University of Otago, New Zealand


Te Tari Hua-Ruanuku

Associate Professor Sylvia Sander

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Associate Professor Sylvia Sander
Trace metal speciation in natural aquatic systems and electroanalytical methods
Tel: (03) 479 7844
Location: Science II, 1n8c


PhD (Analytical Chemistry)    University of Kaiserslautern    1995

Professional Background

Since 2014 Research Associate Professor at the University of Otago
Since 2013 Director of the NIWA/University of Otago Research Centre for Oceanography
2001-2014 Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Fellow and then Senior Research Fellow at the University of Otago
1999-2001 Research and Development and Marketing postion with EcoChemie BV, Netherlands (Electrochemical Instrumentation)
1997-1999 Research Fellow at the Technical University Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany
1995-1997 Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Trier, Germany 
1992-1995 PhD thesis with Prof G. Henze at the University of Kaiserlautern and Trier, Germany
1991-1992 Diploma in chemistry at the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany

Research Activities

My research expertise lies in the application of electrochemical methods for the analysis of trace metals in natural aqueous environments. This includes method development, the actual analysis of organic and inorganic trace metal speciation in fresh water, sea water and hydrothermal fluids and the improvement of instrumentation through the collaboration with instrument developers.

Current projects

PhD Projects available!

Please contact me if you are interested in conducting a PhD in this research area. Scholarships are available for international and domestic students.


  1. C. German, L. Legendre, S. G. Sander, N. Niquil, G. W Luther III, L. Bharati, X. Han; N. Le Bris (2014). Modelling hydrothermal impacts on deep ocean organic carbon, submitted to EPSL
  2. M. J. Ellwood, D. A. Hutchins, M. C. Lohan, A. Milne, P. Nasemann, S. D. Nodder, S. G. Sander, R. Strzepek, S. W. Wilhelm and P. W. Boyd. Iron stable isotopes track pelagic iron cycling during a subtropical phytoplankton bloom, PNAS acceted
  3. I. Pi┼żeta, S.G. Sander, R.J.M. Hudson and 13 others, (2014) Quantitative analysis of complexometric titration data: An intercomparison of methods for estimating models of metal complexation by mixtures of natural ligands. Marine Chemistry accepted for publication subject to moderate changes.
  4. C. Kleint, S. Kuzmanovski, Z. Powell, S. I. Bühring, S. G. Sander and A. Koschinsky. (2014). Organic Cu-complexation at the shallow marine hydrothermal vent fields off the coast of Milos (Greece), Dominica (Lesser Antilles) and the Bay of Plenty (New Zealand). Marine Chemistry, in press, DOI: 10.1016/j.marchem.2014.10.012.
  5. S. G. Sander, K. N. Buck, M. Wells. (2014). The Effect of Natural Organic Ligands on Trace Metal Speciation in San Francisco Bay: Implications for Water Quality Criteria, Marine Chemistry, in press, DOI: 10.1016/j.marchem.2014.09.015.
  6. S.G. Sander*, F. Tian, E.B. Ibisanmi, K.I. Currie, K.A. Hunter, R.D. Frew. (2014). Spatial and Seasonal Variation of the Iron Speciation in Surface Waters of the Subantarctic Front and the Otago Continental Shelf. Marine Chemistry, in press, DOI:10.1016/j.marchem.2014.09.001.
  7. P. Chakraborty, S. G. Sander, S. Jayachandran, B. N. Nath, G.Nagaraju, K. Chennuri, K. Vudamala, N. Lathika , M.B. L. Mascarenhas-Pereira (2014). Fate of copper complexes in hydrothermally altered deep sea sediments from the Central Indian Ocean Basin. Environmental Pollution, 194 (2014) 138-144
  8. C.M. Thompson, M.J. Ellwood, S.G. Sander (2014). Dissolved copper speciation in the Tasman Sea, SW Pacific Ocean, Marine Chemistry accepted doi: 10.1016/j.marchem.2014.06.003.
  9. M. Wells, K.N. Buck, S.G. Sander* (2013). New approach to analysis of voltammetric ligand titration data improves understanding of metal speciation in natural waters. Limnol. Oceanogr.: Methods 11, 450-465.
  10. S. G. Sander*, B. Anderson, M. R. Reid, J. P. Kim and K. A. Hunter (2013). Trace Metal Chemistry in the Pristine Freshwater Lake Hauroko, Fiordland, New Zealand, Microchemical Journal, article in press,
  11. P. W. Boyd, R. Strzepek, S. Chiswell, H. Chang, J. M. DeBruyn, M. Ellwood, S. Keenan, A. L. King, E. W. Maas, S. Nodder, S. G. Sander, P. Sutton, B. S. Twining, S. W. Wilhelm, and D. A. Hutchins (2012). Microbial control of diatom bloom dynamics in the open ocean, Geophysical Research Letters 39: L18601, Doi:10.1029/2012GL053448
  12. V. Klevenz, S.G. Sander, M. Perner, and A. Koschinsky (2012): Amelioration of free copper by hydrothermal vent microbes as a response to high copper concentrations, Chemistry and Ecology, DOI:10.1080/02757540.2012.666531
  13. S.G. Sander, A.Koschinsky, (2011). Metal flux from hydrothermal vents increased by organic complexation. Nature Geoscience 4: 145-150 doi:10.1038/ngeo1088.
  14. I. Velasquez, B.L. Nunn, E. Ibisanmi, D.R. Goodlett, K.A. Hunter and S.G. Sander. (2011). Detection of hydroxamate siderophores in coastal and Sub-Antarctic waters off the South Eastern Coast of New Zealand. Marine Chemistry available online doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2011.04.003.
  15. S.G. Sander, K/A. Hunter, H. Harms, M. Wells (2011). A Numerical Approach to Speciation and Estimation of Parameters Used in Modeling Trace Metal Bioavailability, Environmental, Science & Technology, 45: 6388–6395..
  16. E. B. Ibisanmi; S.G. Sander; P.W. Boyd; A.R. Bowie, and K. A. Hunter (2011). Vertical Distributions of Iron-(III) Complexing Ligands in the Southern Ocean accepted for publication in Deep-Sea Research Part II, special issue: Antarctic Biogeochemistry doi:10.1016/j.dsr1012.2011.1005.1028
  17. L. Poorvin, S.G. Sander, I. Velasquez, E. Ibisanmi, G.R. LeCleir and S.W. Wilhelm (2011). Comparison of Fe bioavailability and binding of a catecholate siderophore and virus-mediated lysates from the marine bacterium Vibrio alginolyticus PWH3a. The Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 399: 43–47.
  18. Haffert, L, Sander, S.G., Hunter, K.A. and Craw, D. (2010). Evidence for arsenic-driven redox chemistry in a wetland system: a field voltammetric study. Environmental Chemistry 7: 386-397, doi: 10.1071/EN10019
  19. McMillan, D.G.G, Velasquez, I. Nunn, B.L., Goodlett, D.R., Hunter, K.A., Lamont, I., Sander, S.G. and Cook, G.M. (2010). Acquisition of Iron by Alkaliphilic Bacillus Species. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76(20): 6955-6961; doi:10.1128/AEM.01393-1.
  20. P. W. Boyd, E. Ibisanmi, S.G. Sander, K.A. Hunter, G.A. Jackson, (2010). Remineralization of upper ocean particles: implications for iron biogeochemistry, Limnology and Oceanography 55: 1271-1288.
  21. A. Koschinsky, D. Garbe-Schönberg, S.G. Sander, K. Schmidt, H.H. Gennerich H. Strauss (2008). Hydrothermal venting at pressure-temperature conditions above the critical point of seawater, 5°S on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Geology 36(8): 615–618, doi: 10.1130/G24726A
  22. K.M. Haase, A. Koschinsky, S. Petersen, R. Seifert, C.W. Devey, N. Dubilier, S. Fretzdorff, D. Garbe-Schönberg, C.R. German, O. Giere, R. Keir, J. Kuever, K.S. Lackschewitz, J. Mawick, H. Marbler, B. Melchert, C. Mertens, C. Ostertag-Henning, H. Paulick, M. Perner, M. Peters, S. Sander, O. Schmale, T.M. Shank, J. Stecher, U. Stöber, H. Strauss, J. Süling, M. Walter, M. Warmuth, S. Weber, U. Westernströer, D. Yoerger, and F. Zielinski (2007). Young volcanism and related hydrothermal activity at 5°S on the slow-spreading southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 8 (11), doi:10.1029/2006GC001509.
  23. S. Sander, L. Ginon, B. Anderson and K.A. Hunter (2007). Comparative study of organic Cd and Zn complexation in lake waters – seasonality, depth and pH dependence. Environmental Chemistry 4: 410–423, doi:10.1071/EN07053.
  24. S.G. Sander, A. Koschinsky, G. J. Massoth, M. Stott, K. A. Hunter (2007). Organic complexation of copper in deep-sea hydrothermal vent systems. Environmental Chemistry 4(2): 81–89, doi:10.1071/EN06086
  25. P. L. Croot, R. D. Frew, S. Sander, K. A. Hunter, M. J. Ellwood, S. E, Pickmere, E. R. Abraham, C. S. Law, M. J. Smith and P. W. Boyd (2007). The importance of physical mixing processes for understanding iron biogeochemical cycling: FeCycle. In press Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans. (see evidence of acceptance from the editor)
  26. E. A. Holley, A. J. McQuillan, D. Craw, J. P. Kim, S. G. Sander (2007). Mercury mobilization by oxidative dissolution of cinnabar (α-HgS) and metacinnabar (β-HgS). In press Chemical Geology doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2007.03.001
  27. F. Tian, R. Frew, S. Sander, K. Hunter, M. Ellwood (2006). Organic Fe(III) speciation in surface transects across a frontal Zone: The Chatham Rise, New Zealand. Marine and Freshwater Research. 57:533-544.
  28. A. Koschinsky, A. Billings, C. Devey, N. Dubilier, A. Duester, D. Edge, D. Garbe-Schönberg, C. German, O. Giere, R. Keir, K. Lackschewitz, H. A. Mai, H. Marbler, J. Mawick, B. Melchert, C. Mertens, M. Peters, S. Sander, O. Schmale, W. Schmidt, R. Seifert, C. Seiter, U. Stöber, I. Suck, M. Walter, S. Weber, D. Yoerger, M. Zarrouk, F. Zielinski (2006), Inter Ridge News, 15: 9-15
  29. M. T. Maldonado, R. F. Strzepek, S. Sander, and P. W. Boyd (2005). Acquisition of iron bound to strong organic complexes—with different Fe binding groups and photochemical reactivities by plankton communities in Fe-limited subantarctic waters, Global Biogeochemical Cycles – FeCycle Special Issue 19(4) GB4S20 doi:10.1029/2005GB002494
  30. P. W. Boyd., C. S. Law, D. A. Hutchins, E. R. Abraham, P. L. Croot, Michael J. Ellwood, R. D. Frew, J. Hall, C. Hare, J. Higgins, P. Hill, K.A. Hunter, K. LeBlanc, M. T. Maldonado, R.M.McKay, C. Mioni, M. Oliver, S. Pickmere, K. Safi, S. Sander, S.A. Sanudo-Wilhelmy, M. Smith, R. Strzepek, A. Tovar-Sanchez and S.W. Wilhelm. FeCycle – attempting an iron biogeochemical budget form a mesoscale SF6 tracer experiment in unperturbed low iron waters (2005). Global Biogeochemical Cycles – FeCycle Special Issue 19(4), GB4S20 doi:10.1029/2005GB002494
  31. U. Nowostawska, S.G. Sander, K.M. McGrath and K. A Hunter (2005). Effects of coagulants on the surface forces of colloidal alumina under water treatment conditions. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physiochemical and Engineering Aspects 266: 214-222.
  32. U. Nowostawska, S.G. Sander, K.M. McGrath and K. A Hunter (2005). Effect of trivalent metal sulfates on the coagulation and particle interactions of alumina colloids. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physiochemical and Engineering Aspects 266: 200-206.
  33. Y. Luo, S. Sander and Keith A. Hunter (2005). Removal of copper and copper binding organic ligands during potable water treatment, Environmental Technology 26: 75-83.
  34. S. Sander, J. P. Kim, Barry Anderson, Keith A. Hunter (2005). Effect of UVB irradiation on Cu2+-binding organic ligands and Cu2+ speciation in alpine lake waters of New Zealand. Environmental Chemistry 2: 56-62.
  35. J. Brown, S. Sander, D. Craw, and K. A. Hunter (2005). Field measurement of labile metals in natural acid rock drainage springs, New Zealand. Applied Geochemistry 20: 1533-1545.
  36. S. Sander, L.M. Mosley and K.A. Hunter (2004). Investigation of Interparticle Forces in Natural Waters: Effects of Adsorbed Humic Acids on Iron Oxide and Alumina Surface Properties. Environment Science and Technology 38: 4791-4796.
  37. S. Sander, A. Koschinsky, P. Halbach (2003). Redox-speciation of chromium in the oceanic water column of the Lesser Antilles and offshore Otago Peninsula, New Zealand. Marine and Freshwater Research 54: 745-754.
  38. S. Sander, L. Novotný, T. Navrátil (2003). Interfacial activity of U(VI)-cupferron and U(VI)-chloranilic acid complexes on mercury electrodes. Electroanalysis 15: 1687-1692.
  39. S. Sander, T. Navrátil, L. Novotný (2003). Study of the complexation, adsorption and electrode reaction mechanisms of chromium(VI) and (III) with DTPA under adsorptive stripping voltammetric condition. Electroanalysis 15: 1513 – 1521.
  40. S. Sander, T. Navrátil, P. Bašová, L. Novotný (2002). Electrosorption of Chromium-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic Acid on Mercury Electrode under Voltammetric Conditions. Electroanalysis 14: 1133 -1137.
  41. L. Novotný, T. Navrátil, S. Sander, P. Bašová (2002). Nonmonotonous Interfacial Behavior of Chloranilic Acid and Its Voltammetrically Active Complexes with V and Mo on Mercury Electrode. Electroanalysis 14: 1105-1109.
  42. S. Sander, A. Koschinsky (2000). Onboard-ship redox speciation of chromium in diffuse hydrothermal fluids from the North Fiji Basin. Marine Chemistry 71: 83-102.
  43. L. M. de Carvalho, G. Schwedt, G. Henze and S. Sander (1999). Redoxspeciation of selenium in water samples by cathodic stripping voltammetry using an automated flow system. The Analyst, 124: 1803-1809.
  44. S. Sander (1999). Simultaneous adsorptive stripping voltammetric determination of molybdenum(VI), uranium(VI), vanadium(V), and antimony(III), Anal. Chim. Acta, 394: 81-89.
  45. S. Sander (1999). Comparison of different flow-through adsorptive stripping voltammetric methods for the determination of molybdenum(VI), Fresenius J. Anal. Chem., 365: 435-443.
  46. P. Halbach, A. Koschinsky, R. Seifert, O. Giere, T. Kuhn and shipboard scientific party (R. Armstrong, C. Arndt, C. Borowski, S. Brasse, M. Drischel, N.M. Fonseca, A. Frahm, K. Gocke, T. Jellinek, M. Halbach, M. Klingbeil, M. Mocek, L. Podgorsek, E. Rahders, S. Richter, S. Sander, O. Schmale, T. Seifert, B. Weitzel and L. Wong) (1999). Diffuse Hydrothermal Fluid Activity, Biological Communities, and Mineral Formation in the North Fiji Basin (SW Pacific): Preliminary Results of the R/V Sonne Cruise SO-134. Inter Ridge News, 8: 38-44
  47. S. Sander, G. Henze (1997). AC-voltammetric determination of the total concentration of non-ionic and anionic surfactants in aqueous systems. Electroanalysis, 9: 243-246.
  48. S. Sander, W. Wagner, G.Henze (1997). Possibilities for the automated determination of trace concentrations of uranium in water samples by adsorptive stripping voltammetry, Anal. Chim. Acta, 349: 93-99.
  49. G. Henze, W. Wagner, S. Sander (1997). Speciation of arsenic(V) and arsenic(III) by cathodic stripping voltammetry, Fresenius J. Anal. Chem., 358: 741-744.
  50. S. Sander, G. Henze (1996). Alternating current investigations at the mercury drop electrode on the adsorption potential of metal complexes, Electroanalysis, 8: 253-262.
  51. W. Wagner, S. Sander, G. Henze (1996). Trace analysis of antimony(III) and antimony(V) by adsorptive stripping voltammetry, Fresenius J. Anal. Chem., 354: 11-15.
  52. F. Heppeler, S. Sander, Günter Henze (1996). Determination of tin traces in water samples by adsorptive stripping voltammetry, Anal. Chim. Acta, 319: 19-24.
  53. S. Sander, G. Henze (1996). Adsorptive stripping voltammetric determination of vanadium as chloranilic acid complex , Fresenius J. Anal. Chem., 356: 259-262
  54. S. Sander, G. Henze (1996). Chloranilic acid as complexing reagent for the specific adsorptive stripping voltammetric trace analysis of selected elements (original in German), GIT, 40: 1232-1235.
  55. S. Sander, G. Henze (1996). Micro-wave high pressure digestion with Oxisolv – a fast sample pre-treatment technique the voltammetric trace element analysis in environmental waters (original in German), GIT, 39: 1120-1124.
  56. S. Sander, W. Wagner, G. Henze (1995). Direct determination of uranium traces by adsorptive stripping voltammetry, Anal. Chim. Acta, 305: 154-158.
  57. S. Sander, G. Henze (1994). Adsorption voltammetric techniques for the determination of uranium(VI) with 2,5-dichloro-3,6-dihydroxy-1,4-benzoquinone as complex forming reagent, Fresenius J. Anal. Chem., 349: 654-658.