Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Plants, Soils, and Climate


Astrid Jacobson


Methylmercury (MeHg) is a highly potent neurotoxic form of the environmental pollutant Mercury (Hg). The processes that are responsible for the conversion of Hg to MeHg are known to be both biotic and abiotic in freshwater systems. Although MeHg contamination is well documented in Great Salt Lake (GSL), the conversion of Hg into MeHg is not well-understood in saline environments much less in hypersaline waters such as GSL. The GSL is a broad, shallow high altitude (1280 m above sea level) lake that is exposed to large amounts of ultraviolet radiation and evaporation, which lead to great volatilization losses of Hg to the atmosphere that may in turn contaminate other bodies of water. In this review biotic and abiotic Hg methylation pathways that are known to occur in marine environments, are investigated to identify the most likely causes for the high amounts of MeHg present in GSL.

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Soil Science Commons