$2 million Isotopia lab to provide new insights about the Earth


The Isotopia lab 

Monash University is set to play a leading role in geochemistry research following the opening of a new $2 million world-class research facility.

Led by Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow Professor Peter Cawood, and supported by the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, the Faculty of Science, the Australian Research Council and Thermo Fisher Scientific Australia, the Isotopia lab will bring research and teaching in geochemistry to a world-class level.

“Researchers using this facility will be able to provide new insights into the formation of our planet, the history of oceans and the continents, past and present oceans and our environment,” said Professor Cawood, from the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment.

“This new facility provides high precision element and isotope analyses of a wide range of geo-materials to the School, Monash University and the global community,” he said.

It features four state-of-the-art mass spectrometers and two coupled laser ablation systems and provides high-precision analyses of atomic mass ratios of elements and their concentrations in a wide range of nature and synthetic materials, down to the micron-scale.”

Small variations in elements and their isotopes allow Earth Scientists to study events that have happened long ago – often hundreds of millions of years ago.

It also allows them to study trace processes that are otherwise totally invisible.

The spectrum of research the lab can be used for ranges from early solar systems sciences, geo-chronology and crustal evolution over water and climate research to economic geology and ore deposit formation.

The new facility is located in the Science Precinct Clayton Campus and will strategically position the School and the Faculty as the drivers of a strong scientific hub for research and industry partners from Australia and abroad.