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Robin Stewart

Research Hydrologist

Contact Info

Short Biography

Robin Stewart has been a research hydrologist with U.S. Geological Survey's National Research Program (NRP) in Menlo Park since 2003.  She received an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia Canada in 1991 and a PhD in ecotoxicology from the University of Manitoba in 1998. Immediately following this she pursued a postdoctoral appointment with Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans in 1998 evaluating the fate and transport of organic contaminants during the 1997 Red River Flood.  In the spring of 1999 she began her postdoctoral research with the USGS National Research Program. 

For the past twenty years Robin Stewart's research has focused on identifying and understanding processes influencing the fate and bioavailability of selenium (Se), mercury (Hg), and organic contaminants in food webs across a range of aquatic environments including estuaries (San Francisco Bay and Puget Sound), rivers (Manitoba/North Dakota, Oregon, Wisconsin and Florida), lakes (Manitoba and Ontario), and tidal rivers and reservoirs (California).  Through a combination of field-based process studies, in situ monitoring of key biomonitors over short-term (<3 years) and long-term (>10 years) time series, biodyanamic modeling and knowledge gained through laboratory-based studies of physiological uptake she strives to identify critical processes controlling contaminant bioaccumulation in nature.  


My Science Topics

Science Topic
Ecology and Environmentaquatic ecosystems
Ecology and Environmentecological processes
Water Resourcesestuaries
Water Resourceslakes
Water Resourcessurface water quality
Water Resourcesdroughts
Water Resourcesfloodplains

My USGS Science Strategy Areas

Understanding Ecosystems & Predicting Ecosystems Change

Climate Variability & Change

Bioavailability, bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of selenium and mercury in dynamic aquatic ecosystems

Dietary contaminants such as selenium (Se), mercury (Hg) and organic chemicals have the potential to threaten fish and birds, and impede ecosystem restoration efforts in rivers, lakes and estuaries worldwide. For example, Se contamination remains an ongoing issue for resource managers because it is a by-product of common economic activities including coal-fire generation of electricity, oil refining, agriculture, and mining of phosphate, copper and uranium.  Understanding the complexities of Se behavior in ecosystems is critical because of the potential for future changes in Se source loading, water management, hydroclimatic conditions and ecosystem restoration that could alter Se exposures in the food web, potentially exacerbating the problem. 

Research Links

Image of Research Links

Contact Information

Robin Stewart
345 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025
650-329-4545 - Fax
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