Sunderland, Elsie

Elsie Sunderland
Mark and Catherine Winkler Assistant Professor of Aquatic Science, Harvard School of Public Health


Harvard School of Public Health


Biographical Statement

Professor Elsie Sunderland is part of the faculty of the Department of Environmental Health in Harvard's School of Public Health.  She is also affiliated with Harvard's Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Professor Sunderland is interested in the coupled interactions between natural ecosystems and human health.  She studies how changes in biogeochemical processes, fate and transport of contaminants, and food-web bioaccumulation affects human exposures and risks.

Her research combines best available mechanistic knowledge and empirical data to develop models at a variety of scales ranging from ecosystems to global applications that characterize the impacts of past and future change in climate and human emissions of contaminants of human and ecological health.

Selected Publications: 

E.S. Corbitt, D.J. Jacob, C.D. Holmes, D.G. Streets, E.M. Sunderland. 2011. Global source-receptor relationships for mercury deposition under present-day and 2050 emissions scenarios. Environmental Science and Technology. ASAP. doi: 10.1021/es202496y.

D.G. Streets, M.K. Devane, Z. Lu, T.C. Bond, E.M. Sunderland, D.J. Jacob. 2011. All-time releases of mercury to the atmosphere from human activities. Environmental Science and Technology. ASAP. doi: 10.1021/es202496y.

A. Quereshi, M. MacLeod, E. Sunderland, And K. Hungerbuhler. 2012. “Exchange of mercury between the oceans and atmosphere.” In: G. Liu, Y. Cai, N. O’Driscoll. Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology of Mercury. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, USA, pp. 389-422. ISBN 978-0-470-57872-8.

K.R. Mahaffey, E.M. Sunderland, H.M. Chan, A.L. Choi, P. Grandjean, K. Marien, E. Oken, R. Schoeny, P. Weihe, C-H. Yan, A. Yasutake. 2011. Balancing benefits of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the risks of methylmercury exposures from fish consumption. Nutrition Reviews. 69(9):493-508.

A.L. Soerensen, E.M. Sunderland, C.D. Holmes, D.J. Jacob, R. Yantosca, H. Skov, J. Christensen, S.A. Strode, R.P. Mason. 2010. An improved global simulation of mercury air-sea exchange: High concentrations in the North Atlantic. Environmental Science and Technology, 44(22): 8574-8580.

Education + Credentials
B.Sc., McGill University, Canada
Ph.D., Simon Fraser University, Canada

Recent Publications

Journal Article
Zhang, Y., D.J. Jacob, S. Dutkiewicz, H.M. Amos, M.S. Long and E.M. Sunderland (2015). Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 29(6): 854-864