Despite the pandemic, good progress was made developing a 1D Hg/MeHg bioaccumulation model. The idea of this model is that looking at ecosystem interactions in a simplified context allows to identify the driving processes for Hg/MeHg bioaccumulation. Due to the high performance of the 1d model, I can include all theoretical processes and perform a plethora of sensitivity runs wihtin a short timeframe. Moreover, getting rid of the advection signal allows to look at the ecosystem and bioaccumulation in isolation before making the leap to 3D modelling. This model will first of all help by increasing the understanding of interactions between mercury and the ecosystem, and additionally, it will help to make an easier transition to 3D models and save work and computational time down the line.

Currently, the model is parameterized for the Baltic sea and we model the uptake in 3 groups of phytoplankton and how it accumulates to micro-and-mesozooplankton. 2 groups of fish and macrobenthos are additionally ready to be added when we look at higher trophic levels. On top of that, the model is designed in a way that it can easily be transferred to different oceans by changing some key biogeochemical and hydrophysical parameters. Plankton receives most of the attention right now, as understanding what happens at the base is essential for understanding the rest of the food web, and I want to make sure that the basis is good. There is still work to be done, but the model is already presented at the Goldschmidt 2021 virtual conference and I have started working on the first publications..

Of course, the pandemic did cause some complications in combining family life with home office, as our 1-year-old prefers playtime over work time. But child care is available since June and we make it work, as we know we are not the only family in this situation.

To make the home office a bit nicer, I got some colourful attributes from my family, but despite the vivid work environment, I cannot wait until office work is at least partially resumed.

By David Amptmeijer (ESR 13)