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Stable Isotopes in Environmental Biology 
January 23 - 24, 2024

Stable Isotopes in Environmental Biology: Analyses of stable isotopes at the root-soil-microbe interface 

January 23-24, 2024 | Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

Virtual registration open for January 23 presentations. In-person registration has closed.


Are you interested in learning how to apply stable isotope techniques to your research?

Join the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) for a workshop on stable isotope theory and application related to environmental fluxes at the root-soil-microbe interface. Presenters will demonstrate how using different spatial scales and stable isotope techniques contribute to advancing the fundamental understanding of environmental and plant science, Earth and climate science, forensics, and biogeochemistry, as well as promote cross-disciplinary partnerships. 

Attendees will learn about analytical instrumentation, sample preparation techniques (including stable isotope probing), and state-of-the-art methodologies for stable isotope measurements. These capabilities are available through the EMSL User Program.   

Register to attend

Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time 

Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)

Sessions also available online.

Session 1: Stable Isotope Profiling Using IRMS Capability at EMSL

8 a.m.  Opening remarks and overview of EMSL and the Rhizosphere Function Integrated Research Platform (IRP)

  • Amir Ahkami | Biologist and Rhizosphere Function IRP Leader | EMSL 

8:15 a.m. Overview of the Biogeochemical Transformations IRP

  • Emily Graham | Earth scientist and Biogeochemical Transformations IRP Leader | EMSL

8:30 a.m. Introduction to stable isotopes and overview of the isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS)

  • James Moran | PNNL Joint Appointee and Associate Professor| Michigan State University 
  • Sophie Lehmann | Earth scientist | EMSL and PNNL


9:25 a.m. Networking break

Session 1: Contributing Talks

9:45 a.m. | Session 1 | Speaker #1

"Using stable isotopes to unveil feeding relationships of soil fauna"

10:10 a.m. | Session 1 | Speaker #2

"Use of stable isotopes to study plant metabolism and root exudation"

  • Doug Allen | Principal investigator | Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

10:35 a.m. | Session 1 | Speaker #3

"Don't balk at bulk stable isotopes: δ13C applications to advance fundamental understanding of soil carbon formation, turnover, and loss"

Session 1: Flash Talks

11 a.m. | Session 1 | Flash Talk #1

"Fungal necromass contributions to soil organic matter and carbon pools"

11:07 a.m. | Session 1 | Flash Talk #2

"Dead or alive: expanding mycorrhizal influence on soil C storage"

11:14 a.m. | Session 1 | Flash Talk #3

"Carbon dynamics of a long-term litter manipulation in Wisconsin woodlands and restored prairie"

  • Mia Keady| PhD student | University of Wisconsin


11:25 a.m. Lunch and Hands on tutorial: Sample Preparation Using Tin Capsules

Session 2: Stable Isotope Profiling Using NanoSIMS and NMR Capabilities at EMSL

12:40 p.m.  Overview of NMR capability at EMSL for stable isotope work

1:10 p.m. Overview of NanoSIMS capability at EMSL for stable isotope work

Session 2: Contributing Talks

1:40 p.m. | Session 2 | Speaker #1

"The use of Laser Ablation-IRMS for rhizosphere study"

  • James Moran | PNNL Joint Appointee and Associate Professor| Michigan State University 

2:05 p.m. | Session 2 | Speaker #2

Temperature-dependent oxygen and carbon isotope fractionation in otoliths of juvenile Chinook salmon"

2:30 p.m. | Session 2 | Speaker #3

"Tracing fertilizer fates through the sorghum rhizosphere with 15N omics, geochemistry, and trace gas isotopocules"

Session 2: Flash Talks

2:55 p.m. | Session 2 | Flash Talk #1

"Developing a Method to Make Isotopically Labeled Mineral Associated Organic Matter"

3:02 p.m. Session 2 | Flash Talk #2 

"The network between rhizosphere microbes and host plant"

  • Wei Ren | Postdoctoral researcher | Oklahoma State University

3:10 p.m. Session 2 | Flash Talk #3


3:17 p.m. Networking break

3:40 p.m. EMSL User Program involvement and upcoming LSR & FICUS calls

4 p.m. One-on-one with IRMS staff

5 p.m. End of Day One

6 p.m. No host reception/networking (optional)

  • Bombing Range Brewing Company, 200 Logston Blvd., #126, Richland, Wash., 99354


Wednesday, Jan 24, 2024

7:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time


Session 3: EMSL Tours of IRMS, NanoSIMS, and NMR Labs

7:45 a.m. | Tour Groups/Networking (Morning refreshments provided)

8 to 11 a.m. | Tours

IRMS Lab Tour

Plant Lab Tour for SIP and sample preparation

NMR Lab Tour

NanoSIMS Lab Tour

11:10 a.m. | IRMS data normalization and  final questions on capabilities and EMSL collaboration