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Welcome to the Organic Mass Spectrometry Facility


The Organic Mass Spectrometry Facility primarily serves members of the W.H.O.I. Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, but is available to all investigators at the Institution and, as time and resources permit, to other researchers outside of the Woods Hole community.

We provide:

  • Specialized, state-of-the-art analytical services using instruments which would be prohibitively expensive for any single investigator to develop, operate and maintain;
  • Timely, high sample throughput and high quality data at a standardized cost, all with minimal instrumental downtime;
  • New methods development by Facility personnel or student/staff researchers as required by specific projects.


This Facility traces its roots back to the early 1970's when Max Blumer and Nelson Frew brought one of the first GCMS instruments to WHOI. Notable early users of that equipment were John Hunt and John Farrington. During the 1980's, the new Finnigan 4500 was used heavily by Bob Gagosian, Jean Whelan, Ed Peltzer, Stuart Wakeham and Dan Repeta. Timothy Eglinton helped to spearhead the acquisition of the Autospec-Q in the early 90's and the DeltaPlus a few years later. The DeltaPlus IRMS has been our workhorse, and has served John Hayes, Kai Hinrichs and Jeff Seewald to name just a few.


  • Finnigan-MAT DeltaPlus stable light isotope monitoring mass spectrometer;
  • Carlo Erba 1108 Elemental Analyzer upgraded with Costech Zero-Blank carousel
  • (Bruker Avance 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer).

User Base

Since 1992, our records list more than 100 individuals who have benefited from analyses performed on the instruments in this Facility:

InstrumentYearsIndividualsLab-GroupsLab-Groups (non-WHOI) (fee for service)Post Doc or Guest InvestigatorGraduate StudentSummer Student or High School StudentTechnical or Graded Staff
Avance 400 NMR2000-Current186-46-3
AC-300 NMR1989-2000206-2913

This count is certainly conservative, and includes individuals from many other institutions working on a short term basis within WHOI laboratories. Older instruments not listed here (Finnigan 4500 GCMS, 1982-1996, Finnigan 1015 and 3200 GCMS’s, 1971-1992) served a similarly numerous and diverse clientel.

Scientific Acknowledgments

Data is generally produced in the Facility without any expectation of co-authorship; acknowledgments however are certainly welcomed.

The Facility tries to maintain a bibliography of all papers, presentations and theses that have used data generated on our instruments. If you send us a citation for any such publication, we would appreciate being able to include it in this bibliography.