Alumni

Wang Zheng

Wang Zheng

Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Toronto

My research primarily focuses on the biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and the application of their isotope systems in Earth and environmental sciences. I apply high precision elemental and isotopic analysis, a combination of laboratory experiments and fielding sampling and multi-disciplinary approaches to study the source, transformation and fate of trace elements from molecular to global scales. One of the major elements that I have been studying is mercury (Hg), a global pollutant that has received increasing attention. Stable isotope fractionation of Hg is a powerful tool in tracing Hg cycle in the environment.

MAGNET program has offered me valuable opportunities in research, mentoring, collaboration, internship and academic networking. As a MAGNET postdoctoral fellow in University of Toronto, I studied Hg isotope compositions in biological deposits in the Antarctic, and found that the isotope compositions of Hg can be a valuable tracer for Hg methylation and bioaccumulation in the marine ecosystem. I also completed two large-scale studies on Hg isotope signatures in forest and soils across United States and Hawaii Island. These studies have important implications in understanding the source-receptor relationship between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems and in modeling the global biogeochemical cycle of Hg. I mentored several students for their research projects on Hg isotope fractionation during photochemical reactions in seawater and the variation of Hg isotope compositions in plankton as a function of solar irradiation. I also had an excellent internship and collaborated with Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar on compound specific carbon isotope fractionation during biodegradation of chloroform. Now I have finished the two-year MAGNET postdoctoral fellowship and am going to start a research associate position in Arizona State University.