Science Capability

Overview: We can precisely determine an element’s isotopic ratios and concentrations in materials such as rocks, soils, water, plants, mine waste, animal tissues and archaeological materials. We currently measure B, Ca, Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, and U-Th-Pb; measurements for other isotopes such as Re-Os, Lu-Hf, and platinum group elements (PGE) will be available in late 2016.

Centre Capacity: Clean lab for the low-blank sample preparations and isotopic ratio measurements using our ThermoFisher Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer (TIMS) and Neptune Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS- expected to arrive in the spring of 2016).


  • Directors: Dr. Sharon Carr, Dr. Brian Cousens, Dr. John Blenkinsop (retired)
  • Operation Manager: Dr. Shuangquan Zhang
  • Faculty, students (PhD, MSc, BSc), postdoctoral fellows

Industrial Application

Focus:  Resource Geology, Environmental Consulting, Health and Life Sciences

Project Examples: Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Pb-Pb isotope analysis of rock and mineral samples from Natural Resources Canada, Ontario Geological Survey, Northwest Territories Geoscience Office, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, US Geological Survey, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and many Canadian and International universities, and consulting firms; Pb in human systems for Health Canada; Sr isotope analyses for the ground water samples from Natural Resources Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada; tracing metals with Pb isotopes in surface water and groundwater in the vicinity of  mining properties; Sr isotopes in trees and wooden building materials from native American archaeological sites in Arizona; Sr isotopic analyses of shell material for calibration of the global seawater curve; collaborative research across all disciplines of Earth Sciences with institutions from across Canada and around the world. 

Engagement types and co-funding

  • R&D partnerships (up to 80% cash contributions available)
  • Contract research and consulting
  • Industrial-partnered student internships (up to 50% cash contributions available)

Point of Contact: ShuangquanZhang@CUNET.CARLETON.CA;  (613) 520 – 2600 Ext. 6311


Contact Information

Shuangquan Zhang

Facility Details