccumulation of methylmercury into mummichogs and how this varies between highly contaminated and regionally impacted locations in the northeast USA.

Jan: Rob travels to Punta Arenas, Chile to help Yipeng pack up the ship and get the equipment and supplies ready for shipping back to the US. The cruise was very successful with lots of interesting underway and atmospheric Hg data collected.

Jan: Maodian submits his paper on Hg cycling and methylation in Long Island Sound for publication.

Dec: Rob gives the Reeburgh Lecture at the AGU Fall meeting in Chicago, focused on mercury air-sea exchange and the global Hg cycle

Nov: Marissa submits her paper on Hg methylation vs nitrification in the Arctic Ocean for publication

Nov: Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov: Yipeng transits on the ship from San Diego to Tahiti to avoid quarantining in Tahiti and to also collect air and underway mercury samples during the transit. The initial data looks great and is a very useful comparison to earlier cruises in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Nov: Rob and Yipeng spend a few days, with many others, setting up equipment on the RV Roger Revelle in San Diego for the upcoming GEOTRACES GP17-OCE cruise which will depart from Tahiti for the South Pacific going as far south as possible before ending in Chile.

Nov: Gulf of Maine cruise postponed because of a Covid case and then cancelled. Will be rescheduled in the future. Total of four cruises funded, and next one will be in April 2023.

Nov: Rob and Yipeng with many others start working on a white paper aimed at providing background and a modeling framework for the future examination of the Minamata Convention’s success in reducing Hg in the environment – a so-called Effectiveness Evaluation.

Oct 27: Yipeng defends his thesis on air-sea exchange of mercury in coastal and open ocean waters. A great presentation with so much data!

Oct: Rob, with colleagues, submit a chapter to be part of a book titled Oceans and Human Health

Oct: As the month ends, lots of frantic preparation and packing for two cruises happening soon. First, a week-long cruise in the Gulf of Maine on the Endeavor in collaboration with our Dartmouth colleagues as part of our NSF funded project. Hannah, Sophia, Melissa, Patricia and Rob will be on the cruise. Ship departs Nov 3.

Second, shipping and loading for the upcoming US Geotraces cruise (GP17-OCE) on the Roger Revelle Nov 9-12 and then the ship transits to Tahiti and from there into the South Pacific, with the cruise ending in Chile.

Our group will be focusing on air-sea exchange of mercury while Lamborg/Hammerschmidt are collecting and analyzing water samples. We are also collecting mercury isotope samples for our collaborators at USGS to analyze. Yipeng is going to also collect samples for Be-7 in collaboration with folks at FIU.

Oct: Melissa Sanchez joins the group again and will work with Patricia on phytoplankton uptake experiments as part of our funded NSF project with Dartmouth and USGS, who will analyze samples for mercury isotopes.

Sept: Its been a while since the last update so check all the happening below!

Sept: Melissa Sanchez will return to the Mason lab for a year’s fellowship, funded through the National Science Foundation to gain futher research experience that she did not obtain during her undergrad studies because of COVID.

Sept: Yipeng’s paper on the continuous dimethylmercury analyzer is now published in ES&T. See here

Sept: AGU announces the winners of the named lectures and other awards associated with the Fall meeting that will take place in Chicago in Dec 2022. Rob will give the William S and Carelyn Y Reeburgh Lecture, which is part of the Ocean Sciences Section

Sept: Rob participated in a workshop related to the synthesis papers that were completed in conjunction with the ICMGP conference that took place remotely in July 2022. the workshop was held over 2 days to give participants from all over the world a chance to participate.

Sept: Rob is a co-author on two publications focused on mercury in the Southern Hemisphere which have been submitted to Ambio as part of the synthesis papers related to the recent ICMGP.

Sept: Rob is a co-author on a chapter on contaminants in the ocean  that will be part of a book Oceans and Human Health, aimed at undergrad/grad students that will be published in 2023.

Aug: Mike Tate from USGS was here for a show & tell about making mercury stable isotope measurements in ocean waters and in the atmosphere for those going on the upcoming Geotraces GP17 and also the Gulf of Maine cruises – first in Nov 2022. Besides our group there was Vivien Taylor & Celia Chen from Dartmouth and Marissa Despins from UCSC.

Aug: Sophia Smith, a new MS student, arrives in the lab.

July: The ICMGP is successfully completed virtually! Congratulations to all involved. From UConn, Gunnar, Wes,. Patricia, Yipeng, Hannah and Rob all had presentations at the meeting. Rob received the Kathyrn Maheffey Lifetime Achievement Award at the meeting.

July: Mentoring activities and workshops related to the conference took place in the week before the virtual event. Rob helped organize judging of student presentations at the meeting.

July: Xiangming completes her post-doc and returns to China, after some dely because of COVID restrictions.

June: Marissa Despins defends her MS at Wright State. Rob was a member of her committee.

April: Melissa Sanchez, a undergrad who has been working in the lab, completed her Marine Sciences degree this semester. Melissa had a Sea Grant undergraduate minority fellowship in 2021 and worked on examining interactions of selenium on methylmercury uptake into phytoplankton and she also participated last year in a study abroad in South Africa examining shark dynamics.

Mar: While the International Conference on Mercury as

a Global Pollutant (ICMGP) 2022 conference is only in July, and remote, the official announcement of Rob receiving the Kate Mahaffey Lifetime Achievement Award for his achievements, a conference award, was recently announced and the trophy arrived in Connecticut last week!  See here

Mar: Deadline for submissions to ICMGP 2022 is extended for two weeks to allow submissions for those with hassles and difficult schedules. 9 abstracts so far from UConn, and Rob is a co-author on 4 others!

Mar: Patricia receives back external comments on her thesis proposal and they are minor. No proposal revisions needed. The step is complete and she advances to candidacy! ABD it is….

End of Feb/Mar: Yipeng, Hannah, Patricia and Wes all made excellent presentations at the remote OSM and answered questions posed well. Other affiliated Mason lab folks, including Marissa Despins, Emma Bullock, Lindsay Starr and those on the Arctic cruise from the radioisotope group and the Vlahos lab, and former students, also had presentations. There were many presentations from students at UConn Marine Sciences as well. For those with access, check them out!

Feb/Mar: Yipeng, Hannah, Patricia and Wes have presentations at the Ocean Sciences Meeting which was slated for Hawaii but is now remote. Aahhh! Conference starts at the end of the month. Talks are uploaded and on-line presentations begin at the end of Feb. Also, our other mercury collaborators have presentations – Marissa Despins, Lindsay Srarr and Emma Bullock – Go mercury! Others aboard the Arctic cruise in 2021 are also presenting.

Feb: Deadline for submissions of abstracts to the next ICMGP are due at the end of the month. Many of them in process at UConn. Unfortunately, the meeting is remote rather than in Cape Town. But, looking for a great meeting in 2022 and in the future, an in-person meet in 2024 in Cape Town. So much mercury! Very exciting!

Feb:  A review paper on mercury in the Arctic is accepted for publication in Nature Reviews-Earth & Environment. Rob is a co-author.

Feb: Yipeng successfully defends this thesis proposal/oral exam!!

Jan: The paper documenting the loading and recovery phase of the experimental additions of Hg to a lake in the Experimental lakes Area in Canada published in Nature. A fantastic multi-investigator effort and a great study. See here

Jan: Wes successfully defends his thesis proposal/oral exam!!

Dec: Yipeng, Wes and Patricia receive university travel awards to attend the Ocean Sciences meeting in Feb – pity its gone virtual!! – but they will present remotely.

Dec: Patricia successfully defends her thesis proposal/oral exam!!

Dec: Rob and his Dartmouth colleagues (Vivien Taylor and Celia Chen) are informed that their proposal to study mercury in the Gulf of Maine and the impacts of climate change and other factors on food chain MeHg bioaccumulation will be funded by NSF Chemical Oceanography. First cruise will be August 2022.

Dec: Rob is informed by NSF that the GEOTRACES GP17 mercury proposal, with co-PIs Carl Lamborg, Chad Hammerschmidt and Sarah Janssen/Mike Tate at USGS is recommended for funding. The first cruise will be in late 2022 from Tahiti.

Dec: The Metaalicus paper detailing the recovery of Lake 658 after the cessation of mercury additions is published in Nature.

Dec: Rob makes a virtual presentation on initial results from the Arctic cruise at AGU meeting. See ArcticAGU

Dec: Xiangming’s paper on the nanoparticle studies, submitted to Frontiers in Environmental Chemistry, is accepted for publication. See here

Dec: Rob prepares his remote presentation for the AGU meeting to be given in the Mercury session beginning at 330 on Dec 16.

Nov: Xiangming’s paper on the nanoparticle studies, submitted to Frontiers in Environmental Chemistry, is resubmitted after revision following relatively minor suggested edits

Nov: An article about the cruise, written by Emma Shipley, appears in the Marine Sciences newsletter. See here

Nov: As November arrives, so hopefully does Xiangming who has been stuck in London waiting for her visa, which has been an incredibly slow process as a result of Covid restrictions. Welcome back!

Oct: Cara Manning accepts the position in Marine Sciences and will start in Jan 2022. Cara is a chemical oceanographer focusing on methane, nitrous oxides, noble gases and other gases and traces in the ocean and atmosphere. She has developed techniques for high resolution field measurements in the Arctic and elsewhere. Excited to have her come. Need to clean out the labs to give her space!! See here

Oct: Sofi’s paper is resubmitted after review – only minor edits needed.

Oct: Rob makes a presentation as part of the NOAA seminar series on The AMAP mercury report and related studies. The presentation is available here

Sept: Xiangming is in the UK analyzing radioisotope samples while she awaits her visa for her return to the USA.

Sept: A new semester begins. Rob is on sabbatical but plans for research in South Africa are currently on hold.

Sept: Sofi, a former post-doc, has a paper on studies on mercury in the Arctic Ocean accepted for publication, pending revision, in Marine Chemistry. Rob is a co-author.

August: Marissa, who was on the Arctic cruise helping with sampling and also doing her own Hg studies, visits.

August: Proposal writing time! Rob is the lead PI, and is also a co-PI, on two proposals being submitted to NSF Chemical Oceanography to support coastal and open ocean mercury studies.

August:  Kati, a former graduate student’s paper on uptake and trophic transfer of Hg and MeHg, experiments done while she was a grad student, is accepted for publication in Marine Environmental Research. Good to have the data out there. See here

August: Xiangming has been gathering lots of samples on her cruise that will soon to be over. Looking forward to seeing more data.

August: The NSF award supporting the research and analysis of samples collected on the Metalgate cruise finally arrives. Just in time for shipping the samples back.

August: An abstract has been submitted to AGU to make our first presentation of the data collected on the May/June Arctic cruise.

August: Patricia gets married, and a great party was had!!

July: The United Nations Minamata Convention has initiated a second session of online presentations and some of these will interface directly with the ICMGP. See here for details. Last week Amina Schartup and Jeroen Sonke, who are leading one of the plenary talks at the ICMGP in 2022, made a presentation on their plenary research topic: Global change and biogeochemical mercury cycling. the presentations can be found here.

July: After much deliberation and because of the high number of cases of Covid in South Africa, and the continued global uncertainty about the pandemic, it has been decided that the ICMGP in 2022 will be held remotely and not in Cape Town. However, it will be held in Cape Town in 2024. Rob will continue to be a member of the executive committees for both the 2022 and 2024 meetings. See here

July:  Xiangming boards a research ship in Reykjavik for a cruise which will sample waters and sediment around Iceland to examine the transport of mercury and other metals between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic, and to examine the importance of sediment inputs to the water. It is a GEOTRACES Process cruise termed Metalgate. for updates, go here

June: Mariame’s paper on Hg reduction in the presence of iron sulfide is published in Frontiers in Environmental Chemistry. Here is the  link

June: While on the ship, Rob made a presentation about the research being done to a regional interest group – Strait Science – on the potential impacts of climate and human activity on Arctic mercury levels. The talk was recorded and can be viewed here

June: The Sikuliaq arrived in Seward, AK on June 14 after a successful cruise in the Bering and Chukchi Seas. In the end, 18 stations were occupied for water sampling, and at 5 of these stations, sediments were also collected. At one station, water, sediment and ice samples (cores, surface snow, brine etc) were collected. Overall, there were 5 ice stations. Besides the Hg team, samples and onboard analysis was done by the radon/radium group (Mark Stevens/Doug Hammond), the carbon folks (Penny Vlahos, Lauren Barret and Emma Shipley) and there were Ar/O2 and productivity related measurements (Laurie Juranek).  Thanks to the captain, crew and techs for making this a successful endeavor!

June 2: Rob turns 65 at sea, somewhere in the Chukchi. A delicious cake helped celebrate the day, but the champagne had to be delayed. Celebration was had when the ship arrived in  port!

May: As the month comes to a close, Rob, Hannah and Yipeng are around 70o 30′ N 164o W and at the edge of the ice and open water in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska. Lots of great samples collected already and the underway measurements in air and water are providing important information on mercury speciation. Very cool science and a cool place to be!

May: Mariame Coulibaly’s paper on the experiments she did while a Fulbright Scholar here a few years ago is accepted for publication in Frontiers in Environmental Chemistry. Very exciting!

May: Rob, Yipeng and Hannah board the ship on May 19 sand it will depart May 20. The mercury focus is on air-sea exchange, but water column samples, sediments and ice cores will also be collected to further study inorganic and methylated Hg cycling in open water, marginal ice and in full ice, which is currently retreating with the advance of spring around the Bering Strait.

May: The biannual department Feng Colloquium happens remotely this year and all graduate students make either and oral or a poster presentation.

May: Yipeng receives the department Andrew J. Nalwalk Memorial Fund award in recognition of his paper published earlier in the year.

May: Melissa Sanchez, a undergrad working in the lab receives a Sea Grant Summer Fellowship. she will work on studies looking at mercury and selenium uptake into phytoplankton.

May: Patricia, Yipeng and Gunnar receive department Pre-Doctoral Awards to support their summer research

May: Rob, Yipeng and Hannah arrive in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in the Aleutian Islands, to quarantine for two weeks before boarding the icebreaker Sikuliaq for a cruise in the Bering and Chukchi Seas, from open water into the ice.

April: Jess Fitzsimmons gives the departmental Friday seminar discussing her work on iron and other metal inputs from hydrothermal vents into the ocean. Very exciting.

April: Xiangming is beginning preparation for a cruise she will join that will sample around Iceland and examine sediment and other inputs. She will be helping with radioisotope measurements but also will collect Hg samples. The cruise is a Geotraces process cruise, called Metalgate, as this region is crucial to metal exchange between oceans, and between the surface and depth.

April: Preparations for shipping for the upcoming Arctic Hg cruise are in full swing. Rob, Yipeng and Hannah, and others from UConn and other institutions will start a 2 week quarantining in Dutch harbor, AK on May 4 before boarding the ship for the cruise which starts May 20, until June 14. Cruise plan is to go north and into the ice to examine Hg dynamics and gas exchange, through comparison of the Hg changes with that of an unreactive gas (radon). Will sample air, water, sediment and snow/ice during the cruise

April: Mariame’s paper is still in the review process

April: Maodian, a former visiting student and now post-doc at Yale, submits a paper on the research he did in Long Island Sound while here.

March: Rob receives his first Moderna shot.

March: A paper on the recovery of biota and ecosystem Hg concentrations in Lake 658 in the Experimental Lakes Area from the prior Hg addition experiments (the Metaalicus project) is moving though the review process. So far, so good!

February: Interviews for potential candidates for a “cluster hire” in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences focused on climate and human interactions take place at a hectic rate.

February: Rob and colleagues submit two proposals for consideration by the NSF Chemical Oceanography program.

February: Yipeng presents a lunchtime Brown Bag presentation on his efforts to develop a continuous, underway, high resolution dimethylmercury sampling system. Great initial data and will be very useful during the upcoming Arctic cruise.

January: Mariame, a former Fulbright scholar in the lab from Cote d’Ivoire, submits a paper on her studies done at UConn for publication in Frontiers in Environmental Chemistry

January: Melissa Sanchez joins the lab as a new undergraduate research assistant. Welcome Melissa!

January: A New year, a new federal administration brings home of change and a more pro-active environmental agenda, but all is tempered by the continuing impacts of the pandemic contrasted with the rate of vaccination.

202o Ends and 2021 Begins!! Time to look forward and focus on the post-pandemic future which will be someday!

December: The month and year closes with the publication of Kate’s paper on forage fish from our Superfund program studies in Environmental Research. Download here

December: Mackenzie, who worked as an undergraduate in the lab for many years, is about to graduate this semester. She is applying for grad school at UConn. Very exciting!

December: A strange semester draws to a close and it seems the spring semester may not be much different!

December: Patricia presents her paper remotely at the Fall AGU meeting: “Constructing an Unprecedented Time Series to Explore the Major Factors Impacting Methylmercury Bioaccumulation in Coastal Plankton” Really cool data!

December: Kate Buckman’s paper “Patterns in forage fish mercury concentrations across Northeast US estuaries” is accepted for publication in Environmental Research. More soon!

December: The Electoral College ratifies the election of Joe Biden as the next US president and hopes for more environmental regulation and action against climate change is increasing. And the US starts vaccinating – a great day and the beginning of change.

Nov/December: Former student Emily’s paper on research done while at UConn is published in Water Research: “Historic contamination alters mercury sources and cycling in temperate estuaries relative to uncontaminated sites.” Download the paper here

November 24: Happy Thanksgiving

October: Experiments, spearheaded by Wes, are underway examining the potential of salt marsh recontamination from sediment transport from high concentration Hg locations, using sediments collected from Berry’s Creek.

Sept/Oct: Patricia is done analyzing all her samples collected on the NOAA cruise last year and is working up the data. she is also continuing sampling at URI when allowed to travel given the pandemic restrictions.

October: Yipeng’s paper in Atmospheric Environment comparing the Tekran instrument and membrane measurements of reactive gaseous mercury during the Pacific GP15 Geotraces cruise is published. See here for updates

Sept/Oct: Yipeng has deployed the Tekran along with alternative measurement approaches for reactive gaseous Hg at Avery Point, and also has set up continuous dissolved gaseous Hg measurements.

September: A week into the fall semester and things are chugging along – experiments happening, samples collected, analysis continuing, teaching happening, in a remote or masked environment!

September: Former student Emily’s revised manuscript on factors controlling mercury dynamics in contaminated and uncontaminated estuaries is resubmitted for consideration by Water Research.

September: Gunnar’s revised thesis proposal, after both committee and external review, is signed by the department head and submitted to the graduate school. A milestone passed!

September: Patricia’s article for the general public on mercury and its bioaccumulation is published in Ocean Bites

August: Hannah Inman arrives in Groton and will start her PhD studies. She received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Smith College in Massachusetts.

August: Gearing up for the upcoming fall semester, which will be like no other given the current restrictions in place because of the continuing pandemic.

August: Emily’s paper is returned by the journal and currently under revision

August: After two years in review, the paper led by Maodian Liu, a former visiting scientist here, on the impact of the Three Gorges Dam in China on metal transport is finally published in Water Research. See here

August: Updates: The ECOMON cruise that Patricia was to participate in has been cancelled. Yipeng has deployed the atmospheric mercury speciation unit at Avery Point and will also start measuring dissolved gaseous mercury using the equilibrator. Wes is restarting the flume to continue the experiments looking and sediment resuspension, transport and deposition of mercury in salt marshes, and the influence of sediment methylmercury. Xiangming continues to examine the interactions of methylmercury with metal-sulfide nanoparticles.

August: Yipeng’s paper is returned, and is currently under revision.

July: Research is getting going again with grad students and post-docs back in the lab running experiments, analyzing and collecting samples

July: Patricia starts sampling again at URI, collecting samples for determining methylmercury in plankton over time. A collaboration with Mouw research group. link

July: Kayla, a student at Wesleyan University who did much of her analysis in the lab, has a paper published in Chemosphere on mercury and methylmercury in the Still River, CT area, a region with historical mercury contamination from hat making. Paper is available here

June: Emily submits her paper on the statistical analysis of mercury and ancillary data collected during the Superfund projects with Dartmouth to Water Research.

June: Download a copy of Wes’ paper in STOTEN using this link

May: As infections from COVID-19 decrease in Connecticut, the university is starting to resume activities and graduate students/post-docs are now allowed to return to the labs if they do so according to strict guidelines and with a lab plan for social distancing, wearing of PPEs etc. Let the research resume!

May: Yipeng submits a paper comparing ion exchange membranes and the Tekran instrument’s measurement of reactive gaseous mercury in the marine boundary layer during the 2018 Pacific Geotraces cruise to Atmospheric Environment.

May: Wes resubmits a revised version of his manuscript and it is accepted for publication in STOTEN – Formalin-preserved zooplankton are not reliable for historical reconstructions of methylmercury bioaccumulation. Congratulations. Link

May: The International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant is postponed until July 24-29, 2022. See the new information on the meeting here.

April 22: Another Earth Day treat! Rob’s paper setting the scope for the Inorganic Pollutants section of Frontiers in Environmental Chemistry (the Grand Challenges) is published. Read it here

April 22: An Earth Day treat! Wes’ paper on methylmercury levels in archived zooplankton and whether these can be used to construct historical records is returned from review with minor comments. Congrats to Wes!

April 22: Happy Earth Day! The journal Frontiers in Environmental Chemistry is launched! Looking forward to getting papers for the specialty section on Inorganic Pollutants. Currently, there is a focus Research Topic on mercury, edited by Eric Bjorn, Martin Jiskra and Anne Soerensen. We welcome submissions to this! More here

April: Earlier in the year, Rob accepted to become the Chief Editor for a section (Inorganic Pollutants) of a new journal – Frontiers in Environmental Chemistry – which will be part of the Frontiers journal collection, and will soon launch. A group of 10 Associate Editors has been assembled to help with the initial paper solicitation. A Research Topic “Recent Advances in Molecular to Global Scale Environmental Chemistry of Mercury”, with Eric Bjorn, Martin Jiskra and Anne Soerensen as editors, will start the journal. Please consider submitting your work to the new journal.

April 16: Trump administration announces a rollback of rules limited emissions from power plants enacted by the previous administration. This is bad policy and will lead to health problems related to increased mercury emissions and those of other pollutants. To find out more , read a brief, put together by a team of mercury researchers, here

April: Hannah Inman accepts an offer to grad school in the Department of Marine Sciences, with Rob as her major advisor. She is completing her BS at Smith College, MA this semester. Hannah will start in the fall. Welcome!

April 1: Adaption to the online university and work situation continues. Wes submits a paper for publication. Other papers in the works. Keeping on analyzing data and writing papers as the lab is closed except for essential functions.

March: University closes doors to most research and classes move online in response to the coronavirus impacts in CT.

March: Gunnar cancels his trip to the Benthic Ecology Meeting in North Carolina because of concerns over the coronavirus.

March: Mackenzie, an undergraduate, is awarded a Summer 2020 Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth System (CIMES) Research Internship Program at Princeton University. Mackenzie is a seeking a double degree in Marine Sciences and an Individualized Major titled Atmospheric Sciences. She is doing her senior thesis in the lab. She has added a minor in math as well. Why not? Mackenzie is on track to graduate at the end of the year.

March: Rob meets with researchers at the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch to start planning his sabbatical for spring 2021.

March: Rob attends the first SSC meeting of the ICMGP 2021 conference, which was held in Stellenbosch. The meeting attendance was somewhat curtailed by the spread of the coronavirus and many members dialed in remotely. The basic structure for the meeting and associated activities were discussed and the conference venue was visited. This will be the first ICMGP in Africa and only the second time the meeting has been in the Southern Hemisphere. See http://www.mercury2021.com/index/ for more details.

Feb: Rob and Yipeng attend the Ocean Sciences meeting in San Diego and also attend a GEOTRACES Arctic synthesis workshop on the Sunday before the meeting. Yipeng and Emily have presentations at the meeting.

Jan: Patricia passes her Comprehensive Exams for her PhD. Awesome!


Dec: Gunnar presents and defends his PhD proposal, and passes. Well done!

Dec: Xudong Wang successfully defends his PhD thesis in Chemistry.

Nov: Wes sets up the annular flume and begins experiments examining the impact of sediment resuspension and transport on mercury contamination of coastal marsh grasses, and the overall impact of their biogeochemistry and methylmercury bioaccumulation.

Nov: Xiangming Shi arrives to begin her post-doc working on interactions of mercury/methylmercury with nanoparticles.

Oct: Patricia sets out on a coastal cruise to collect size-fractionated samples of plankton from the Mid-Atlantic Bight and Gulf of Maine for methylmercury analysis, along with many other investigators as part of a ECOMON cruise. See here for more

Oct: Wang et al. “The interaction of mercury and methylmercury with chalcogenide nanoparticles”, now published in  Environmental Pollution. See here

Sept: Dr Boubie Guel from the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso arrives to spend a month working with the mercury group and learning analytical methods for analysis in environmental media, as well as collaborating with others in the Chemistry Department on studies related to alumina nanoparticles.

Sept: Had a very productive week in Krakow for the International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant with many excellent talks and much discussion with colleagues, and a little fun. Posters were presented by Patricia, Mackenzie, Yipeng and Zosia, with talks by Wes, Gunnar, Yipeng, Zosia and Rob, amongst others from the Dartmouth Superfund program, including Emily. more Rob was the primary organizer of the student/mentor lunch and the student poster judging. Rob also is part of the organizing committee for the next meeting that will take place in Cape Town, South Africa in July 2021. more Look out, here we come!

Sept: Two papers accepted for publication pending suitable revision: 1) Baumann et al. “Mercury in an urban estuarine ecosystem and guidelines for fish consumption”, Environmental Chemistry; and 2) Wang et al. “The interaction of mercury and methylmercury with chalcogenide nanoparticles”, Environmental Pollution.

Aug: Xiangming Shi is offered the position of a post-doc in the mercury lab to work on the project which is examining the reactions of mercury and methylmercury on the surfaces of metal sulfide/selenide nanoparticles.

June/July: Rob travels to Cote d’Ivoire for the final part of his Fulbright Studies. Focus is the collection of water, sediments and biota in coastal lagoons, both impacted and more pristine, and in the coastal ocean. See posts here

June: Rob attends the International Estuarine Biogeochemistry Symposium in Vigo, Spain. more

May: All abstracts submitted for the Krakow ICMGP Meeting are accepted and there will be many presentations and posters by the research group at the meeting. more

May: Brain starts his post-doc working at the Bigelow Lab in Maine

April: A group of scientists in collaboration with the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School submit comments on the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Coal- and Oil- Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units, addressing proposed changes to the MATS rule of power plant emissions of mercury in the US. See here

April: The Chen et al. paper ” A critical time for mercury science to inform policy” is highlighted as one of the top papers in 2018 in ES&T. See here

April: A paper related to the UNEP 2018 Global Mercury Assessment is accepted for publication in Science of the Total Environment: Wang et al. “How closely do mercury trends in fish and other aquatic wildlife track those in the atmosphere? – Implications for evaluating the effectiveness of the Minamata Convention.”  Rob is a co-author. See here.

April: Former student Emily takes to the sea from Hawaii for a SCOPE cruise in the North Pacific

April: Rob attends the Science Steering Committee of the ICMGP in Krakow to assign abstracts and make progress on other aspects of the meeting to occur in September

March: Wes and Gunnar pick up donated annular flumes that will be used for the upcoming marsh mesocosm study under our funded Hudson River Foundation project

March: Rob attends a meeting organized in conjunction with the implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury in Japan

March: All members of the Mason group submit abstracts for the next International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP) in Krakow, Poland in Sept 2019. More here

February: Kate’s paper on the mesocosm studies done at Avery Point in 2014 is accepted for publication in STOTEN. Rob, Emily, Evan and Prentiss are co-authors with Dartmouth folks. Buckman et al. “Sediment organic carbon and temperature effects on methylmercury concentration: a mesocosm experiment.” see here

February: Brian’s GEOTRACES Arctic air-sea exchange paper is published in final form – see here

February: Mason et al. “An assessment of the impact of artisanal and commercial gold mining on mercury and methylmercury levels in the environment and fish in Cote d’Ivoire.” is published in STOTEN Co-authors: Rob, Zosia, Gunnar, Mariame Coulibaly, Safiatou Coulibaly and Koffi Marcellin Yao. See here

February: Emily leaves to start her post-doc at USC working with Seth John.

2019 arrives!!!

December: 13 papers published in 2018. Thanks to students, colleagues at UConn, Dartmouth and elsewhere for a wonderful and productive year.

December: Vivien Taylor’s paper (Organic carbon content drives methylmercury levels in the water column and in estuarine food webs across latitudes in the Northeast United States) – Rob & Emily are co-authors – is accepted for publication in Environmental Pollution. Click here for a copy of the paper.

December: In anticipation that EPA may rollback the MATS rule for emissions from power plants, a group of mercury scientists have put together a fact sheet that informs about the benefits of the current rule and its impact on mercury levels in the environment. See more here

December: Zosia (B51K-2099) and Wes ((B51K-2105) present posters at the AGU Fall meeting in Washington, DC.

December: A paper on the impact of artisanal gold mining in Cote d’Ivoire is accepted in STOTEN pending minor revisions. An assessment of the impact of artisanal and commercial gold mining on mercury and methylmercury levels in the environment and fish in Cote d’Ivoire. Co-authors: Rob, Zosia, Gunnar, Mariame Coulibaly, Safiatou Coulibaly and Koffi Marcellin Yao.

December: The month begins with the acceptance of Brian’s paper on gas exchange of mercury in the Arctic (The impact of sea ice on the air-sea exchange of mercury in the Arctic Ocean) being accepted for publication in Deep-Sea Research. Co-authors: Rob, Steve Brooks and Chris Moore. In press

November: Selenium paper published in final form – see here

November: Emily attends the annual Superfund Research Program meeting in Sacramento and presents a poster

November: Rob returns from Tahiti at the end of a successful Geotraces (GP15) cruise in the North and tropical Pacific Ocean, measuring the air-sea exchange of mercury, and collecting samples for water column methylmercury. Rob was on the second leg from Hawaii to Tahiti while Yipeng was on the first leg from Seattle to Hawaii. Much analysis still needed, but excellent underway data already being processed!See more

November: Emily submits the final version of her dissertation to the graduate school. She has also accepted a post-doc with Seth John at USC and will start there in Feb 2019.

November: Brain has accepted a post-doc working with Christoph Aeppli at the Bigelow Lab in Maine and will start in 2019.

November: A paper on the ocean selenium cycle with Rob as lead author (co-authors: Anne Soerensen, Brian and Prentiss Balcom) is published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles

October: Rob flies to Hawaii on Oct 21 to join the ship. Zosia and others will travel to the Hackensack River around the same time to sample for the Hudson River Foundation grant.

October: Emily successfully defends her PhD thesis and she did an excellent job in her presentation and her defense to the committee. Awesome!!

October: The paper on “Updated Global and Oceanic Mercury Budgets for the United Nations Global Mercury Assessment 2018” (Outridge et al.; Rob’s a co-author) published in ES&T

September: Rob and Yipeng travel to Seattle to setup equipment and sampling for the Geotraces GP15 cruise in the Pacific Ocean. Cruise track is from Seattle to off the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and then south to Hawaii for Leg 1, which Yipeng is participating on (ship left on 9/18); and then Leg 2 from Hawaii to Tahiti, with Rob on board. Check out cruise updates @followGP15.

September: The second cruise of the bioaccumulation study around Alaska takes place – Zosia and Wes participate.

August: The policy paper lead by Celia (Rob is a co-author) is published in ES&T and can be accessed here

August: Maodian’s paper on the exposure of people in China to methylmercury from fish, rice and other sources (Rob, Zosia and Yipeng are co-authors) is published in Environment International

August: Policy paper synthesizing the information and ideas from the  plenary talks,  and associated papers published in Ambio, from the ICMGP in 2017, with Celia Chen as lead author is accepted for publication in ES&T

July: Maodian’s paper on mercury exposure in Tibet as a result of use of traditional medicines  – Rob, Zosia & Yipeng are co-authors – is published in ES&T

July: Rob gives a plenary and Rob, Emily and Gunnar have presentations at the International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment in Athens, Georgia (ICHMET)

July: Final version of Emily’s paper on the role of sediment resuspension in estuarine methylmercury dynamics is published in ES&T

July: Patricia Myer joins the group as an incoming PhD student

June: Wes and Greg travel to Alaska for a research cruise that is part of a newly funded project, with Zosia as the lead PI.

June: Emily’s paper examining the impact of resuspension on mercury and methylmercury cycling is accepted for publication in ES&T.

June: Rob returns from his Fulbright trip to Burkina Faso where he visited and sampled artisanal gold mining sites and collected river and reservoir samples for analysis. more

June: Emily gives a presentation on her studies examining factors controlling MeHg concentrations in the estuarine water column at the ASLO Summer meeting in Victoria, BC

June: Final year of funding for the Superfund project with Dartmouth is awarded.

June: Book chapter on mercury in the ocean by Zosia, Sofi and Rob accepted for publication in the Encyclopedia of Marine Sciences

June: Papers submitted or in review include: 1) Brian’s Arctic Geotraces air-sea exchange paper (Rob a co-author); 2) Global mercury assessment review paper with Peter Outridge as the lead author, Rob co-author, based on the chapter written for the 2018 Technical Document in support of the Minamata Convention, currently undergoing revision; 3)  Selenium cycling in the ocean and global modeling paper being revised after review (Rob lead, Brian, Prentiss Balcom and Anne Soerensen as co-authors) .

May: Maodian’s paper on the impact of soil erosion – Rob and Yipeng are co-authors – is accepted for publication in ES&T.

May: Zosia’s proposal as lead PI on mercury bioaccumulation in southeastern Bering Sea is funded by the North Pacific Research Board. First cruise is scheduled for the end of June.

April: Rob attends the first Scientific Steering Committee meeting for the 2019 ICMGP which will take place in Krakow, Poland in Sept 2018.

March: Rob gives a departmental Brown Bag presentation titled “Examining the impacts of artisanal and commercial gold mining on mercury levels in rivers in Cote d’Ivoire”. Attached are some of the results and findings.

March: Maodian, a former visiting student, submits two papers on aspects of mercury cycling in China. Rob, Zosia and Yipeng are co-authors

March: Rob and Celia Chen’s research groups meet at Avery Point for a yearly discussion on data and papers from the studies related to the NIH Superfund program grant. Much exciting research was presented and a long list of papers to be written up and submitted was generated. Recently, a paper with Vivien as the lead author was submitted focused on biota data from previousyear’s field  studies. Emily’s paper on the impacts of sediment resuspension is near completion and will be submitted soon. Celia is the lead author on a submitted policy forum paper.

March: Yipeng and Rob attend the US Geotraces Pacific Ocean cruise planning meeting in Norfolk, VA. The cruise will start in September and start sampling off the Aleutian Islands and end in Tahiti. Yipeng will go on the first leg of the cruise and Rob the second.

March: Rob accepts to give a plenary presentation at the International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment (ICHMET 2018) which will take place in Athens. Georgia, USA in July. Emily and Gunnar also submitted abstracts for the meeting.

March: Emily submits an abstract to the ASLO meeting in June 2018 in Victoria, Canada.

March: Nash’s paper on mercury sulfide nanoparticles is published in Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts

February: Papers in progress: Nash’s nanoparticle paper has been resubmitted after revision. A review paper related to the chapters written as part of the updated Technical Background document for the Minamata Convention, which will be released in the near future, is submitted to ES&T (Outridge et al.; Rob is a co-author).

February: Rob and Zosia’s recently funded Hudson River Foundation project focused on the Hackensack is highlighted by the university’s Office of Reseach. Check it out.

January: Four synthesis papers written in conjunction with the International Mercury Conference in Providence, RI (Rob was on the Executive Committee of the conference; Sofi was a co-author on one paper) published in Ambio


December: Xiangming Shi’s paper on quantifying radium and methylmercury fluxes from coastal sediments is now published in Geochmica et Cosmochimica Acta

November: Rob presents at the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) meeting in Minneapolis “Sources and cycling of methylmercury in coastal and offshore waters”

November: Elka Porter’s paper on results from various mesocosm resuspension studies is accepted for publication in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology

November: Gunnar presents at the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) meeting in Providence on his studies of bioaccumulation of mercury and methylmercury in clams

November: Xiangming Shi’s paper on quantifying radium and methylmercury fluxes from coastal sediments is published in unedited form in Geochmica et Cosmochimica Acta

October: Brian’s paper is published in final form

October: Maodian Liu finishes his year as a visiting graduate scholar in the lab. Moadian focused on examining the cycling of mercury and methylmercury in Long Island Sound during his studies as well as completing studies related to mercury inputs and cycling in coastal waters of Asia, and related studies on exposure, some papers published and some still in review.

October: Rob and Brian attend the Arctic US GEOTRACES meeting in Miami

October: Bill Fitzgerald Symposium at Avery Point is a great success. A day of presentations by former students and colleagues. Thanks to Heidi Dierssen and Zosia Baumann for the help in organizing the event. Was a great day!

September: Rob serves on NIEHS panel

September: Rob returns from his 6 weeks in Cote d’Ivoire

August: Brian’s paper “Factors controlling the photochemical degradation of methylmercury in coastal and oceanic waters” is published online in Marine Chemistry

August: Daniyal Zaheer, who has been working as an undergraduate in the lab, completes his time as he is moving to Storrs to continue his studies. Thanks Daniyal for all your help!

August: Yipeng He arrives to start his PhD studies at UConn. Welcome!

August: Wes Huffman is accepted as a graduate student in Marine Sciences. He will be working with both Rob and Zosia as advisors, primarily on the Hudson River Foundation project

July: Rob leaves July 27 for six weeks in Cote d’Ivoire as a Fulbright Scholar. He will be working with Mariame Coulibaly and Koffi Marcellin Yao and collecting samples to assess the impacts of using mercury in artisanal gold mining in the country.more

July: Rob receives notice that he will be funded by NSF for the US GEOTRACES Pacific Meridional Section cruise in fall 2018: The project is “Determination of the air-sea exchange of inorganic and methylated mercury in the anthropogenically-impacted and remote Pacific Ocean.”

July: The research group presents over 20 papers and posters at the International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant in Providence. Abstracts can be viewed here and the following link gives a flavor of the meeting.

June: Rob and Zosia receive notification that their proposal to the Hudson River Foundation will be funded. The title is: Evaluating the impacts of human and climate disturbance on mercury dynamics and bioaccumulation in benthic and pelagic organisms in the Hackensack subestuarine system.”

May: Wes Huffman completes his undergrad degree and begins working for Zosia and Rob as a tech.

May: Rob receives a Fulbright Scholars award. He will travel to Cote d’Ivoire in August/September to do research examining the impacts of mercury usage in artisanal gold mining. He will return for further visits in 2018.

May: Sofi completes her stay at UConn and returns to Sweden. more

May: Abstracts accepted! The group will have 8 oral presentations and 12 posters at the International Conference of Mercury as a Global Pollutant in Providence in July pdf

May: Brian graduates! Marine Sciences PhD thesis: An Investigation of the Major Transformations and Loss Mechanisms of Mercury and Selenium in the Surface Ocean

April: Rob and Zosia received notice of funding by the Hudson River Foundation “Evaluating the impacts of human and climate disturbance on mercury dynamics and bioaccumulation in benthic and pelagic organisms in the Hackensack sub-estuarine system.”

April: Yipeng He accepts as a PhD student in Marine Sciences and will begin his studies in the Fall

April: Brian successfully defends his PhD on April 19

April: Final version of Mason et al. published in Deep-Sea Research

March: Kate Buckman’s paper on the Delaware River published in Estuaries and Coasts

March: Zosia’s paper published in Canadian J of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

February: Mason et al. published online, as accepted. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2017.01.015

January: Sofi’s paper on her studies in Sweden is published in Science Advances

January: Brian and Sofi submit papers for publication

January: Kati’s paper on plankton in Long Island Sound published on-line in Limnology & Oceanography

January: David Kocman et al.’s paper ” Towards an Assessment of the Global Inventory of Present-Day Mercury Releases to Freshwater Environments” and Rob’s (Mason et al. The air-sea exchange of mercury in the low latitude Pacific and Atlantic oceans) are both accepted for publication.

January: The research group and collaborators submit 18 abstracts for the upcoming International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant in Providence, RI in July 2017. In all, almost 1000 abstracts were submitted to the meeting


December: Nash returns to Kenya after submitting her thesis to the graduate school and completing her degree.

December: Zosia’s paper is published online in Canadian J Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences

November: Article highlighting the air-sea exchange and Arctic studies of Rob and his research group published by Scientia

November: Nash defends her PhD thesis in Chemistry: The Interaction of Mercury and Methylmercury with Reduced Sulfur in the Environment: Implications for Mercury and Methylmercury Transformations

November: Zosia presents results from the Sea Grant project at the SETAC Meeting in Orlando, FL.

November: Moadian Liu, from Peking University, arrives for a year studying at UConn on a Chinese Fellowship.

November: Former student Kati’s paper is accepted for publication in Limnology & Oceanography

November: Zosia’s paper is accepted for publication in Canadian J Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences

October: Emily leaves for Sweden where she will spend time with Eric Bjorn and Ulf Skyllberg’s research groups as part of her NSF Graduate Fellowship program.

September: Sofi returns from the Arctic cruise

September: Xiangming finishes her studies at UConn and returns to China

September: Nash’s paper is published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

August: Rob’s NSF Chemical Oceanography grant with Nick Fisher and John Reinfelder is awarded: Collaborative Research: Transformations and Mercury Isotopic Fractionation of Methylmercury by Marine Phytoplankton

August: Rob’s NSF Environmental chemistry grant with Jing Zhao in the Chemistry department is awarded:  Examining the Role of Nanoparticles in the Formation and Degradation of Methylated Mercury in the ocean

August: Sofi leaves on an Arctic Ocean cruise aboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden and will sample for mercury in collaboration with Katarina Gardfeldt

August:  Nash and Sofi’s paper on controls over sediment mercury methylation accepted for publication in Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta (Enhanced availability of mercury bound to dissolved organic matter for methylation in marine sediments)

August: Kati’s paper is in review in Limnology & Oceanography (Spatial and temporal trophic transfer dynamics of mercury and methylmercury into zooplankton and phytoplankton of Long Island Sound)

July: Emily, Wes, Gunnar and Brian sample Berry’s Creek and the Penobscot. Zosia and others sample along the CT coastline.

July: Gunnar Hansen joins the group as a PhD student

June: Rob celebrates a milestone…..

June: Mariame returns to Cote d’Ivoire

June: Sofi’s paper is published in Nature Scientific Reports.

May: Kati graduates

May: Emily, Brian, Prentiss, Rob and Xiangming sample sites in Berry’s Creek and the Penobscot River with their Dartmouth colleagues

May: Sampling begins in Connecticut Bays as part of a Sea Grant funded study. Samples will be collected throughout the summer and early fall. Zosia, Nash, Wes and others are taking part in the field sampling.

Mar: Xiangming Shi arrives as a visiting student from China.

Feb: Rob is a co-author on a Perspectives paper published in Environmental Science and Technology.

Jan: Kati successfully defends her PhD dissertation!


Dec: Rob presents a paper at the fall AGU meeting in San Francisco

Nov: Kati’s paper on the Delaware study accepted for publication in Aquatic Geochemistry

Oct: Prentiss’ paper accepted for publication in Marine Chemistry

Oct: Mariame Coulibaly, a Fulbright scholar from Ivory Coast arrives

Sept: Mason et al (1994) receives more than 1000 citations

Sept: Former student UD has a paper published in PloS One

Sept: Former student Amina’s paper on Lake Melville published in PNAS

August/Sept: UConn and Dartmouth groups sample sites in Wells, Maine

August: Rob and Nash have presentations at the ACS Meeting in Boston

August: Kati attends the Goldschmidt Conference in Prague

August: UConn and Dartmouth groups sample sites in Long Island Sound

July: Kati and Roni have papers accepted for publication in Marine Chemistry

July: Rob attends the GRC Chemical Oceanography Conference in New Hampshire

July: UConn and Dartmouth groups sample in the Delaware River


June: Most of the Mason Lab participates in the International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant in Jeju, Korea

The Mason group plus others on an outing on Jeju Island, Korea. From left, front, anti-clockwise: EunHee Kim, Emily, Katlin Bowman, Brian, Sofi, Zosia, Nash, Rob, Celia Chen and her daughter, Jane.

Rob and Celia sampling the local seafood during the trip.

January: Rob attends the US Arctic Geotraces meeting in Miami

January: Emily takes the comprehensive exam and passes!


December: Rob presents at the AGU meeting in San Francisco

October: Sofi Jonsson arrives from Sweden on a two year fellowship

October: Zofia samples mangroves in French Guiana

August: Zofia Baumann arrives as a new Assistant Research Professor in the department and starts working with the mercury research group

July: Emily, Prentiss, Nash, and Brian involved in mesocosm experiments as part of the NSF OHHI project

June: Rob presents at the Goldschmidt conference in sacramento

June: Rob and Emily attend the Gordon Research Conference on Oceans and Human Health. Rob is an invited speaker.

May: Nash completes her general exam and thesis proposal defense in Chemistry, advances to candidacy

February: Kati presents at the Ocean Sciences meeting in Hawaii


December: Brian defends his thesis proposal and advances to candidacy

November: Kati defends her thesis proposal and advances to candidacy

September-December: Rob on sabbatical at Woods Hole and Harvard

September: Mason Lab samples local sites in Stonington and Waterford, CT

August: Roni defends her Master’s thesis!

August: Prentiss, Kati, Roni, Emily, and Brian sample Mount Desert Island

July-August: Rob, Prentiss, Kati, Roni, and Brian attend the 11th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant in Edinburgh, Scotland

July: Prentiss, Kati, Roni, and Emily sample Chesapeake Bay

July: Emily joins the Mason Lab

June: Prentiss and Kati sample Lake Melville

May: Susan defends her PhD thesis and graduates!

April: Rob attends ACS Meeting in New Orleans

April: Rob’s book published: Trace Metals in Aquatic Systems

February: Rob external examiner, Umea University


October: Nash, a chemistry PhD student, joins the research group

September: The movie Mercury: From Source to Seafood launched

September: Rob attends the International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment in Rome and presents a paper

August: Amina starts post-doc at Harvard

August: Amina, Prentiss, and Rob travel to Lake Melville, Labrador to collect samples

July: Amina, Prentiss, Brian, Roni and Kati all participate in a sampling trip on the Delaware River

June: Rob and Roni attend the Gordon Research Conference on Oceans and Human Health and make presentations

May: Amina defends her PhD thesis

May: Students make presentations at the Feng Colloquium at Avery Point

March: Amina, Prentiss, Roni and Rob make presentations at the GSA meeting in Hartford, CT

January: Rob returns to UConn from his position at NSF.


December: Rob attends AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

November: Amina, Susan, and Roni sampled water column and sediments in the Delaware River.

October: Prentiss, Brian, and Kati participate in Pacific Ocean cruise from Hawaii to Samoa aboard the R/V Kilo Moana.

July: Mason lab presents research at 10th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

June: Roni goes to Cape Town, South Africa to work with the Cape Province Department of Environmental Affairs.

Summer: Kati goes to Japan to participate in NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Intstitutes for U.S. Graduate Students program.

May 6: UD defends his PhD thesis!


August: Amina and Susan present work at ACS in Boston

August: Kati, Prentiss and Tristan participate in northwest Atlantic shelf cruise with Fitzgerald and Hammerschmidt lab groups.

August: Rob, Prentiss, Susan, Kati, Tristan and others participate in research cruise from Bermuda

July: Brian joins Mason lab

June: Tristan graduates from Wesleyan and joins the MIT/WHOI Joint Program working with Carl Lamborg’s Mercury Biogeochemistry Lab.

January: Rob begins 2 year rotator position at NSF in Chemical Oceanography

January 10: Two new students start in Mason Lab. Kati Gosnell, MS from Univ Florida, and Veronica Ortiz, BS from Roger Williams Univ


Late December: Rob presents at AGU in San Francisco

December 9th: Terill successful defends her PhD thesis, and becomes Dr Hollweg

November: Terill officially becomes a Knauss Fellow. Will spend a year in DC working at NOAA

November: Rob serves on NSF Panel in Washington, DC

November: Rob attends HTAP meeting in Toronto

September: Amina chosen as Long Island Sound Science Advisory Committee Intern with a one year Fellowship

September: Cruise on New England shelf/slope with Tristan, Susan, Prentiss and Allan on board

September: Cruise from Bermuda with Rob, Prentiss, Susan, and Tristan on board

August: Amina selected for the 2009 Long Island Sound Study Science & Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) Fellowship Program

August: Gen returns to Montreal

July/August: Terill, Gen, Amina, Udonna and Alan sample sites in coastal New England with colleagues from Dartmouth as part of a joint project

June: Amina awarded an I-RICH Summer Fellowship to do mercury work on Long Island Sound

June: Allan begins working in the lab. Prentiss starts working within both the Mason and Fitzgerald labs

June: Rob, Gen, Maria and Susan participate in a 5 day cruise from Bermuda

June: Rob, Terill, Amina, Susan and Maria attend the International Mercury Meeting in Guiyang, China

June: Rob presents at a meeting in Taiwan

May: Maria returns to Gotenborg, Sweden to take up a position there

May: Amina takes her written Comprehensive Exams

February: Maria and Gen go on research trip to Bermuda. Maria there for 3 weeks

February: Rob presents at the SFEI Meeting in Oakland, CA


December: Rob attends and presents at AGU

December: Rob makes a presentation at a meeting in Taiwan. Visits research site of former student, Guey -Rong Sheu

October: Rob travels to Vietnam for the Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollutants (HTAP) Taskforce meeting and makes a presentation

October: Rob and Terill have presentations at GSA Meeting in Houston

Sept: Maria participates on a cruise at the BATS station. Also spends times collecting air and water samples in Bermuda.

August: Maria, Amina, and Tristan participate in a cruise in the coastal/shelf region of New England

July/August: Terill and Genevieve collect samples at Northeast coastal sites as part of the Dartmouth/Superfund project

July/August: Rob spends 5 weeks in South Africa with three students (Susan, Alex and Nikki) collecting samples and visiting universities as part of the NSF-International Programs funded study

July: Andrew Crouch and Shirley le Roux visit from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

July: Terill successfully completes her PhD Comprehensive Exams

July: Bian Liu leaves and starts a new position at the University of Geneva

June: Susan, Maria and Rob setup rain and air sampling equipment on Bermuda

June: Rob and Susan take part in a Geotracers Intercalibration cruise in the North Atlantic

May: Rob visits Korea and then China. Gives a plenary presentation at the 10th International Estuaries Biogeochemistry Symposium

April: Rob in Rome for a UNEP Fate and Transport Workgroup Meeting

April: Maria Andersson joins the group as a post-doc

March: Alta de Waal and Christiaan van der Walt visit from CSIR, South Africa.

February: Rob visits Sweden to act as external examiner for Maria Andersson

January: Rob attends UNIDO Mercury meeting in Bangkok