Mercury Group


The mercury (Hg) research group at the GET laboratory is a dynamic environment of researchers and students who study the biogeochemical cycle of Hg. Our main focus is the use of Hg stable isotopes as tracers for natural and anthropogenic Hg sources and Hg cycling. We explore the Hg cycle from emissions (volcanoes, industries) to atmospheric transformations (Pic du Midi) to the main exposure environments (Arctic, oceans) and exposed populations (children, indigenous people, gold-miners).

contact: Jeroen Sonke - jeroen.sonke@get.omp.eu

follow us on Twitter: @GET_Hg


Tara affiche

November 2018 - Jeroen Sonke, Roman Teisserenc, Oleg Pokrovsky and team members lead a new PNAS paper on river mercury flux to the Arctic Ocean. The study presents the first comprehensive river Hg budget, and proposes a new paradigm of Arctic Hg cycling that includes net Hg emissions from the Ocean to atmosphere. Read the CNRS Press Alert.

November 2018 - Jeroen Sonke, Martin Jiskra and Yang Xu co-author a new Nature Communications paper on atmospheric mercury photoreduction. The study unveils new gas-phase reactions that lead to a doubling of the atmospheric life-time of mercury with consequence for mercury deposition patterns and ecosystem loading. Read the CNRS Press Alert.

March 2018 - Martin Jiskra and Jeroen Sonke lead a new Nature Geoscience publication on the plant mercury pump. Based on seasonal correlations between CO2, mercury and satellite derived primary productivity, they describe how vegetation takes up half of global anthropogenic Hg emissions annualy (1000 tons/y). Read the CNRS Press Alert

July 2017 - Martin Jiskra and Jeroen Sonke co-author a new Nature publication on the Arctic Hg cycle. The 2-year Hg flux and Hg isotope study of a tundra ecosystem shows that year-round plant uptake of atmospheric gaseous elemental Hg(0) dominates Hg(II) wet deposition. The findings explain elevated tundra soil Hg levels as the source for Hg in river run-off to the Arctic Ocean where the Hg integrates marine foodwebs and causes harm to local sea food consuming human populations. Read the CNRS Press Release and INSU PARCS project website.

May 2017 - Maxime Enrico, the Hg group & OMP colleagues reconstruct the first millenial atmospheric gaseous Hg(0) record, showing how Middle Age deforestation and anthropogenic emissions lead to a 15x increase in atmospheric Hg(0). See ES&T publication.

December 2016 - Nicolas Marusczak and the Hg group use novel cation exchange membranes to sample atmospheric reactive oxidized Hg(II) compounds at the high altitude Pic du Midi Observatory. Results show 1.6x high levels than current commercial equipment, and has large implications for atmospheric Hg monitoring programmes and Hg models. See ES&T publication.

February 2016 - Maxime Enrico and the group lead a 'Highly Cited Paper' that shows Hg deposition to a peat bog and to continental surfaces in general is dominated by plant uptake of atmospheric gaseous elemental Hg(0) rather than wet deposition of Hg(II) forms. See ES&T publication.

February 2016 - Ruoyu Sun and Jeroen Sonke lead the first atmospheric Hg isotope emission inventory. See Elementa publication.

November 2015 - David Point and Jeremy Masbou lead a new Analytical Chemistry publication on the carbon isotopic composition of methylmercury in tuna fish. Read the INSU news feature.

October 2015 - Maxime Enrico succesfully defends his PhD research on "Hg stable isotopes in peat archives of atmospheric Hg deposition". Congratulations!

May 2015 - Lars-Eric Heimbürger and the mercury group at GET lead a new Scientific Reports publication on methylmercury distributions in the central Arctic Ocean. Read the INSU news feature.

October 2014 - Jeremy Masbou succesfully defends his PhD research on "Hg stable isotopes in arctic marine mammals". Congratulations!

July 2014 - Lars-Eric Heimbürger co-authors a new Nature publication on anthropogenic mercury in the oceans. Read the INSU, OMP and Le Monde news features.

November 2013 - Jeroen Sonke receives the DOW Chemical Company Award for Innovation in Mercury Science at the 11th ICMGP Conference in Edinburgh.

September 2013 - The Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Group (IQFR, Madrid), led by Alfonso Saiz-Lopez, joins us at the Pic du Mid for a parallel mercury and halogen survey of the free troposphere. Read more.

September 2013 - Ruoyu Sun succesfully defends his PhD research on "Hg stable isotopes in coal and coal fired power plants". Congratulations!

July 2013 - Lars-Eric Heimbürger and Jeroen Sonke will join the GEOTRACES Mediteranean & Black Sea oceanographic cruise to study the marine mercury cycle. The cruise will take place on the Dutch RV Pelagia. Contact Lars-Eric to participate in the GEOTRACES total mercury and methylmercury intercomparison study. More information on the Pelagia blog.

Mai 2013 - Lars-Eric Heimburger coordinates two Arctic marine mercury studies for the 2013 TARA OCEANS POLAR CIRCLE and the SVALBARD PROJECT expeditions. More info also on the EDF sponsor website.

Mai 2013 - Sonke & Heimburger lead a review on:

February 2013 – Valerie Chavagnac participates in an oceanographic expedition on the British RS James Cook to investigate the 5000m deep Cayman Islands hydrothermal system. Besides sampling for hydrogen and methane she will sample hydrothermal fluids for Hg analysis. http://intothecaymanabyss.blogspot.co.uk/

January 2013 – Publication of a Special Issue on “Advances in mercury stable isotope biogeochemistry” by Elsevier’s Chemical Geology. Edited by Jeroen Sonke and Joel Blum the special issue looks back on a decade of Hg stable isotope research. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00092541/336

October 2012 – Jeroen Sonke receives the CNRS medaille de bronze for his recent work on Hg stable isotope geochemistry. http://www.obs-mip.fr/index.php/actualites/actualites-scientifiques/distinction

June 2012 – Jeroen Sonke & Lars-Eric Heimbürger sign a News and Views editorial in Nature Geoscience on the state-of-the-science in Arctic Hg research. http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n7/full/ngeo1508.html

January 2011 – Kick-off of the new ANR-CESA “RIMNES” project, coordinated by Laurence Maurice. http://www.lmtg.obs-mip.fr/index.php/recherche/projet/rimnes

September 2011 - Nuits des chercheurs: - Portrait of a junior research scientist (Jeroen Sonke) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6Y0rtpJaHI

July 2011 - Mercury in the Arctic – CNRS International Magazine: http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/1883.htm

January 2011 - Mercury in the Arctic - INSU communique de presse : http://www.insu.cnrs.fr/a3678,banquise-arctique-controle-liberation-mercure.html

January 2011 – David Point & Jeroen Sonke lead-author a Nature Geoscience study on the use of Hg stable isotopes in an Arctic seabird biomonitor to quantify the role of sea-ice in the Arctic Hg cycle. http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n3/full/ngeo1049.html

December 2010 - ERC Starting Grant – OMP news: http://www.obs-mip.fr/index.php/fre/layout/set/print/actualites/actualites-scientifiques/premier-european-research-council-starting-grant

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