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Global Mercury Observation and Training Network in support to the Minamata Convention


Project timeline
January 2020
48 months
December 2023
General Information
With the signing of the UNEP Minamata Convention in 2013, governments have globally accepted that Mercury (Hg) is of global relevance and toxic; scientific needs will therefore shift towards best implementation practices of the Convention. With most Hg emissions emanating from the energy-industrial sector governments have to balance economic and environmental interests. How does one asses that balance? Biogeochemical Hg cycling is complex: superimposed on the strongly perturbed inorganic Hg cycle is the natural process of bio-methylation that generates the bio-accumulating monomethyl-Hg form that we are all exposed to when we consume fish. Today, comprehensive multimedia models of the bio-geochemical Hg cycle are being developed and capture this complexity to try and evaluate the effectiveness of environmental policy scenarios. For the models to work however, they must include realistic descriptions of fundamental Hg transformations and fluxes across Earth’s surface environments.
Despite decades of Hg science, we still lack answers to some of the most basic questions on those fundamental Hg transformations and fluxes. The objectives of the GMOS-Train network are (1) to provide urgently needed training in mercury science within the context of the UNEP Minamata convention, and (2) to bridge key knowledge gaps on bio-geochemical mercury cycling that currently hamper the optimization of national environmental policy regarding mercury emissions. The process of training a pool of 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESR) represents an excellent capacity building needed for the implementation of the Minamata Convention. Being trained in highly relevant research topic will enhance researchers’ career prospective and employability. Moreover, complimentary training in dissemination using Open Science principles, communication, exploitation and outreach will enforce the transfer of science results to effective policy making.
GMOS train is an European Training Network (ETN) in the frame of the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Program and will fund 15 PhD positions (the ESRs mentioned above), each for a 3 years duration, in total amounting to 540 ESR months. Hereon leads the work package ‘Multimedia modelling’ and employs two ESR working on ‘Modelling methylation and bio-accumulation of Hg in the marine environment’ and ‘Exploration of long-term observational data sets to examine ocean/atmosphere exchange processes of Hg’.
EU-Programme Acronym and Subprogramme AreaH2020-MSCA-ITN-2019
Project TypeMarie Skłodowska-Curie EuropeanTraining Network
Contract NumberGrant Agreement 860497
Co-ordinatorInstitut Jozef Stefan (SI)
Funding for the Project (€) Funding for Hereon (€)
Contact Person at Hereon Prof. Dr. Ebinghaus, Institute of Coastal Environmental Chemistry, KU, Phone: +49 4152 87 2354 and Dr. Bieser, Institute of Coastal Systems - Analysis and Modeling Matter, Transport and Ecosystem Dynamics, KST, Phone: +49 4152 87 2334 and Dr. Volker Matthias, Institute of Coastal Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry Transport Modeling, KUT, Phone +49 4152 87 2346
E-mail contact
Worldwide Europe

CNRS (FR), Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche (IT), Institut Francais de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer IFREMER (FR), IOS, Institut za Okoljevarstvo in Senzorje, Doo (SI), Jozef Stefan Institute (SI), PS Analytical Ltd (UK), Stockholms Universitet (SE), Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour (FR), Universite d'aix Marseille (FR), Universite Grenobles Alpes (FR)
GMOS-Train website
Last Update: 16. April 2021