Sylvia Sander

Metals from the sea

"The significance of metals in the ocean is multi-faceted. Many are essential nutrients, while others, even in the smallest volumes, have a damaging effect on the marine ecosystem. I have dedicated my career to the better understanding of the processes that metals go through during their global biogeochemical cycle. These include, for example, the chemical reactions experienced by iron or copper when they are released in 400 degree hot fluids from hydrothermal springs and meet 1 degree cold seawater. Here in Kiel, I focus on the interface between the deep-sea floor and the seawater directly above it, where metals accumulate as potential mineral resources. There is growing interest in their exploitation. As a result, there are many questions to be answered about mining them and the consequences of doing so."

Sylvia Sander
© GEOMAR

Sylvia Sander

Sylvia Sander, 54 years old, born in Kaiserslautern. Since September 2021: Professor (Helmholtz Distinguished Professorship) of Marine Mineral Resources at Kiel University and GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. Previously head of the Marine Environment Laboratories of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Monaco and research professor at the University of Otago/New Zealand. 1995: Doctoral degree at TU Kaiserslautern.