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Carol-Ann Craig

Staff picture: Carol-Ann Craig
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Head of Inorganic Isotope Analysis
+44 (0)1224 395101

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


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 specialised in looking at the isotopic signature of rocks and minerals using Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometer (TIMS) and Multi Collector-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS).

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 sample, to monitoring nutrient uptake in plants, to tracing the migration of people and animals. We are very lucky in this Institute to have two TIMS instruments, one a new (2017) Isotopx Phoenix and over the last several years I have been 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 a technical standard which ensures that all of the accredited methods in our laboratories are controlled and produce data of the highest quality.

Current research interests

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. In the summer of 2011 I developed new Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium isotope methods for looking at plant and soil materials and I hope to use these methods again soon. I am also in the process of analysing soils from the Institute's National Soil Archive collection for Sr isotopes to produce a Scottish Sr soil isoscape.

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.


  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

Printed from /staff/carol-ann-craig on 16/04/24 06:21:44 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.