Stable Isotopes

The measurement and study of the stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen and hydrogen (deuterium) serve as an invaluable tool for researchers across a myriad of disciplines. Carbon isotopes are instrumental in determining source material for food ingredients, water use efficiency in different plant cultivars and in reconstructing food webs, paleo-climates and paleo-environments. Nitrogen isotopes have also been used in reconstructing food webs but recent advances now allow the isolation of mineralized nitrogen forms, from water samples, to identify anthropogenic sources of pollution as possible causes of eutrophication. As an example, CAIS worked closely with researchers in Florida to link recent harmful algae blooms to septic system sources of nitrogen. Oxygen and deuterium isotopes are used to pinpoint geographic origins of organic materials and animal migration patterns. CAIS has a four decade long tradition of method development and innovative research in stable isotope analysis. In 2016, CAIS became the largest ISO/IEC 17025 accredited stable isotope laboratory in North America, with more than 20 instruments dedicated to stable isotope research. Our history in the industry and recent accreditation mean our clients can be assured of the highest degree of accuracy, precision and service.