Global Mercury Observation Training Network … in connection to the UNEP Minamata Convention

Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana

The long-waited kick-off meeting of three-year GMOS-Train project was held on December 7-8 virtually via online zoom meeting, which recorded participation from numerous stakeholders of the project. GMOS-Train features strong inter-sectorial collaboration involving academic and non-academic partners, NGOs and international organisations. 15 early stage researchers (ESRs) hails from different parts of the world will be working on different projects in GMOS- Train work packages under expert supervision, leading to their Ph.D. degree from well renowned higher education institutions in Europe.

General structure of GMOS Train projects and information on different work packages. Read more at

Mercury is a ubiquitous toxic element present in our environment which is emanated from various anthropogenic sources as well as natural sources. Its toxicity depends on the type present in the system, and the most toxic form is methyl mercury having a great potential to bioaccumulate in higher organisms. UNEP Minamata convention aims to protect human health and environment from mercury and their harmful compounds. Considering the toxicity, complex biogeochemical cycle of mercury transformations and its global transportation within different environmental compartments, mercury research has gained more attention on outputs for the best implementation of this convention. Now a days, efforts are made in developing multimedia models to address this complexity in order to ascertain the feasibility of environmental policy scenarios. However, years of mercury research still lack answers to the foremost essential questions concerning the basic Hg changes and fluxes where its accurate description form the basis of these models to work. Therefore, GMOS-Train was created as a network-based, highly interdisciplinary training program to better understand the global exchange of mercury between different spheres of earth system such as atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere to fill key knowledge gaps in current understanding of biogeochemical mercury cycle. It includes training in atmospheric chemistry and physics, aquatic chemistry, ecology, analytical chemistry, multimedia modelling, and complimentary training in dissemination using open science principles, communication, exploitation and outreach that ensures the use of science results in effective policy making.

GMOS-Train is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 860497. Your queries can be directed to the GMOS-Train project coordinator Prof. Dr. Milena Horvat (, Head of Department of Environmental Sciences, Jožef Stefan Institute. Further informations regarding this project, work packages, management structure, researchers, supervisors, advisory board members, deliverables etc. can be found from the official website

by Sreekanth Nair Vijayakumaran