Stable Isotopes in Biosphere Systems Workshop (SIBS)

18 October 2012

WHEN: 3-10 February 2013


The use of the behaviour of stable isotopes to decipher and monitor biosphere processes continues to expand. Greater accessibility, portability, speed and sensitivity of analytical instruments is allowing for wider uses and for explorations of previously difficult to study systems.

This course is directed to post-graduate students and post-docs with biological/ecological backgrounds who are interested in applying stable isotope tools for their research.

We will focus on stable isotopes of C, N and O and their behaviour in plant, plant-soil, plant-atmosphere, soil-microbe, soil-atmosphere and plant-microbe processes.

Learning will be structured around lectures by specialists and student-led projects with direct support by course instructors (see SCHEDULE).


Instruments that will be available for demonstrations as well as for individual/group projects include:

  • Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectrometer (TGA100A, Cambell Scientific) for CO2 online in real-time.
  • Picarro CO2 cavity ring-down spectrometer (G1101-i) for CO2 in air.
  • Picarro H2O cavity ring-down spectrometer (L1102i) for oxygen (δ18 O) and hydrogen (δ2 H).
  • Los Gatos Isotopic water Analyser (IWA-45EP) for oxygen and hydrogen.
  • Ratio Mass Spectrometer (IRMS; Delta V Advantage, Thermo Finnigan) for C and N in solids and CO2.


The course will take place at the Cobbitty Campus of the University of Sydney. Accommodations are available in conveniently located University Lodge. A tuition cost of $1000 will cover course cost, accommodation and meals. Competitive scholarships are available.

More information about Cobbitty Campus is available here and on Google here.


  • University of Sydney: Margaret Barbour (MB), Yolima Carrillo (YC), Feike Dijkstra (FD),Peter Franks (PF), Jia Hu (JH), Claudia Keitel (CK), Andrew Merchant (AM), Kevin Simonin (KS)
  • Australian National University: Susanne von Caemmerer (SVC), Lucas Cernusak (LC), John Evans (JE), Graham Farquhar (GF)
  • Institute for Landscape Biogeochemistry (Germany): Arthur Gessler (AG)
  • Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry (Germany): Gerd Gleixner (GG)


Please email the course organizers by 23 November 2012 (DEADLINE):

Kevin Simonin
Jia Hu
Yolima Carrillo
Claudia Keitel

Contact: Dr Yolima Carrillo/Dr Claudia Keitel

Phone: 02 8627 1032 / 02 9351 8885

Email: 351843022c16421b4e06373b265b213802203e07143a405d0b41432f3366