4th International Summer School on Stable Isotopes in Animal Ecology

14th - 18th September 2020

In light of the current travel restrictions and the uncertain dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemic, the summer school will be delivered remotely with live lectures via video link (a stable internet connection is required).
The course will be taught in the Central European Time zone.


The course is aimed at master and PhD students, as well as early career scientists (postdocs and beyond) to familiarize themselves with the concepts and methods related to the analysis of stable isotopes in animal ecology. 

Our course will be divided into three parts. (1) The introduction will cover the conceptual and theoretical background of using stable isotopes in different ecology-related research fields. The participants will have the opportunity (optional) to present and discuss their own projects and results with the experts and among peers. (2) The second part of the course will be devoted to the statistical analyses of stable isotope ratios. This will cover the use of multivariate statistics, the application R-packages designed for the study of food webs, trophic relationships (e.g. MixSIAR and SIBER) and geographic assignments (e.g. IsoriX). (3) The third part of the course will focus on the practical steps of stable isotope analysis. We will introduce the functionality of the mass spectrometers and their peripheries (e.g. Flash EA and TC/EA) together with different sample preparation techniques used in analysis of C, N and H stable isotopes. This part, originally designed as hands-on training, will be composed of live lectures and recorded videos of the laboratory-based activities.

Technical details

We suggest everyone to use a high-speed internet connection to be able to attend the meetings without problems. The whole course will be held on the Webex platform. We recommend to avoid attending the meetings via smartphones because you can encounter technical issues with video/audio. Also, we found out that some features are not supported by the Webex browser version. Therefore, we highly recommend to everyone to download the Webex desktop app (Webex Meetings) from https://www.webex.com/downloads.html.

List of lecturers

  • Len Wassenaar (IAEA, Austria): General aspects of stable isotopes
  • Roland Werner (ETH, Switzerland): Stable isotopes in plant ecology and physiology
  • Thomas Tuetken (University Mainz, Germany): Heavy stable isotopes in paleozoology
  • Keith Hobson (University of Western Ontario, Canada): Isotopes and foodwebs / Stable isotope ecology of birds
  • David Soto (UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK): Stable isotopes in limnology
  • Christian Voigt (Leibniz-IZW, Germany): Stable isotope ecology of terrestrial mammals
  • John Speakman (University of Aberdeen, UK): Doubly labeled water method in animal physiology
  • Petra Quillfeldt (University Giessen, Germany): Stable isotope ecology of seabirds
  • Seth Newsome (University of New Mexico, USA): Compound-specific stable isotope analysis
  • Martina Burnik Sturm (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria): Stable isotope analysis of (pre)historic samples from museum collections
  • Keith Hobson & Christian VoigtFrom the field to the lab: Sample collection and preservation
  • Stefania Milano (Leibniz-IZW, Germany): Introduction to mass spectrometry / Analytical tools for analyzing stable isotope data (MixSIAR and SIBER)
  • Alexandre Courtiol (Leibniz-IZW, Germany): Multivariate statistics and use of R-Package IsoriX for spatial assignments of animals based on stable isotope ratios


The registration deadline has passed.

Cancellation policy

In case of cancellations, refund of registration fees will be as follows:
- for cancellations made before 15th August 2020:  100% refund minus 60 Euro handling fee
- for cancellations made after 15th August 2020:  no refund possible

If you have to cancel your registration, please send us an e-mail at akademie@izw-berlin.de. Please note that your cancellation is not valid unless you have received a confirmation by e-mail from us.