Environmental change lab

The Environmental Change Laboratory supports research into present and past aquatic systems. Samples from rivers, freshwater and saline lakes, and coastal environments are archived and prepared for quantitative analysis of microfossils (principally diatoms and foraminifera), macrofossils, and physical properties.

Freezer storage is complemented by a large walk-in cold room, with core preparation area and fume cupboard facilities for processing samples. Much of the space is devoted to high-power microscopes for diatom analysis, including three research-quality oil immersion phase contrast microscopes (x1000-1600) and a DIC microscope (x1000). There are also two digital microscope cameras for taking publication-quality images.

This laboratory also houses a large diatom slide collection from previous research across the globe, and a comprehensive range of diatom floras and taxonomic publications for consultation.