Dr. Carol-Ann Craig

Inorganic Isotope Lead, ISO17025 Quality Manager and ISO9001 Quality Co-ordinator
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences Health, Safety, Quality and Environment
T: +44 (0)1224 395101
Carol-Ann is Isotope Geochemist in the ​Environmental and Biochemical Sciences department in James Hutton. Her work focuses broadly on providing an isotope analytical service (TIMS) for commercial and research clients. She also leads research on using ‘heavy’ isotopes for provenancing purposes. She is also the ISO17025 Quality Manager for the EBS department and the ISO9001 Quality Coordinator for the whole Hutton Group ensuring that our science is produced to the highest quality.

I have a background both geochemistry and environmental analysis where I spent my postgraduate years developing technical methods for the accurate and precise analysis of geological (rocks, fossils, waters) and environmental (waters, plant, animal) materials using mass spectrometry. I specialise in looking at the isotopic signature of materials using Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometer (TIMS).

Isotopic signatures of materials can be used for a variety of purposes, from determining the age of the rocks, to tracing the source of a water or crop, to monitoring nutrient uptake in plants, to tracing the migration of people and animals. The Hutton has an Isotopx Phoenix TIMS instrument and I have many years experience preparing and analysing rocks, muds, drill cuttings, waters, plants, soil extracts for isotopes of elements such as Strontium, Samarium, Neodymium, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium.

I am also the Quality Manager for our UKAS 17025 accreditation. This is an international lab based technical standard which ensures that all of the accredited methods in our laboratories are controlled and produce data of the highest quality. Our accreditation schedule can be found on the UKAS website under laboratory 7541.

I am currently also the Hutton Groups Quality Coordinator ensuring that all the organisations in the group follow the ISO9001 Quality Management standard and provide the best service to all our customers and stakeholders.


I have analysed waters from all over Scotland for their Strontium isotope signature as part of the National Waters Inventory for Scotland (NWIS) which is funded by the Scottish Government.

My current research is focused on analysing soils from the Institute’s National Soil Archive collection for Sr isotopes to produce more robust data for the Scottish Sr soil isoscape and investigating the possibility of provenancing crops grown in vertical farms. In the past I developed Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium isotope methods for looking at plant and soil materials and I hope to use these methods again soon.

Some of my current commercial work involves the analysis of rock cores for Samarium and Neodymium isotope analysis to determine their provenance. I also regularly analyse the Strontium isotope ratios of the salts in pore spaces of rock cores and some production waters, to aid a better understanding of their stratigraphy and connectivity.


Prior to appointment

Books / chapters

  • Roberts, D.; Torrance, L.; Stirton, G.; Britton, A.J.; Craig, C.-A.; Kyle, C; Newman, C.; Macaulay, C.; Fielding, D.; Watson, H.; Pohle, I.; Robertson, J.; Maxwell, J.; Irvine, K.; Sutherland, L-A.; Dawson, L.A.; Shepherd, L.; Miller, P.; Ellis, R.; Richards, S.; Blok, V.; Hackett, C.; Kettle, H. (2018) Women in Science, The James Hutton Institute, 25pp

Conference papers

  • McCartney, R.; McBride, J.; Singleton, M.; Craig, C.A.; Bourne, H. (2010) Laboratory investigation of the elemental residual salt analysis (ERSA) technique and implications for scale management., International Oil Field Chemistry Symposium, 21st, Geilo, Norway, 15-17 March 2010.

Conference posters / abstracts

  • Craig, C-A.; Lilly, A.; Midwood., A. J.; Thornton, B.; Green, G. (2022) How variable are Sr isotope ratios in soil associations? – implications for extrapolating isoscapes, Joint European Stable Isotope Users Group Meeting, 10-14 October 2022, Kuopio, Finland
  • Vinnepand, M.; Fischer, P.; Craig, C-A.; Hambach, U.; Zeeden, C.; Thornton, B.; Tütken, T.; Jöris, O.; Prud’homme, C.; Schulte, P.; Moine, O.; Fitzsimmons, K.; Lehmkuhl, F.; Schirmer, W.; Vött, A. (2022) Upper Pleistocene dust dynamics reconstructed by isotope fingerprinting and the magnetic fabric of Loess-Palaeosol-Sequences, European Geosciences Union (EUG), 23-27th May 2022, Vienna, Austria & Online
  • Vinnepand, M.; Fischer, P.; Craig, C-A.; Hambach, U.; Zeeden, C.; Fitzsimmons, K.; Thornton, B.; Tütken, T.; Jöris, O.; Fiedler, S.; Prud’homme, C.; Schulte, P.; Moine, O.; Peric, Z.; Lehmkuhl, F.; Schirmer, W.; Vött, A. (2021) Extracting climate and dust source signals from LoessPalaeosolSequences – A multivariate geochemical approach tested onto the western Central European Schwalbenberg site, Mid-European Geomorphology Meeting 2021, 6-9 November 2021, Technical University of Munich, Munich