Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry

The Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry (CSIB) on the University of California, Berkeley campus, is an analytical facility established as a University education, research, training and service unit beginning in January 2000.  Facility operations are overseen by an operations manager and spectroscopist (Wenbo Yang;, the faculty director (Todd Dawson), an associate researcher (Stefania Mambelli;, and a steering committee.  Student assistants help in daily operations and administrative support is provided by the Department of Integrative Biology and the Biological Division Services.

The center provides high precision, state-of-the-art, and instrumentation for analyzing the stable isotope composition of a diverse array of materials (e.g., plant and animal tissues samples, soils, atmospheric gasses, water, etc.) as well as space for purifying, extracting and preparing sample material for analysis.  The center also serves as a focal point for research and training for many of our programs at U.C. Berkeley (e.g., in Biology, Ecology, Paleontology, Anthropology, Geography, Chemistry, Atmospheric and Soil sciences). The specialized equipment housed in the facility serves students, post-docs and faculty both on and off campus. Over 50 Berkeley faculty and 350 post-doctoral, student and visiting researchers have used or are using the center’s services. In addition, there are many off-campus users from private companies and industry, NGO's and the U.S. Forest Service, Geological Survey, Fish and Wildlife Service and the State and National Park Service.

Todd Dawson
(510) 642-6090
Staff contact
Wenbo Yang
Mailing address

3040 Valley Life Sciences Building
Berkeley, CA 94720

In News

September 14, 2020

To recreate ancient recipes, check out the vestiges of clay pots

If you happen to dig up an ancient ceramic cooking pot, don’t clean it. Chances are, it contains the culinary secrets of the past. A research team led by UC Berkeley archaeologists has discovered that unglazed ceramic cookware can retain the residue of not just the last supper cooked, but, potentially, earlier dishes cooked across a pot’s lifetime, opening a window onto the past.