Robert Peter Mason


Marine Sciences and Chemsitry

Rob MasonRobert (Rob) Mason joined the Department of Marine Sciences in Fall 2005 as a Professor of Marine Sciences, with a joint appointment in Chemistry. He came from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, specifically the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, MD where he was a faculty member for 11 years. Rob completed his PhD in the Marine Sciences Department at UConn (Supervisor: Bill Fitzgerald) in 1991, and then did a post doc at MIT with Francois Morel and Harry Hemond as advisors. Rob came to the US in 1987 from South Africa at the start of his PhD.

Since 1987, Rob has focused on many aspects of mercury and trace element biogeochemical cycling in diverse environments, including the atmosphere, coastal and offshore waters of the ocean, and in lakes and rivers, with the help of many students, post-docs and collaborators. The focus of current and recent research is the important transformation processes in the sediment, water and air, and at the interfaces (sediment/water and air/sea) for mercury, methylmercury and metals and how these impact bioavailability and bioaccumulation into aquatic organisms. Mercury inputs come from both natural and anthropogenic sources and it appears that man’s activities have exacerbated the mercury problem globally and locally. Elevated levels of methylmercury in fish are an important human and ecosystem health concern, and as the links between inputs of inorganic mercury and accumulation of methylmercury in fish are complex and involve many steps, these links have been the focus of much study.

To date, Rob has graduated 13 PhD and 8 MS students during his academic career. His PhD graduates in order of graduation (with year) are: Jani Benoit (2000); Guey-Rong Sheu (2001); Joy Leaner (2001); EunHee Kim (2004); Carrie Miller (2005); Terill Hollweg (2010); Udonna Ndu (2011); Amina Schartup (2012); Susan Gichuki (2013), Kati Gosnell (2016), Nashaat Mazrui (2016), Brian DiMento (2017) and Emily Seelen (2018). MS students in order of graduation (with year) are: Nikki Lawson (1996); Angie Lawrence (1998); Auja Sveinsdottir (1999); Kelly McAloon (2001); Christine Bergeron (2002); Lindsay Whalin (2002); Mike Rearick (2004) and Roni Ortiz (2013).

Contact Information
860-9108779 (cell)
Office LocationRoom 388
CampusAvery Point
Office Hoursby appointment
CoursesChemical Oceanogrpahy; Environmental Chemistry