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Environment In For Close Scrutiny At Intl. Conf.



Scientists from 21 countries will gather at Te Papa today for a week-long conference on using isotopes to study the environment. Participants will discuss the latest developments in isotope research in areas such as studies of animal nutrition and food webs, wildlife research, and tracing contaminants in the environment.

An underlying theme of the conference is how stable isotopes can best be used to monitor, understand, and address major issues of ecological conservation and restoration work.

The fourth International Conference on the Applications of Stable Isotopes to Ecological Studies is being organised and hosted by Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

" The conference is timely as New Zealand looks to gain greater benefits from its investment in marine and terrestrial biodiversity and biosecurity initiatives," conference spokeswoman Nancy Beavan Athfield of GNS said.

Presentations by New Zealand scientists will cover such areas as isotope studies of the Rotorua lakes, the dynamics of nitrogen in streams, using stable isotopes to trace the movement of tuna in the Pacific, stable isotope analysis of endangered populations of New Zealand brown teal, using stable isotopes to identify landfill leaching at Green Island estuary Dunedin, and testing New Zealand honey for adulteration.

Stable isotopes are the isotopes of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulphur.


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