Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), a nonprofit ecological research group based in Portland, Maine, conducts innovative wildlife science worldwide.
BRI’s Center for Mercury Studies plays a lead scientific role in understanding the exposure and effects of mercury on wildlife in New England, North America, and around the world. The Center for Waterbird Studies is dedicated to assessing current and emerging threats to waterbirds. The programs in our Center for Ecology and Conservation Research aim to understand the workings of wildlife and their habitats while exploring how ecological stressors affect different species and ecosystems.
BRI's researchers are available to talk to journalists and provide expert information on both their work and the broader topics of their expertise.
To set up interviews, contact:
Deborah McKew, Communications Director
BRI research on mercury transfer in birds was recently published in the journal, Environmental Science and Technology. The article, Synthesis of Maternal Transfer of Mercury in Birds: Implication for Altered Toxicity Risk, reviews published and unpublished data on maternal transfer of methylmercury in birds. Researchers used paired samples of females' blood and their eggs from 26 bird species in six taxonomic orders. The study shows that total mercury (THg) concentrations in eggs increases with maternal blood THg; however, the proportion of THg transferred from females to their eggs differed among bird taxa and with maternal THg exposure. This study provides equations that can be used to predict THg concentrations in eggs using female blood THg concentrations, and vice versa, which may help translate toxicity benchmarks across tissues and life stages in future studies.
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