WETS1049 Advanced methods in aquatic science (5 cr)
Stable isotopes analysis (SIA) is a technique finding wide application in ecological and environmental research. This course introduces the principles of SIA and illustrates its application through case studies and modelling exercises. The emphasis is on examples from aquatic studies. Students will also gain practical experience of sample preparation and analysis through a class exercise, computer models and interpretation through group work on case studies.
After completing the course students 1) should have a basic understanding of the principles of stable isotope analysis in ecology and be able to understand its use in research papers that they may read. 2) They should know what stable isotopes are, how isotope ratios are measured and how results are expressed and handled. They should also be aware of the limitations of the technique, both conceptual and practical. From practical exercises, 3) students should know how to prepare samples for analysis and be able to discuss the interpretation of the results. From modelling exercises, 4) students should be able to demonstrate an ability to analyse and interpret stable isotope data in different ecological contexts.