The Stable Isotope Facility user survey for 2018

Thanks to all of those who took part in the 2018 Stable Isotope Facility (SIF) user survey. The feedback we have received has been invaluable, both for the continued operation of the facility and to help establish where additional services maybe required by the wider stable isotope research community. A short summary of the results is presented below.

The respondents

  • >50 researchers used the Stable Isotope facility in 2018.
  • 36 users completed the 2018 user survey.
  • Of the 36 respondents the majority (>80%) have used the Stable Isotope Facility for more than 1 year.
  • The main science areas of those surveyed are:
    • environmental change (50%)
    • climate systems (25%)
    • Earth system science (30%)

The facility

  • 95% of the respondents consider the Stable Isotope Facility to be "world class" or "state of the art".
  • On a NERC type scale of 1–6, with 6 being maximum, 27% of respondents graded the facility a 5 and 67% a grade of 6.5 being excellent and internationally competitive and 6 being outstanding, world leading high impact research.
  • On a NERC type scale of one to six, with six being maximum, 100% graded the SIF to be either five (20% or six (80%) (five being 'excellent and internationally competitive' and six being 'outstanding, world–leading, high–impact research').


  • 100% considered the Stable Isotope Facility staff response time to be either prompt or reasonable.
  • 100% of the respondents consider the quality of service from Stable Isotope Facility staff to be excellent (95%) or good (5%).
  • 75% consider collaboration with Stable Isotope Facility staff to be essential or important to their research.


  • 100% consider training of students and early carrier researchers in isotope geochemistry to be excellent or good.
  • 97% consider the training to be essential/important to improve their research needs.

Free form comments on the new analytical capacity that respondents would like the Stable Isotope Facility to develop (the facilities’ response in italics)

  • Recent developments in methane analytical capability are excellent
    Response: this is in response for a requirement from previous surveys for the gas analysis of CO2 and CH4. This new facility provision will be up and running in early 2019.
  • The massive potential for lead (Pb) isotope studies is just beginning to be realised, it would be good to see this, and the other archaeologically–relevant isotopes (Sr, O, S, C and N) developed further.
  • Clumped isotope capability for palaeoclimate research.
  • Allow greater provision for SI analysis on a service basis.
  • Faster turnarounds, but this is tricky
  • Clumped isotopes Biomarker d18O and dD
  • No, you have all we need.

Free form comments on the Stable Isotope Facility

  1. The SIF is a vital part of my group's research program. We have generated hundreds of data points in collaboration with Prof Leng and her team, which underpin more than one PhD project and are now starting to lead to high profile publications. We thanks the SIF team for their ongoing support and expertise, and hope these fruitful collaborations can continue into the future.
  2. Collaboration with Prof Melanie Leng has been one of the highlights of my career to date. She is SO generous with her time and knowledge. Her input and support has substantially improved the outcomes of our collaborative research. As a partner–investigator, she has been the critical factor that has enabled grant applications to be successful. As a result, we have been able to continue undertaking research and have provided employment for staff and support to PhD student. To say that Prof Leng is a credit to the BGS massively understates her contribution and value. She is, without a doubt, one of the most outstanding academics I have ever had the privilege to work with.
  3. Sometimes slow.


Contact Béatrice Bullock-von Moos for further information about the Stable Isotope Facility.