About Us

The Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory is headed by scientists with active fieldwork and research interests. We are known for:

Our laboratory has 4 state-of-the-art AMS graphitisation lines.


The Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory was established in 1974 by Prof. Alex Wilson in anticipation of geomorphology and tephrostratigraphy projects looking at landform processes in the Waikato region.

Initially, the laboratory was run as a research unit measuring radiocarbon determinations for staff and student projects. During the first five years, 304 determinations were measured. In 1979 Alan Hogg took over the running of the lab and worked closely with Dr. Henry Polach (formerly Australian National University) to improve vacuum line and counting procedures.

The lab started producing AMS dates in 1996. In 2007 Fiona Petchey visited the Keck Radiocarbon laboratory in Irvine, California, and worked with Dr. John Southon to improve our AMS processes. Since 1980 we have run over 50,000 radiocarbon dates. During this time the popularity of AMS has grown from only 4% of our total throughput in 1996 to around 90% in 2020.

There is so much more that we do. For more information, here are some stories from the archives.

Five staff are now employed in the University of Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory.

Watch the video below to find out more about the Radiocarbon Dating Lab and Advanced Technical Officer Kathleen Dabell - winner of the KuDos Science Excellence Laboratory Technician Award 2018.