Stable isotopes are a ubiquitous and essential tool in modern ecology. When applied correctly they can provide a keen insight into animal migration, consumer trophic ecology and food web structure. However, the application of stable isotopes requires a specific framework of experimental design, sample process and data analysis. This course will provide novice and intermediate users of stable isotopes with the theoretical and hands on skills required to make a success of their project. The course will be suitable for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and scientists working in private industry, though all interested researchers are encouraged to attend.

The course will combine lectures in stable isotope theory and practise with hands on practical demonstrations each day. We will cover all aspects of isotope ecology from sample collection and preparation to cutting edge data analysis techniques using state of the art R packages. (2 field days - which days are yet to be determined). 

Hosted by the Canadian Rivers Institute and the Stable Isotopes in Nature Laboratory at the University of New Brunswick.


5 days - June 17-21, 2019


UNB - Fredericton, room to be announced



Dr. Brian Hayden, University of New Brunswick

Dr. Brian Hayden, University of New Brunswick

Prof Tim Jardine, University of Saskatchewan

Prof Tim Jardine, University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Kurt Samways, University of New Brunswick

Dr. Kurt Samways, University of New Brunswick


Course Material:


Introduction to stable isotope ecology Sample collection in the field
-Definitions & concepts -Primary producers
-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry -Benthic Invertebrates

DAY 2                                                                                      

Isotopic variation in the environment Sample preparation
-Understanding baseline variability -Drying
-Terrestrial & marine isoscapes -Grinding


Isotopic variation in the organism Handling and manipulating isotope
-Intra-individual variation data in R
-Tissue turnover rate


Isotopes in trophic ecology Stable Isotope mixing models in R
-Carbon, nitrogen & hydrogen isotopes -SIMMR
-Compound specific stable isotope analysis -MixSIAR


The isotopic niche and food web Isotopic Food Web Metrics
-Layman Metrics -SIBER

Registration Type
Academic, NGOs, First Nation Group, Government $500.00+HST= $575.00
Private Industry $1500.00+HST= $1725.00

* Lunch will be provided. Coffee breaks provided for classroom days