A photo showing about a dozen small vials containing sample extracts that range in color from green to yellow.
Extracts from an ocean sediment core ready for analysis by GC-FID and GC-MS.

The UMass Biogeochemistry Laboratory specializes in analysis of organic compounds (biomarkers) in geological materials including lake and ocean sediments, loess, soils, rocks, and peat. A main focus of the research group is on multi-proxy temperature reconstructions (including alkenones (Uk’37 Index), and long-chain diols (LDI), TEX86, and brGDGT proxies) and on using leaf wax hydrogen and carbon isotopes as tools for hydroclimate and vegetation (C3 vs C4 plants) reconstruction, respectively.

Current research in the Biogeochemistry Laboratory spans geographical locations from the tropics to both poles and includes projects addressing outstanding questions in paleoclimate and paleoceanography on timescales spanning the Pliocene to the present, as well as projects focusing on the development and improvement of organic geochemical proxies for paleoenvironmental reconstruction.

The UMass Biogeochemistry Laboratory currently consists of a ~1700 square foot shared sample preparation and analytical laboratory under the direction of Dr. Isla CastaƱeda and Dr. Jeff Salacup. Major research equipment includes gas chromatographs (GC), a GC-mass spectrometer (GC-MS), a GC-isotope ratio monitoring mass spectrometer (GC-irMS) and a high performance liquid chromatograph -mass spectrometer (HPLC-MS). To learn more about the instrumentation in the Biogeochemistry laboratory click here.

Are you looking for a lab to run biomarker (GC, GC/MS, HPLC/MS) or compound-specific isotopes (carbon and deuterium) in? We may be able to help! For more information and current fees, please contact Biogeochemistry laboratory manager Jeff Salacup.