Posts Tagged ‘stable isotope’

Meeting my Supervisor at QUB

October 21, 2010 2 comments

Yesterday the long awaited day came. I made the trek (Ok 2 bus rides and a walk) to Belfast from Dublin to meet my supervisor at Queen’s University Belfast. His name is Dr. Luc Rock and his expertise lies in stable isotope measurements and the use of nitrogen and oxygen isotopes  for nitrate source determination.

The meeting went quite well. We discussed quite a number of factors related to my project. We discussed what has been done in the area, where the gaps of knowledge are and his vision for the project. He is quite open to what I would want to do and he seems to be willing to take the project wherever my vision takes it (hmmm…do I have a vision?). I also got a chance to discuss with him some aspects of nitrate isotopes, which I found to be quite helpful. After our meeting we went to the lab where he showed me the different equipment they have available and their specific uses.

I am glad I made the effort to go and visit him and had the opportunity to discuss with him aspects of my project. Although he did not give any concrete answers to what I should or should not do, I now know what his vision is, and what his expectations of the project are. I can see that he is a truly nice person and he is interested in this subject.

I will now meet him again in about 1 months time. So I will see how that goes. However I am still excited about the project. Cannot wait to figure out what I will exactly be doing. However experienced sources in the area said that I will probably never have an answer to that.


Isotopes and Quotes

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Today I started really reading all the literature I found last week. I only managed to read one paper, so the going is quite tough, however it was a review paper, which enabled me to understand better the field I am entering. I am now reading chapters from a book on the subject, and would like to share a quote from it, which I feel is currently appropriate. In addition I hope that it is something I never forget, if I ever reach a stage where all that I am currently reading becomes common knowledge for me:


Fretwell’s Law:

“Warning! Stable isotope data may cause severe and contagious stomach upset if taken alone. To prevent upsetting reviewers’ stomachs and your own, take stable isotope data with a healthy dose of other hydrologic, geologic, and geochemical information. Then, you will find stable isotope data very beneficial.” (Marvin O. Fretwell, pers. comm. 1983).



Stable Isotope Data is very intensive, not only mathematically, but also conceptually. But hopefully I will get there.
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