The Trent Environmental Archaeology Lab (TEAL) focuses on understanding the dynamic nature of human-environmental relationships through time. The primary method that we use to investigate these relationships is stable isotope analysis, but we are interested in exploring any scientific techniques that can contribute to this larger goal. Lab members conduct research all over the world but primarily in South America and the Arctic.
Our lab was furnished by a Canada Foundation for Innovation infrastructure grant in 2017 and contains all of the materials required to prepare archaeological samples for various chemical analyses. Dr. Paul Szpak is also the director of the Trent Water Quality Centre, an interdisciplinary centralized research facility specializing in mass spectrometry. Lab members have access to CF-EA-IRMS (for stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of organics), MC-ICP-MS (for isotopic analysis of heavy elements and metals such as strontium, lead), GC-C/IRMS (for isotopic analysis of individual compounds), GC-MS/MS (for analysis of lipids) and a host of other instruments including ICP-MS, LC-MS, and FTICR-MS.