(WA-OIG)
WA ORGANIC AND ISOTOPE GEOCHEMISTRY FACILITY
WA-OIG is an internationally-recognised group contributing to world-class research in the fields of organic and stable isotope geochemistry; palaeogenomics and geomicrobiology.


RESEARCH FOCUSSES ON THE FOLLOWING AREAS: PETROLEUM AND MINERALS EXPLORATION, PALEOENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (INCLUDING THE FIVE LARGEST MASS EXTINCTION EVENTS AND THEIR ASSOCIATED RECOVERIES), ORGANIC GEOCHEMICAL PROXIES OF MODERN LAKES, ESTUARIES AND OCEANS, PALEOCLIMATE CHANGE AND THE DEEP BIOSPHERE.

TECHNIQUES

Organic and Isotope Geochemistry and Molecular Biology labs:

Sample preparation: Specialised coring, rock grinding and saw facilties for trace organic geochemistry

Sample preparation freeze drying, carbonate removal, centrifugation

Solvent extraction: Soxhlet extraction, ultrasonic extraction, microwave extraction

Molecular sieving techniques for GC-MS and CSIA

Solvent removal: nitrogen evaporator, rotary evaporator

Separation and purification: column chromatography, thin-layer chromatography, silver nitrate chromatography

Hydropyrolysis (HyPy) for generating biomarkers from macromolecular organic matter

Gas chromatography – flame ionisation detector (GC-FID) and gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis: including split/splitless injector, cool on-column injector, flash pyrolysis, microscale sealed-vessel (MSSV) pyrolysis, pyroprobe pyrolysis

Automative preparative GC system for isolation of compounds from complex mixtures

Two-dimensional gas chromatography with time of flight mass spectrometer (GCxGC-TOFMS) performs comprehensive two-dimensional separation of complex mixtures

Compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA): measurement of δ¹³C, δD, δ15N of liquid and gas samples- these can be from complex mixtures of petroleum, organic extracts containing biomarkers/ biomolecules, microbialites e.g. stromatolites, lake extracts, extracts from sediments or cores, extracts from sponges/ algae/ microbes etc.

Orbitrap liquid chromatography – mass spectrometer (LC-MS) allows high mass resolution, sensitivity and tandem mass spectral structural elucidation of polar compounds, intact lipids, functionalised lipids and metalloporphrins.

Access to δ34S- GC-ICPMS built in collaboration with WA-OIG and UWA for δ34S of organosulfur compounds in complex mixtures.

Laser Pyrolysis- GCMS, Laser Pyrolysis- CSIA.

GC-MSD volatiles (Gas Chromatograph Mass Selective Detectors [Agilent]) Application: GC-MSD with robotic specialised sample preparation systems (solid phase micro extraction – SPME stir bar sorptive extraction – SBSE, purge and trap thermal desorption – PT/TD and closed loop stripping analysis-CLSA units) for analysis of volatile organic and semi-volatile species in various matrices.

Thermal Desorption Unit ‘Unity2’ (TD-unit) [Supplier: Markes] Application: Analysis of VOCs in air samples by adsorbing these compounds onto a resin. This resin is placed into a thermal desorption tube and is then attached to a TD-unit to release the analyte. The unit can also be linked to a GC-irMS for the ¹³C/¹²C and D/H measurements of VOCs.

Robotic SPE (Solid Phase Extraction)

Robotic SPME (Solid Phase Micro Extraction)

SBSE (Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction)

Extraction of extracellular vs. intracellular DNA from environmental samples (water, rock, sediments, soils, stalagmites, corals)

Enzymatic ancient DNA repair

Agarose and denaturing gel electrophoresis (DGGE)

DNA and RNA quantification

Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)

Sample preparation for Illumina MiSeq sequencing of PCR products (past and present diversity studies)

Sample preparation for Illumina HiSeq sequencing of environmental metagenomes to provide a holistic overview of the genetic potential now and in the past.

Sample preparation for Illumina HiSeq sequencing of reverse transcribed metatranscriptomes (to study gene expression: who was doing what at the time of sampling)

Bioinformatics and statistical tools used in diversity studies, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics to study ecosystem-environment interactions.

Ectoenzyme activity experiments using fluorescently labelled substrates to study potential rates of microbial decomposition of complex organic matter.

CENTRIFUGE

FREEZE-DRIER

GC-FID

GC-MS SYSTEM

GCXGC-TOF

HYPY

ISOPRIME GC-IRMS

ISOPRIME GC-IRMS

MICROWAVE EXTRACTION UNIT

NITROGEN EVAPORATOR

ORBITRAP

ORBITRAP

PREP-GC

ROTARY EVAPORATOR

THERMO EA-IRMS

THERMO GC-IRMS (X2)

THERMO GC-IRMS (X2)

GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY – MASS SPECTROMETRY (GC-MS) WITH GERSTEL AUTOSAMPLER (×2)

LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY-MASS SPECTROMETRY-MASS SPECTROMETRY (LC-MS-MS)

HIGH PERFORMANCE LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY (HPLC)

THERMAL DESORPTION UNIT (TDU)

GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY – INDUCTIVELY COUPLED PLASMA – MASS SPECTROMETRY (GC-ICP-MS)

APPLICATIONS

We research the application of biomarkers (organic geochemistry), compound-specific isotope analysis, palaeogenomics and geomicrobiology to a variety of priority areas. These include:

Recognise the Extent of Australia’s Natural Resources through Petroleum, Natural Gas and Mineral Exploration

Study Microbial Communities and Activities in Modern and Ancient Environments, including the Deep Biosphere

Establish New Biochemical Pathways in Extant Organisms

Participate in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program and Petroleum Source Rock Characterisation Projects

Study Global Anoxic Events and Mass Extinctions

Develop Novel Tools Used in Organic Geochemistry, Isotope Geochemistry and Palaeogenomics

Study Climate Trends Both Past and Present

Understand Issues Concerning the Environmental Sustainability of Water, Sediments and Soil

Monitor the Ecology of Modern Lakes and Coastal Environments

JDLC WA-OIG FACILITY

Bldg 500, Curtin University

BANNER PHOTO

Genome

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FIELD WORK 2/10

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Freezers incl. a -86C freezer for long-term storage of nucleic acids.

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WA-OIG INSTRUMENT LAB 1/3

WA-OIG INSTRUMENT LAB 2/3

WA-OIG INSTRUMENT LAB 3/3

FEATURED PROJECTS

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Prof. Kliti Grice
WA-OIG
Facility Leader
Ph: +61 8 9266 2474
Assoc. Prof. Marco Coolen
WA-OIG
Deputy Facility Leader
Ph: +61 8 9266 7808