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Dr. Erin Thornton Dept. of Anthropology - Stable Isotope Lab


The WSU Dept. of Anthropology Stable Isotope Lab provides training and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students broadly interested in the application of stable isotope analysis to environmental archaeology. Through this lab, and other WSU facilities, Dr. Thornton and her students  combine zooarchaeological, bioarchaeological, isotopic, and genetic (ancient DNA) analyses to address socio-economic questions related to subsistence, animal domestication, political economy and exchange, and environmental questions regarding human impacts on and responses to deforestation, climate, and changing wildlife populations.

Students interested in joining the lab, or those interested in learning more about our research should see the following links on the left hand side of the page:


Our lab provides stable isotope preparation and analysis of archaeological and modern specimens including bones, teeth, shells, plants, hair/fur, and skin. In collaboration with the WSU Stable Isotope Core and GeoAnalytical Lab, we are able to provide the following stable isotope analyses to both WSU and non-WSU researchers:

  • carbon (13C/12C)
  • nitrogen (15N/14N)
  • oxygen (18O/16O)
  • strontium (87Sr/86Sr)

We very much welcome new collaborations, so please contact Dr. Erin Thornton ( to learn more about our services. Click the link below to find out more about our laboratory services, and for our current sample prices.

Current Sample Prices