Jennifer Cossaboon, current student in the MS in Environmental Health Sciences program, was recently featured in numerous national media publications for her startling findings on coastal mercury levels as they relate to seals and sea lions.
Apex predators such as seals accumulate mercury in their bodies, and Cossaboon and her colleagues found that waters surrounding the Año Nuevo state reserve contained many times more methylmercury than coastal sites free of seals, and that there was a spike in the amount present during the elephant seal molting season.
“…biological material coming from those animals was basically pulsing mercury into the system,” says Cossaboon.
- See the Washington Post article!
- See the KPBS article!
- Listen to the BBC Science in Action Interview!
- See the research article: Mercury offloaded in Northern elephant seal hair affects coastal seawater surrounding rookery