Isotope Geochemistry in Earth, Environmental, and Life Sciences

Principles of Isotope Geochemistry in Earth, Environmental, and Life Sciences

The aim of this short course is to give PhD students an introduction to the use of isotopes (mainly stable isotopes) in earth, environmental, and life sciences research. If you are not a PhD student and would like to attend the course, please get in touch before registering.

The training will cover:

  • General principles of stable isotope geochemistry and the application of isotope ratio mass spectrometry. 
  • Data validation and uncertainty assessment in isotope geochemistry to critically evaluate data and their interpretation.
  • Application of stable isotope geochemistry in limnogeology, palaeoceanography, speleothem, and science-based archaeology. 
  • Isotope analysis of biological tissues to elucidate food webs and animal migration.
  • Isotopes as tracers of nutrient cycles within both aquatic and soil systems, informing on sources of environmental pollution and past environmental change.
  • Application of stable isotope geochemistry to a variety of geological settings, including volcano-magmatic systems, ore deposits, and geothermal systems.
  • Application of stable isotope geochemistry to the sedimentary rock record in order to assess hydrocarbon and mineral resource potential.
  • Dating techniques that can be applied to deep time materials.

A tour of the National Environmental Isotope Facility at the British Geological Survey will be included. Participants will be able to discuss their research objectives and challenges with facility staff.

Registration: please register via the green button at the top right of this page. Your place on the course is secured via electronic payment of the registration fee. The registration fee includes all course materials, lunches and coffee breaks, and the course dinner. Participants are responsible for the costs of travel to and from the British Geological Survey, and their accommodation.

Course location: British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham,

Date: 17th to 18th November 2020.

Course presenters:  Prof Adrian Boyce, Dr Joseph Emmings, Dr Matthew Horstwood, Dr Jack Lacey, Dr Angela Lamb, Prof Melanie Leng, Dr Rona McGill, Dr Jason Newton, Dr Nick Roberts, Dr Andrew Smith, Dr Mario Tuthorn.

A detailed timetable will provided nearer to the course start date.

Course Address

British Geological Survey
Nicker Hill
NG12 5GG

(Postcode for sat nav: NG12 5GD)



The nearest railway station to BGS is Nottingham.

Visitors staying in Nottingham or West Bridgford can catch a bus to Keyworth, "the keyworth" run by Trent Barton.

Taxi and Uber services are available.

Free parking is available on the BGS site.



In Keyworth:

Outside Keyworth:

For course enquiries please contact Dr Jack Lacey