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

Lab Services and Prices

The lab specializes in the isotopic analysis of archaeological human and animal remains (e.g., bones, teeth, shells, plants, hair/fur, feathers and skin), but we also analyze modern plant and animal specimens, and occasionally soil samples (in collaboration with the WSU GeoAnalytical Lab). Our primarily focus is on the isotopes listed below, but please contact us if you are interested in working with other isotopes (e.g., sulfur, lead). We provide laboratory analysis services to both WSU and non-WSU researchers.

Standard Isotopes Analyzed:

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

Potential Isotope Capabilities:

  • sulfur (34S/32S) – please inquire
  • lead – please inquire

The stable isotope lab within the WSU Department of Anthropology is equipped to complete all sample processing tasks (e.g., cleaning, sub-sampling, grinding, chemical digestion, freezedrying, sample weighing) prior to loading the samples in the mass spectrometer. Isotope ratios are measured using the mass spectrometers housed in the WSU Stable Isotope Core and GeoAnalytical Lab.

Please contact Dr. Erin Thornton (erin.thornton@wsu.edu) if you are interested in our services.

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Current Prices

The lab prices below include both labor and lab supplies/consumables. Mass spectrometer fees are set by the WSU Stable Isotope Core and GeoAnalytical Lab, but are estimated here for convenience.

Non-WSU (External) Researcher Prices:

Analysis: Lab Price:* Mass Spec Fee:** Total (per sample):
Collagen (δ13C & δ15N) $35 $8.20 $43.20
Apatite/Enamel (δ13C & δ18O) $25 $8.60 $33.60
Strontium (87Sr/86Sr) $30 $150 $180

 

 

WSU (Internal) Researcher Prices:

Analysis: Lab Price:* Mass Spec Fee:** Total (per sample):
Collagen (δ13C & δ15N) $30 $7.30 $37.30
Apatite/Enamel (δ13C & δ18O) $20 $7.40 $27.40
Strontium (87Sr/86Sr) $25 $150 $175

 

 

* NOTE: the prices above include complete sample processing (e.g., sample cleaning, sub-sampling, grinding, chemical digestion, freeze-drying and weighing). The fees also cover wages of students who assist Professor Thornton in the lab. Paying students for their laboratory assistance allows me to attract more qualified students, and also provide assistance to students in need. This promotes use of the lab as an important setting for hands-on student training in laboratory methods.

**The mass spec fees are current quotes from associated WSU labs, but are subject to change.