James Moran, Ph.D.

James Moran

Contact Me


Associate Professor - Stable isotope analysis; biogeochemistry; rhizosphere processes; instrument development
Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences


B.A. in Chemistry and Geology, Lawrence University
Ph.D. in Geosciences, The Pennsylvania State University
Postdoctoral studies at McMaster University

Dr. Moran has extensive experience with stable isotope analysis of light elements (H, C, O, N) using isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) and a wide array of different peripheral devices including gas chromatography, elemental analysis, gas bench, dual inlet, and laser ablation sample introduction approaches. Dr. Moran also has recent experience with innovative spectroscopy techniques including capillary absorption spectroscopy for making stable isotope measurements. He has applied his experience in stable isotope measurement and data interpretation to applications in ecology, microbial ecology, forensics, environmental science, and soil science applications. 


Research focus

I specialize in using detailed analyses of the abundance of light stable isotopes (primarily 13C, 15N, and 18O) to address scientific questions related to biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, animal ecology, and chemical forensics. I have a specific interest in understanding nutrient exchange processes within the rhizosphere and the overall role that spatial organization plays in driving relevant plant, microbial, and geochemical interactions. To help provide new insights to scientific investigations I also enjoy instrument and method development efforts including developing spatially resolved approaches for making isotope, protein, and elemental compositional analyses over solid or soil surfaces.

Related Work

All Related Work