We study how the chemical structure of metal compounds control mechanisms and kinetics for reactions which are central for the cycling of metals in the environment.
Chemical and biological processes of trace metals - from molecule to ecosystem
The research is focused on studies of chemical and biological processes of metal compounds in ecosystems, biological systems and industrial processes. We develop new powerful analytical techniques and experimental strategies to study chemical form (speciation) and reaction mechanisms and rates of trace metal compounds. An important area of focus is the study biogeochemical processes of mercury (Hg) in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The research program aims to both understand such processes at the molecular level and to establish their importance in natural environmental systems.
To achieve these challenging objectives we develop analytical methods and experimental strategies to determine; molecular structure of Hg compounds, concentrations and thermodynamic stability constants of compounds and rate constants for their formation and degradation. We carry out experimental studies on both controlled model systems of varying complexity and on natural systems at realistic conditions. The developed methods and approaches are generally applicable to studies on trace metals, but the research program is well-focused on studies of how the chemical speciation of Hg controls its methylation and redox transformation reactions and bioaccumulation processes.
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