Werner F Giggenbach Prize

2019 Werner F Giggenbach Prize winner:
Nellie Olsen


Nellie Olsen´s 2018 paper is destined to become a benchmark paper in the aqueous geochemistry of antimony in natural waters and the environment.  Much of the extensive previous literature data describing the interaction of antimony(III) with reduced sulphur in aqueous solution are either spurious or incorrectly interpreted.  Nellie has elegantly determined the stoichiometry and stability of the relevant antimony(III) sulphide species of importance in natural waters at ambient conditions.

These were very difficult experiments involving extensive solubility measurements in a redox sensitive system together with synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) measurements of similar solutions. This enabled her to rigorously unravel the nature of the polynuclear species present and with mathematical modelling, to derive a reliable set of thermodynamic  data which have general application to all natural systems involving reduced sulfur and antimony(III).


Past Werner F Giggenbach Prize winners

Year Recipient
2017 Simon Barker (Auckland University)
2016 Joanna Druzbicka
2015 Christian Timm (GNS Science)
2014 Shaun Barker (Waikato University)


Werner F Giggenbach

Werner Giggenbach

Image credit Antarctica New Zealand

Werner Friedrich Giggenbach was born in Augsberg in Germany in 1937.  Following study in Germany and the US he joined the Chemistry Division of DSIR in 1968.  Apart from two years spent in Vienna at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Werner remained there and later at IGNS for the remainder of his career.

Werner was an outstanding scientist who became an internationally recognised leader in the field of fluid and related fluid/rock interactions in active geothermal and volcanic systems.  He published about 100 refereed papers and chapters in books, of which half are single author contributions in leading geochemistry journals and conference proceedings.

The Geological Society of New Zealand awarded him the prestigious ‘MacKay Hammer’, the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry elected him as a Fellow, as did the US Society of Economic Geologists.  He was also an editor or associate editor of several prestigious international journals.  His final honour, election to Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, was awarded posthumously in 1997.