The chemistry laboratory provides a central chemistry lab infrastructure for the whole ZMT, technical and scientific support in terms of planning and performance of instrumental analytics and methodologies. The technical staff supports the scientific divisions in planning and realization of sampling in-house campaigns (in the marine experimental facilty MAREE) or research expeditions.
The established methods represent the three analytical fields of the laboratory: organic, inorganic and isotopic geochemistry. Equipment for basic parameters such as pH and salinity for expedition into the tropics is available, nutrient and element analyses can be conducted, as well as high-end techniques like (isotope ratio-)mass spectrometers for the isotope composition of diverse natural matrices.
Based on the focus of the institute's research, established measurements provide results on e.g. fingerprints of organic components, amino acid composition, fatty acid profile, particle size distribution, micro nutrient content, isotope ratios (13C/15N/18O), and element content (e.g. organic carbon, total nitrogen, trace elements including heavy metals).
The laboratory staff take care of best data quality assurance in the field and in the laboratories by determining international or in-house reference. Additionally, twice a year the laboratory takes part in external quality control tests (Quasimeme).
Since the ZMT’s research topics also focus on sustainability, the chemistry lab tries to support research projects whenever possible with methods considering re-use of materials, non-toxicity for humans and environment, low-cost and use of free access or open sources.
The laboratory staff also assist in ZMTs teaching assignments and in capacity development with tropical partners by hosting students for their theses and conducting practical lab trainings (e.g. ISATEC course or internships).