Stable isotope techniques – University of Copenhagen

Center for Permafrost (CENPERM) > Stable isotope techniques

Stable isotope techniques

PhD course, 29 October – 2 November 2018 
4 ECTS, University of Copenhagen

“Application of stable isotope techniques to study bio-geochemical processes in terrestrial ecosystems”

The course has the objective to introduce the principles and application of stable isotope analysis to study terrestrial geochemical and biological processes with a main focus on Arctic. Lectures will briefly touch on terminology, notations and standards in stable isotope work, theory of isotopic equilibrium and fractionation, and analytical features. Practical examples on isotopic applications, calculations and data interpretations will be demonstrated by senior teachers. Topics will relate to relevant scientific questions and challenges addressing the interactions between global change and Earth systems, such as photosynthesis and carbon sequestration, nutrient mobilization, nitrogen fixation and GHG emission.

Preliminary Programme

Monday 29 October
Welcome and course starter. Presentation of participants. Introduction to stable isotopes and analytical   techniques.  Visit to lab.
The use of 15N natural abundance and enrichment in studies of plant, microbial and animal nitrogen acquisition in nutrient. 

Evening: Course dinner/visit to Tivoli.

Tuesday 30 October
Experience from whole ecosystem labelling with 15N, short (years) and long term (decades) interpretation. Lecture and group work.
Student experiment presentations 1.

Wednesday 31 October
Water isotopes. Methods and analysis. Lecture and group work.
Student experiment presentations 2 .

Thursday 1 November
Carbon isotopes in soil-plant interactions, PLFA. Lecture and group work.
Application of Nitrogen-15 stable isotope techniques to study GHG. Lecture and group work.

Friday 2 November
Soil carbon mineralization in a changing Arctic – revealed by carbon-13. Lecture and group work.