Analytical and Laboratory Facilities

At the University of Kentucky, we have the capability to measure isotopes of carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen in nearly any sample matrix.  This includes sample preparation, analysis, and post-processing of results. This facility is the most complete in the region.  

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Cowell- Delta Plus IRMS

Named after the beginner surf beach in Santa Cruz, Cowell is our workhorse, dedicated to the EA for analysis of carbon and nitrogen in sediment samples.

Steamers Lane- Delta Plus IRMS

Named after the professional-tier surf spot in Santa Cruz, Steamers Lane has dual inlet capabilities and is currently configured for both gas bench and TC/EA analyses.  This allows for the measurement of oxygen and carbon isotopes in inorganic carbonates and water, along with oxygen and hydrogen isotopes at high temperatures in phosphates, sulfates, nitrates, organics, and water. 

Big Dipper- MAT 253 IRMS

Named after the legendary roller coaster on the Santa Cruz boardwalk, Big Dipper is coupled with a Trace GC for isotopic analysis of specific organic compounds.


Besides instrumentation, the stable isotope lab has all the necessary equipment for a wide range of sample preparation.

Photo credit: Summer Jasmine Photography