The Institute for Applied Ecology carries out leading-edge research in five research facilities.
The Ecochemistry Laboratory is a specialised facility for the analysis of chemical species in biological tissues, waters and sediments from aquatic ecosystems.
The Ecochemistry laboratory is the only lab in Australia that is able to undertake chemical speciation analysis in water, sediments, soil, animal and plant tissues.
The Freshwater Ecology Laboratory has the capacity for the analysis of macro invertebrate and fish samples, stable isotope analysis and a range of habitat characterisation parameters.
The Lab contains a range of Leica microscopes, micro balances and associated equipment. Equipment used for measuring water quality includes instruments that measure algal biomass and chlorophyll concentration, hydro labs and loggers that automatically measure turbidity and conductivity.
The newly equipped lab houses five new high-end computers each with a second monitor and ARCGIS and other modelling software installed. The laboratory includes ergonomic workstations and large flat tables to place maps for viewing and digitising.
The high- end machines can be booked to support computer intensive simulation and modelling jobs, which benefit from parallel computations. Further the lab is equipped with a large scanner and laminator to facilitate the production of maps.
Recently the lab has been equipped with a projector and can be booked for academic meetings (including “skype” conferences).
The Wildlife Genetics Lab comprises a suite of modern, purpose designed molecular biology laboratories with PC2 level certification. They include 22 individual working benches for staff and students as well as communal areas for specific procedures and equipment.
Separate main laboratories allow for the physical separation of pre- and post- PCR functions and are equipped for DNA sequencing, genotyping, cloning, and state-of-the-art cytogenetic work. The labs include digital and conventional PCR machines, a GSJunior 454 Next Generation Sequencer, a capillary electrophoresis analyser for microsatellite genotyping and sequencing, and automation for precision high throughput sample processing.
A secure and restricted Trace DNA facility isolated from all other DNA work is located in a separate building and used for genetic analysis of samples where DNA quantity is low and the potential for contamination significant.
The Biodiversity Laboratory provides resources and facilities to support field and laboratory research on biodiversity conservation whether it be the management of invasive species, the conservation of threatened species, or understanding the historical and contemporary drivers of Australia’s unique biodiversity and how it is distributed across the landscape.
This work is tackling, in novel ways, the problems faced by land and water managers in a world where pressures on the natural biota are becoming more diverse, global and complex.