CREAIT - Stable Isotope Laboratory

Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
What the facility does

Stable isotope analysis of geological, biological, archeological and water samples

Area(s) of Expertise

The Stable Isotope Lab has over 30 years of experience in the bulk isotope analysis of geological, biological and archeological samples. Over the past few years, compound specific isotope analysis (hydrocarbons, fatty acids, amino acids) has become an increasingly important part of our daily activities. We work closely with professors in various departments and their students to analyze their samples, and develop new methods, or modify existing methods, as needed. To maintain the highest accuracy, we calibrate our results with a suite of international isotope standards and/or in-house standards that are analyzed alongside the samples.

Research Services

The Stable Isotope Lab is an analytical facility that accepts prepared samples for direct analysis. Depending on the sample type, some sample processing is possible.

Sectors of Application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Energy (renewable and fossil)
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Forestry and forest-based industries



Delta V Plus (x2)

Isotope ratio mass spectrometer

Elemental analyzer (x2)

C and N isotopes and % composition (solid samples)

Total Inorganic Carbon/Organic Carbon analyzer

C isotopes and % C (aqueous samples)


C and O isotopes of carbonates

Thermal Conversion Elemental analyzer

O isotopes of silver phosphate

Gas chromatograph

Compound specific isotope analysis of hydrocarbons, fatty acids and amino acids

Quadrupole mass spectrometer

Identification and quantification of organic compounds

Gas Chromatograph with fraction collector

Isolation of individual compounds

Gas Chromatograph with flame ionization detector and thermal conductivity detector

Quantification of permanent gases in gas samples

Gas Chromatograph with flame ionization detector and electron capture detector

Quantification of organic compounds in solid/liquid samples

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • University of Kansas
  • Université du Québec à Montréal
  • McMaster University
  • Dalhousie University



Neville, V., Rose, G. A., Rowe, S., Jamieson, R. and Piercey, G. (2018). Otolith chemistry and redistributions of northern cod: evidence of Smith Sound-Bonavista Corridor connectivity. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, (ja).

Philben, M., Billings, S., Edwards, K., Podrebarac, F., van Biesen, G. and Ziegler, S. (2018) Amino acid δ15N indicates lack of N isotope fractionation during soil organic nitrogen decomposition. Biogeochemistry, 138: 69.