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Pianpian Wu

Postdoc researcher at the Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, SLU Uppsala. I work with research topics on mercury and methylmercury in food webs of freshwater ecosystems within Sweden and China. I am particularly interested in how environmental changes (abiotic) and ecological behaviour (biotic) shape mercury biogeochemical cycles in freshwaters.


I work with mercury biogeochemical cycling in aquatic ecosystems. My current research primarily focuses on mercury bioaccumulation and bioavailability at the base of the food chain in aquatic ecosystems. The aim is to understand on how mercury and its organic form, methylmercury, get into the food chain from water to plankton and macroinvertebrates for further bioaccumulation. 



1. Forest clearcutting effects of mercury bioaccumulation in Swedish lacustrine ecosystems
A 5-year collaborated research project with Umeå University that contribute to the elucidation of hot time and spots that result in high Hg level in fish (Perca fluviatilis) living in boreal forest lakes.

Audioslides presentation: Does forest harvest increase the mercury concentration in fish? Evidence from Swedish lakes

2. Beaver pond effects of mercury bioaccumulation in the base of the food chain of river ecosystems
Explore the role of newly built beaver ponds with enhanced water MeHg compared to before and old ponds, and how this enhancement will impact biota from the base of the food chain (macroinvertebrates) to aquatic mammals, as well as the role of macrophytes in reallocating aquatic MeHg to terrestrial environments.

3. Mercury bioaccumulation and fatty acid profiles in Swedish and Chinese lake food webs

Field sampling took place in 7 different Swedish lakes includes lake Erken and 6 different Chinese reservoirs for water and biota (macroinvertebrates, phytoplankton and zooplankton, and fish) collection. Samples were then used for mercury bioaccumulation and fatty acids profile studies in freshwater lakes in Sweden and China. We intended to use fatty acids as biomarkers to quantify and qualify the mercury bioaccumulation patterns under different trophic statuses of lakes. This research project is supported by Sino-Swedish Mercury Management Research Framework (SMaReF) funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR).


Bilateral research collaboration program Sino-Swedish Mercury Research Framework (SMaReF) lines up researcher from within Sweden (Swedish Univeristy of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå University, Uppsala University, and Stockholm Univeristy) and China (State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Southwest University).


I recieved my PhD at SLU working on "Methylercury in boreal freshwaters" in 2017, before I had my master programme study on Ecological Management of Catchments at Uppsala University, with a 5-month study in France as an Erasmus exchange student for an ecotoxicological research project. I used to work at different positions in a biotechnology enterprise for a couple of years back in China. Since coming to Sweden in 2010, I've been accumulating research and study experiences on environmental science.

Selected publications

Wu P., Bishop K., von Brömssen C., Eklöf K., Futter M., Hultberg H., Martin J., Åkerblom S. (2018). Does forest harvest increase the mercury concentrations in fish? Evidence from Swedish lakes. Science of the Total Environment, 622-623

Herrero Ortega, S., Catalán, N., Björn, E., Gröntoft, H., Hilmarsson, T.G., Bertilsson, S., Wu, P., Bishop, K., Levanoni, O. & Bravo, A.G. (2017) High methylmercury formation in ponds fueled by fresh humic and algal derived organic matter. Limnology and Oceanography

Åkerblom, S., Negm, N., Wu, P., Bishop, K. & Ahrens, L. (2017). Variation and accumulation patterns of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in European perch (Perca fluviatilis) across a gradient of pristine Swedish lakes. Science of the Total Environment: 599.

Abeysinghe, K.S., Qiu, G., Goodale, E., Anderson, C.W.N., Bishop, K., Evers, D.C., Goodale, M.W., Hintelmann, H., Liu, S., Mammides, C., Quan, R.-C., Wang, J., Wu, P., Xu, X.-H., Yang, X.-D. & Feng, X. (2017). Mercury flow through an Asian rice-based food web. Environmental Pollution: 229.

Catalán, N., Herrero Ortega, S., Gröntoft H., Hilmarsson T. G., Bertilsson S., Wu P., Levanoni O., Bishop K., Bravo A. G. (2016). Effects of beaver impoundments on dissolved organic matter quality and biodegradability in boreal riverine systems. Hydrobiologia: 1-14.