COMERN is a pan-Canadian research network based at Université du Québec à Montréal and established in 2001 through the financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Our five-year mission is to integrate Canadian research efforts toward a better understanding of processes ruling mercury exchanges and accumulation in wide-scale ecosystems in the northern part of the American continent.
Recently, this ubiquitous and dangerous pollutant has become a cause of great concern as a remarkable number of aquatic organisms from moderate to high latitude aquatic ecosystems throughout the world bear elevated Hg levels. Numerous investigators describe anthropogenic Hg enrichment in Canadian natural lakes by factors ranging from 2.5 up to more than 4.0.
COMERN will especially aim at identifying the causes of this increasing contamination and its impacts on the health of communities.
The integrated ecosystem approach advocated by COMERN includes the active participation of specialists in all fields of the applied sciences, as well as social interveners and political deciders in all steps of research development. Ultimately our efforts shall lead to a better, safer and sustainable use of aquatic resourses in Canada with respect to the mercury question.