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Talking about African fish mercury contamination at the 2014 International Congress on Fish Biology

by Dalal Hanna

Since 2003, every year, hundreds of fish biologists gather from around the globe to talk about their research, share knowledge and exchange ideas. In August of 2014, I was awarded a QCBS Excellence Award, which allowed me to attend this year’s addition of the conference, which was held in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

A picture of the Heriot Watt University, where the conference was held.

During the conference, I gave a 15 minute talk about my research on mercury contamination in African freshwater fish during a session entitled “Fish in a toxic world”. I talked about results from a review I conducted compiling information from 30 studies on mercury contamination in fish across Africa. This study showed overall low levels of mercury in African fish for which information was available, in spite of important point sources of mercury contamination for artisanal gold mining. These results suggest that something particular is going on with fish mercury absorption in Africa, perhaps limiting the amount of mercury they uptake. Finding out more about mercury dynamics in Africa will be an important step in improving our understanding and management of this neurotoxin.

Title slide of my presentation

Sharing these findings with a room filled with passionate fish biologists was a thrill. The questions, feedback and comments I received after the talk were also really a help in improving my work, which I later published in the journal Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.
What an awesome opportunity! Thank you to the QCBS.

Post date: March 07, 2017


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