New Case Study on Mercury Bioaccumulation

This case study was published by our very own IC-BG mentor, Caralyn Zehnder – Congrats Caralyn!!

Tuna for Lunch? A Case Study Examining Mercury Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification” by Caralyn B. Zehnder, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, GA.

This case examines mercury bioaccumulation and biomagnification within the context of the human health impacts of ingesting food (specifically, fish) contaminated with mercury.  It was inspired by a 2009 USGS report on mercury in fish, sediment, and water from streams across the U.S.  The case is intended to help students make the connection between an environmental contaminant (mercury, a neurotoxin) and the food they eat.  Human activities have been increasing mercury concentrations globally, and coal-burning power plants are the most common source of mercury pollution, a fact many students are unaware of. The case has been used in an introductory level environmental science class (predominantly non-majors), a non-majors general biology class, and a sophomore level ecology class (majors).

To directly access the case, teaching notes, supplemental materials, and key, go to the case record at:

To more generally explore the case collection, find our latest cases, and perform keyword searches, begin at:


About Dr. J. Metzker

I believe in the power of a liberal education to transform individuals and society. I am currently the Executive Director of the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence. Formerly, I led a community engagement initiative and held a full professorship in chemistry at a public liberal arts university. I am a proud product of The Evergreen State College.
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