The stable isotope laboratory of the Institute of Geography is equipped with two isotope-ratio-mass spectrometers (Thermo DeltaPlus, Delta V Advantage) for analyses of oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. The gases to be measured (CO, CO2, N2) are produced from organic matter using high-temperature pyrolysis in a Hekatech oven and combustion in elemental analysers (Carlo Erba, Flash EA), respectively. An acid treatment in a Gasbench is used for carbonate stable isotope analyses.
Main scientific topics of our research are high-resolution climate reconstructions using tree-rings and lake sediments. Moreover, stable isotope analyses are applied for solving plant ecological and environmental research questions related to matter cycles, food webs, and oceanography.