BiG-Biogeosciences Laboratory

BiG is the Biogeosciences Laboratory at USAL, born under the framework of the PASSAGE project.

BiG is an Organic Geochemistry lab, aimed at processing marine sediments, soils, and plants to extract, purify, and analyze the organic compounds they contain.


Organic matter extraction and purification

Extractable organic matter from marine and terrestrial matrices is a treasure trove of (paleo)environmental information.

In our lab, we extract organic matter from different types of samples with an ETHOS X Microwave Labstation. 

Compound isolation for Compound-Specific Radiocarbon Analyses

After extraction, manual column chromatography allows for a better separation of compound classes. 

Depending on the target molecule/compound, we apply a series of chemical procedures to remove all other compounds in the sample and end up with a pure sample ready to be analysed for stable isotopes and radiocarbon.

Biomarker analyses by GC-FID

The abundance and distribution of specific compounds like long-chain alkenones from marine water and sediments, n-alkanes from plant leaves, and fatty acids from diverse organisms inform on the environmental and climate conditions in which their precursor organisms lived.

Data is used to reconstruct, qualitatively and quantitatively, present and past environmental and climate variables, like temperature, primary productivity, precipitation, and many more!  


Interested in biomarkers for your project?
We currently collaborate on other studies processing samples and analyzing organic biomarkers.
Get in touch!

BiG-Biogeoscience Laboratory

Led by Dr. Blanca Ausín (

R+D+i Multipurpose Building | Salamanca University

C/ Espejo, 2 | 37007-Salamanca | Spain