The Amino Acid Geochronology Laboratory at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) was developed to address the timing of Quaternary events using a relative dating technique that has a temporal range greater than that of several common absolute dating techniques. Originally, many of the sample types analyzed in the lab were Canadian Arctic mollusks, but sample types have branched out over the years to include bird eggshells, algal remains, synthetic amino acids, and more. Our instrument capabilities have increased over the years as well. Beyond the traditional ion-exchange liquid chromatograph, we also use a reverse-phase liquid chromatograph that has up to 100 times greater sensitivity. With these tools we are able to handle a broad assortment of sample types and sample sizes. This enables us to address a wider range of questions in Quaternary geology.

contact the Amino Lab's Manager/Webmaster

The Amino Acid Geochronology Laboratory
1560 30th St.; Rm. 140
Boulder, CO 80309-0450
(303) 492-5075

Lowering coring equipment into a meteorite crater in Western Australia. Human-induced burning of the Australian landscape may have caused climate change as early as 50,000 years ago. The remains of an entire fossil Genyornis (extinct) egg exhumed from a sand dune in the semi-arid region of Australia.  Click to learn more.