Amina Schartup

Amina Schartup
Harvard University | Harvard · Area of Environmental Science and Engineering

PhD

About

38
Publications
10,801
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,091
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2019 - present
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
July 2015 - July 2019
Harvard University
Position
  • Research Associate
August 2012 - June 2015
Harvard University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
August 2006 - August 2012
University of Connecticut
Field of study
  • Oceanography
September 2004 - July 2006
Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris
Field of study
  • Geochemistry
October 2001 - June 2004
Paris Descartes University
Field of study
  • Chemistry

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
Methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations can increase by up to 100,000 times between seawater and marine phytoplankton but levels vary across sites. To better understand how ecosystem properties affect variability in planktonic MeHg concentrations, we develop a model for MeHg uptake and trophic transfer at the base of marine food webs. The model success...
Article
Full-text available
Metagenomic analysis of Antarctic sea-ice and brine reveals the presence of hgcAB-like genes in the microaerophilic marine bacterium Nitrospina. These are similar to ones responsible for mercury methylation in anaerobic microorganisms and provide a plausible mechanism for mercury methylation in oxic marine environments.
Article
Full-text available
Elevated levels of neurotoxic methylmercury in Arctic food-webs pose health risks for indigenous populations that consume large quantities of marine mammals and fish. Estuaries provide critical hunting and fishing territory for these populations, and, until recently, benthic sediment was thought to be the main methylmercury source for coastal fish....
Article
Full-text available
Methylmercury (MeHg) exposure can cause adverse reproductive and neurodevelopmental health effects. Estuarine fish may be exposed to MeHg produced in the terrestrial environment, benthic sediment and the marine water column but the relative importance of each source is poorly understood. We measured stable isotopes of mercury (δ²⁰²Hg, Δ¹⁹⁹Hg, and Δ...
Article
Methylmercury (MeHg) is the only species of mercury (Hg) to biomagnify in aquatic food-webs to levels that are a widespread concern for human and ecological health. Here we investigate the association between dissolved organic matter (DOM) in seawater and Hg speciation and uptake using experimental data and field measurements from Long Island Sound...
Article
Full-text available
Arctic mercury (Hg) concentrations respond to changes in anthropogenic Hg emissions and environmental change. This manuscript, prepared for the 2021 Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme Mercury Assessment, explores the response of Arctic Ocean Hg concentrations to changing primary Hg emissions and to changing sea-ice cover, river inputs, and...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic mercury (Hg) emissions have driven marked increases in Arctic Hg levels, which are now being impacted by regional warming, with uncertain ecological consequences. This Review presents a comprehensive assessment of the present-day total Hg mass balance in the Arctic. Over 98% of atmospheric Hg is emitted outside the region and is trans...
Article
Selenium (Se) has a narrow range between nutritionally optimal and toxic concentrations for many organisms, including fish and humans. However, the degree to which humans are affecting Se concentrations in coastal food webs with diffuse Se sources is not well described. Here we examine large-scale drivers of spatio-temporal variability in Se concen...
Article
Amina Schartup relates how our understanding of methylmercury has changed in the 170 years since it was discovered — as well as some of the disasters that occurred along the way.
Article
Full-text available
Significance Plastic waste causes harm to marine life and has become a major global environmental concern. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased demand for single-use plastic, intensifying pressure on this already out-of-control problem. This work shows that more than eight million tons of pandemic-associated plastic waste have been...
Preprint
Mismanaged plastics accumulate in oceans and threaten marine life. About 40 million tonnes of plastics have reached the oceans, where their fate remains unclear. To track the sources, sinks, sizes, and age of all-time released plastics, we developed a new mechanistic model and synthesized decades of measurements. We find that Asian plastics are the...
Article
Diverse airborne microbes affect human health and biodiversity, and the Sahara region of West Africa is a globally important source region for atmospheric dust. We collected size-fractionated (>10, 10-2.5, 2.5-1.0, 1.0-0.5, and <0.5 μm) atmospheric particles in Mali, West Africa and conducted the first cultivation-independent study of airborne micr...
Article
Arctic sea-ice regulates the air-sea exchange of volatile mercury (Hg) species like dimethylmercury (DMHg) or elemental Hg, and is known to host Hg methylating microbes that produce neurotoxic and biomagnifying monomethylmercury (MMHg). Arctic sea-ice accounts for 57% of the total primary production in the Arctic Ocean suggesting that it could be t...
Article
Full-text available
Monomethylmercury (CH3Hg) is the only form of mercury (Hg) known to biomagnify in food webs. Here we investigate factors driving methylated mercury [MeHg = CH3Hg + (CH3)2Hg)] production and degradation across the global ocean and uptake and trophic transfer at the base of marine food webs. We develop a new global 3-D simulation of MeHg in seawater...
Article
Full-text available
More than three billion people rely on seafood for nutrition. However, fish are the predominant source of human exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), a potent neurotoxic substance. In the United States, 82% of population-wide exposure to MeHg is from the consumption of marine seafood and almost 40% is from fresh and canned tuna alone¹. Around 80% of th...
Article
Full-text available
Oxygen depleted areas are spreading in coastal and offshore waters worldwide but the implication for production and bioaccumulation of neurotoxic methylmercury (MeHg) is uncertain. We combined observations from six cruises in the Baltic Sea with speciation modeling and incubation experiments to gain insights into mercury (Hg) dynamics in oxygen dep...
Article
Full-text available
Levels of neurotoxic methylmercury (MeHg) in phytoplankton are strongly associated with water MeHg concentrations. Because uptake by phytoplankton is the first and largest step of bioaccumulation in aquatic food webs many studies have investigated factors driving seasonal changes in water MeHg concentrations. Organic matter (OM) is widely accepted...
Article
Full-text available
Developing Canadian hydroelectric resources is a key component of North American plans for meeting future energy demands. Microbial production of the bioaccumulative neurotoxin methylmercury (MeHg) is stimulated in newly flooded soils by degradation of labile organic carbon and associated changes in geochemical conditions. We find all 22 Canadian h...
Article
Full-text available
Eutrophication is expanding worldwide, but its implication for production and bioaccumulation of neurotoxic monomethylmercury (MeHg) is unknown. We developed a mercury (Hg) biogeochemical model for the Baltic Sea and used it to investigate the impact of eutrophication on phytoplankton MeHg concentrations. For model evaluation we measured total meth...
Article
Full-text available
The Delaware River Estuary (DRE) is a cornerstone of industrialization, shipping, and urban usage, and has a long history of human impact on pollution and recovery. Mercury (Hg) is a contaminant of concern in the DRE based upon concentrations in some fish samples that were found to exceed State and Federal fish tissue criteria. Methylation of Hg of...
Article
Full-text available
Elevated biological concentrations of methylmercury (MeHg), a bioaccumulative neurotoxin, are observed throughout the Arctic Ocean but major sources and degradation pathways in seawater are not well understood. We develop a mass budget for mercury species in the Arctic Ocean based on available data since 2004 and discuss implications and uncertaint...
Article
Full-text available
Mercury resistant bacteria play a critical role in mercury biogeochemical cycling in that they convert methylmercury (MeHg) and inorganic mercury to elemental mercury, Hg(0). To date there are very few studies on the effects of speciation and bioavailability of MeHg in these organisms, and even fewer studies on the role that binding to cellular lig...
Article
Full-text available
As mercury (Hg) biosensors are sensitive to only intracellular Hg, they are useful in the investigation of Hg uptake mechanisms and the effects of speciation on Hg bioavailability to microbes. In this study, bacterial biosensors were used to evaluate the roles that several transporters such as the glutathione, cystine/cysteine, and Mer transporters...
Conference Paper
Estuarine water column methylmercury (MeHg) is an important driver of bioaccumulation in pelagic organisms so it is important to understand the sources and cycling of MeHg. As MeHg biomagnifies in food webs, increased water column concentrations can be transferred to fish consumed by humans. Few studies have taken a multi-estuary approach to look a...
Article
Mercury (Hg) speciation and the activity of Hg(II)-methylating bacteria are responsible for the rate of methylmercury (MeHg) production and thus bioaccumulation in marine foodwebs. Factors affecting porewater partitioning (Kd) and methylation of Hg(II) were examined at 11 sites in sediment of 4 biogeochemically diverse estuaries in the Northeast U....
Article
Full-text available
An examination of the distribution of mercury and methylmercury across estuarine ecosystems in the northeast USA was completed under a number of projects. Sites ranged from Maine to the Chesapeake Bay and included both pristine and contaminated sites. In addition to measurements of bulk sediment and porewater, methylation and demethylation rates we...
Article
Methylmercury (MeHg) affects wildlife and human health mainly through marine fish consumption. In marine systems, MeHg is formed from inorganic mercury (HgII) species primarily in sediments then accumulates and biomagnifies in the food web. Most of the fish consumed in the US are from estuarine and marine systems highlighting the importance of unde...
Conference Paper
Elevated levels of methylmercury (MeHg) in fish is a global human health and environmental concern and coastal systems, which are little studied, could be important conduits for the production and trophic transfer of MeHg. Water, sediment, and biota were therefore sampled to study MeHg production and bioaccumulation in both contaminated and pristin...
Article
Full-text available
The methylation of mercury (Hg) is an important step in the biogeochemical cycling and bioaccumulation of methylmercury in marine organisms. The rate of methylation is controlled by both the chemical bioavailability of Hg to methylating organisms and their activity. It is known that methylation rate decreases in sulfidic environments, especially in...

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
We would like to invite you to submit an abstract to the Special Session Topic 1d - Mercury cycling, bioaccumulation and health impacts in polar regions at the 13th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (http://mercury2017.com/) to be held 16-21 July 2017 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Our session will explore the latest research advances in mercury speciation, transport and bioaccumulation in polar ecosystems, with the aim of providing an improved understanding of the processes driving the Arctic and Antarctic mercury cycles. We welcome abstracts using field, experimental and modeling tools to study all aspects of the polar mercury cycle. The abstract submission deadline is December 15th, 2016. The link to the abstract submission instructions is: http://mercury2017.com/participate/call-for-abstracts/.
Please forward this invitation to others who you think may be interested.
Amina Schartup, Birgit Braune, Anne Soerensen
Session Co-Chairs
Question
I have been running into a very strange analytical problem with a batch of sediment samples:
- I run a perfect calibration, beautiful OPRs, run some samples without any issues.
- When I run the 1st "problem" sample I get an Hg0 and HgII peak but no MeHg
- All the subsequent samples/OPRs run after the "problem" sample come out as flat lines.
- The next day the instrument runs fine.
PS: the sediment was distilled prior to ethylation and analysis, I am using EPA 1630 with H2SO4 digestion.
Has anyone ever encountered a similar problem?

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Creation of hydroelectric reservoirs accelerates the production of neurotoxic methylmercury, which cycles through the the environment and local aquatic food webs. This presents risks and dilemmas for individuals and policy makers. This project enhances scientific capacity to anticipate these impacts and to improve decision-making around reservoir design and siting and public health advice.
Archived project
In this project we use a combination of field work and laboratory and modelling studies to improve our understanding of the impact of eutrophication and climate change on mercury concentrations in food webs.