EVOGENE Seminar - Stable isotopes of C, N, O and H — What are they good for?
Hope Jahren, Section for Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED), Department of Geosciences, UiO
Abstract: Stable isotope analysis has become a powerful analytical tool of inquiry for Ecologists, Biologists and Earth Scientists. The coupling of continuous-flow techniques to IRMS has further facilitated high-precision measurements of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H) isotopes. Elemental analyzers allow for the flash-combustion of solid organic samples, while capillary gas and liquid chromatography interfaced to IRMS has made possible the compound-specific isotope analysis of purified organic analytes. Modern plant, animal and fungal tissues have been extensively characterized for isotopic composition, and the observed isotopic fractionations between metabolic substrates and resultant tissues have been shown to be influenced by a myriad of factors, including substrate availability, metabolic efficiency, growth rate, trophic position, reproductive status, enzymatic activity and other processes internal and external to the organism. This talk will introduce those interested from the UiO community to the new stable isotope laboratory under construction within the Kristine Bonnevies hus, supported by the Institutt for Biovitenskap (IBV) and the Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED).