Dr Amanda French

Research Fellow

Qualifications: B.S. Chemistry, Ph.D. Environmental Toxicology

Research Interests


I am an environmental toxicologist with a specific interest in the toxicology of heavy metals in birds. I currently manage the ICP-MS Suite and collaborate on a variety of research projects that involve elemental analysis.  


My current research interests involve analytical method development for a variety of samples and elemental analyses. I have a strong background in analytical chemistry and have focused on applications of ICP-MS for elemental analysis.

I am currently looking at arsenic speciation within Lake Tarawera, an area with a large geothermal arsenic input. I have also begun researching how anthropogenic metals effect feather pigmentation and ultimately avian behaviour.

General Interests:

  • Influence of metals on pigmentation
  • Movement of metals in the environment
  • Arsenic and other elemental speciation in environmental and biological samples
  • Metal source apportionment (determining if elevated metal concentrations are due to anthropogenic input)
  • Metal toxicology
  • Ornithology

Techniques of interest:

  • ICP-MS
  • HPLC-ICP-MS for elemental speciation (Hg, As, Sb, Cr, Se)
  • LA-ICP-MS imaging
  • Single Particle analysis for nanoparticle determination
  • Imaging/mapping techniques

Research Supervised


  • Ward, Brittany (Ongoing, co-supervisor) Reconstructing New Zealand hydroclimate using novel isotopic measurements of speleothems (Rutherford Fellowship)


  • McKerras, Emma (Ongoing, co-supervisor).
  • Battenburg-Jones, Kaleb Ongoing, co-supervisor).


  • Cochrane, Kirstie (Ongoing, co-supervisor) Speciation of arsenic in Lake Tarawera.


Chemistry; Environmental Chemistry; Metals

Recent Publications

  • Grainger, M. N. C., Hewitt, N., & French, A. D. (2020). Optimised approach for small mass sample preparation and elemental analysis of bees and bee products by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Talanta, 214. doi:10.1016/j.talanta.2020.120858

  • Ratcliffe, J. L., Lowe, D. J., Schipper, L. A., Gehrels, M. J., French, A. D., & Campbell, D. I. (2020). Rapid carbon accumulation in a peatland following Late Holocene tephra deposition, New Zealand. Quaternary Science Reviews, 246(article 106505). doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106505 Open Access version:

  • Nava-Fernandez, C., Hartland, A., Gázquez, F., Kwiecien, O., Marwan, N., Fox, B., . . . Breitenbach, S. F. M. (2020). Pacific climate reflected in Waipuna Cave drip water hydrochemistry. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 24(6), 3361-3380. doi:10.5194/hess-24-3361-2020 Open Access version:

  • French, A. D., Shaw, K., Barnes, M., Cañas-Carrell, J. E., Conway, W. C., & Klein, D. M. (2020). Bioaccessibility of antimony and other trace elements from lead shot pellets in a simulated avian gizzard environment. PLOS ONE, 15(2), e0229037. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0229037

View All research publications by Amanda French

Contact Details

Room: C.3.09A
Phone: +64 7 838 4395