Udonna Ndu, Ph.D.
Dr. Udonna Ndu is an Environmental Engineer/Oceanographer and Research Specialist for the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative (GRIIDC). He specializes in mercury biogeochemical cycling in soils, lakes and estuaries. He obtained both a Masters (2007) and a doctorate (2011) in Environmental Engineering and Oceanography respectively from the University of Connecticut. For his doctoral research, he constructed whole cell methylmercury biosensors and used these devices to study methylmercury cycling in sediments, and to assess the effects of methylmercury speciation on its uptake into microbes. He developed biosensors that were used to investigate the role of thiol transporters on the uptake of mercury-thiol complexes into bacterial cells. He has completed a postdoctoral appointment at Duke University where he used diffusive gradients in thin film (DGT) passive samplers to describe the bioavailability of several geochemical forms of mercury labeled with enriched isotopes. He has also participated in a Center for Environmental Implications for Nanotechnology mesocosm project to evaluate the bioavailability of mercury nanoparticles and other geochemically relevant mercury species. Furthermore, he has spearheaded studies on mercury and other trace metal cycling in sediments, water column and biota of several lakes in the East African Rift Valley and assisted in mercury bioavailability studies in gold mining areas of Mali, West Africa.