Objective: To determine the impact that a hydrological disturbance has on wetland MeHg production, what other factors contribute to the formation of MeHg in the wetland, and how much MeHg is getting into wetland invertebrates (Gammaridae). 

Water samples from Big Meadow Bog have been collected seasonally since 2018 providing data to look for seasonal and temporal trends on movement of MeHg and impacts.

Methylmercury (MeHg) is a neurotoxin and can cause severe health issues in humans if it’s excessively consumed through things like contaminated fish. 

Because MeHg is bioaccumulative and biomagnifies through food webs, we can look at low-trophic level species like invertebrates to determine how much MeHg is being taken into the food web from the environment.

Holly Turner

Holly is studying methylmercury (MeHg) in Big Meadow Bog on Brier Island, NS as part of Dr. Nelson O’Driscoll’s lab. Holly explains, “with the increasing demand for hydroelectric power, it’s important to understand how flooding and reservoir creation may impact mercury cycling in aquatic ecosystems”.

Holly says, “I love studying Environmental Science because it allows me to get out into the field and learn about the things I’m most passionate about. My main research interest is the relationship between the environment and our health, something that I’m able to explore with this project and hopefully continue in the future”.

Click here to view Holly’s research poster.