Dr Richard Stern
Position: NanoSIMS Laboratory Manager
Affiliation: Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis
Phone: +61 (08) 6488 8062
Upon graduation with a B.Sc. in 1984 from the University of Waterloo, Canada, RS was awarded a prestigious ‘NSERC 1967 Science and Engineering Scholarship’ that took him to the State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA. Under the tutelage of Professor Gilbert Hanson, RS conducted doctoral research in trace element geochemistry of Precambrian rocks, specializing in rare earth element analysis of rocks and minerals by isotope dilution mass spectrometry. After graduating with a Ph.D. in 1989, RS was offered a post-doctoral fellowship at the Geological Survey of Canada, where he expanded his research to include Nd and Sr isotope geochemistry and zircon U-Pb geochronology using multicollector thermal ionization mass spectrometry. RS was hired as a staff member of the GSC Geochronology Section in 1991, and in 1995 was charged with establishing North America’s first SHRIMP ion microprobe laboratory. He remained in charge of the GSC ion microprobe laboratory through 2003, when he took on the new challenge of establishing Australia’s first nanoSIMS ion microprobe laboratory at The University of Western Australia.
RS’s principle interests are developing and applying new methods of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), particularly isotope ratio analysis. He has been at the forefront of developing and applying the latest SIMS technology to a wide array of problems, from U-Pb mineral U-Pb geochronology to tracing mammal life histories. RS brings broad experience and technical expertise in isotope and trace element analysis, and in chemical and isotopic modelling of natural systems.
The University of Western Australia nanoSIMS 50 ion microprobe at the Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis provides Australian and international researchers access to the southern hemisphere’s first and only capability in nano-scale isotopic analysis. The instrument permits sub-cellular localization of metal ions and/or related ligant elements to a resolution of 50 nm.
Complementary facilities are available for conducting confocal, scanning, and transmission electron microscopy.
Ongoing linkages have been established two other nanoSIMS laboratories conducting analysis of biological materials, i.e., Harvard Medical School (C. Lechene) and Institut Curie, University of Paris-Sud (J.-L. Guerquin-Kern).