Bridget Bergquist

Professor & Associate Chair - Undergraduate (on research leave until July 2024)


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

The primary aim of my research program is to increase our understanding of the biogeochemical cycles that are important for life on Earth and how these cycles have evolved over time through the use of trace metal and stable isotope geochemistry. Besides the inherent importance of metals in the environment (i.e., in their roles as nutrients or toxins), the chemistry of metals is often linked to, or plays a controlling role in, environmental processes including carbon cycling, ocean circulation, and weathering and transport of chemicals in nature.  Understanding metals in the environment is especially important in a changing world where human activities are perturbing many natural cycles and will have impacts on our food sources, health, and climate.  However, the biogeochemical cycles of many metals are not well constrained.  New analytical advancements, especially in multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS), have opened the door for investigation of stable isotope fractionation of many metals.  Isotopic variations of elements are powerful as tracers/proxies of environmental processes and can be used to identify and quantify sources and sinks, to understand biogeochemical cycles, and as proxies for significant climate variables and environmental processes.  Combining research on metal biogeochemistry (both laboratory and field) with studies of natural metal isotopic variations has the potential to yield insights into the modern global cycles of metals as well as past conditions on Earth.  Specifically, I am using this approach to improve our understanding of the Fe cycle of the ocean, Hg biogeochemical cycling and bioaccumulation, and also Ca weathering and transport.


PhD, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program
BS Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison
BS Geology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Administrative Service

Associate Chair, Undergraduate