• Class Number 5302
  • Term Code 3040
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Guillaume Tcherkez
    • Illa Tea
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 23/04/2020
  • Class End Date 29/05/2020
  • Census Date 01/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/05/2020
SELT Survey Results

This course deals with stable isotopes, across different areas, from biology to earth sciences, environmental studies and medicine. In this course, students will be taught the importance of isotopes in a variety of applications and how they can be used for basic science, environmental monitoring, etc. This course involves different universities (from France, Japan, Poland and Australia) in an international teaching initiative. There be will shared lectures and the course is recognized by all partner universities. Students will be prepared in the broad area of of isotopics, which carries many job opportunities in different branches of a modern economy: authentication, detection of doping, food traceability, etc.

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Describe the importance of stable isotopes in various areas;
  2. Explain how isotope abundance can be measured and how isotope fractionations work;
  3. Interpret and explain isotope signatures in a variety of applications;
  4. Evaluate and apply knowledge of isotopes to solve questions on traceability and fluxes in biological and geological systems.
  5. Interpret, analyse and present data from isotopic analyses.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Lecturers teaching into this course:

  • Gerald Remaud - email contact: gerald.remaud@univ-nantes.fr
  • Pierre Cartigny - email contact: cartigny@ipgp.fr
  • Naohiro Yoshida - email contact: yoshida.n.aa@m.titech.ac.jp
  • Valerie Daux - email contact: valerie.daux@lsce.ipsl.fr

Adjustments to delivery in 2020

Course delivery and assessment in 2020 was adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any information below that replaces what was published in the Class Summary for Semester 1, 2020 was approved by the Associate Dean Education (as is required after 10% commencement of a course). Where an activity or assessment is not referenced below, it remains unchanged.

Teaching Activities

  • Lectures were pre-recorded from 2019.
  • Tutorials were done live via Zoom.
  • Practicals were cancelled.


Adjustments were made to assignment due dates; for details see the course Wattle site.

  • Practical reports were converted to a series of questions online using data provided.
  • Workshops were converted to discussions.
  • Final exam was replaced with an online multiple choice exam.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction: This course is delivered intensively in April-May, via lectures given in person or via visioconference (lecturers from overseas). There are also teaching resources on-line (such as videos).
2 Session 1 Stable isotopes: definitions, isotope effects Prac report assignment, Literature review
3 Session 2 Stable isotopes in earth and ecosystem science Quizz (not marked)
4 Session 3 Stable isotopes in biological systems Prac report assignment
5 Session 4 Stable isotopes in pollutions and environmental science Quizz (not marked)
6 Session 5 Stable isotopes in medicine and health None
7 End of course Final exam

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Literature review 25 % 29/05/2020 02/07/2020 1,2,3
Prac reports (2) 25 % 29/05/2020 02/07/2020 3,4,5
Final exam 40 % * * 1,2,3,4,5
Workshop presentation 10 % * * 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


There are two pracs delivered during this course and thus students will have to provide two prac reports in assessment task 2. Students should note that each prac contains an assessment component that contributes 15% towards its associated mark. Absences must be notified (in advance, if possible) to the course convenor, and accompanied by an application justifying the absence. Only reasons entirely beyond the student’s control and unable to be anticipated and adjusted for at the beginning of the course will be accepted – reasons will be restricted to illness or significant personal crisis, and the accompanying documentation must be a medical certificate or other professional evidence of incapacity to attend. Exemption might be granted upon presentation of a valid medical certificate (or evidence for a clash with another course) prior to, or on the prac date. Requests received after the prac date will be declined and thus the penalty will be applied.


Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date for mid-semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held; the due and return date for end of semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and the date official end of Semester results are released on ISIS. Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 29/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Literature review

Student will have to complete a brief literature review in the form of an on-line MCQ test dealing with (2 to 6) papers given by the convener (made available on line on Extradoc at the beginning of the course). The objective of this assignment is for you to demonstrate (i) your understanding of principles and impacts of isotopic technologies used in artciles, and (ii) your ability to handle information contained in several papers to articulate general conclusions. For BIOL6110 students, the literature review will be associated with an oral presentation described in Assessment no. 4 below.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 29/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,5

Prac reports (2)

The objective of this assignment is for you to demonstrate your understanding of the techniques used in the two pracs. This assignment also aims to assess your ability in data analysis, and critical evaluation of your results in conjunction with the practical. This assignment will not be used to assess your ability in writing: prac reports will be as forms (available on Extradoc) to fill in and then upload on Extradoc as a PDF or Word file. This will facilitate your work and save time. Note that attending pracs is compulsory.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Final exam

This exam consists of both multiple choice questions and short answer questions, to demonstrate your understanding of the content and general principles of the course lectures. 

Please check the course Wattle or Extradoc site and the ANU Examination Timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the final exam.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Workshop presentation

BIOL6110 students will have to do an oral presentation that summarizes papers they have read on isotopes biogeochemistry. This oral session of presentations is referred to as "Workshop". Papers used to prepare the presentation may be the same as those used for the on-line literature review (which is associated with a MCQ test, see Assessment no. 1) or can be different (topic to be discussed with the convener). The oral presentation will last 15 min followed by 15 min questions. Other students of BIOL3110 are allowed to attend presentations. Please check the course Wattle or Extradoc site and the ANU Examination Timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the Workshop.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

Due to the international organization of this course, submission of assignments will have to be done via the web site of the partner University (university of Nantes, France), Extradoc.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded. As per ANU rules, any request for an extension MUST be sent before the due date, with supporting documents (such as a valid medical cetificate). Extension requests received after the due date will be declined.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments have to be returned on-line on the course website on Extradoc (which is the common platform for the different countries involved in this course), not via Turnitin nor Wattle.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission is not permitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Prof Guillaume Tcherkez

Research Interests

Plant physiology, Isotopes, Metabolomics, Fluxomics

Prof Guillaume Tcherkez

Wednesday 14:30 16:30
Illa Tea

Research Interests

Illa Tea

Tuesday 09:30 10:30

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