Field-to-mesocosms sampling: Fieldwork sites are accessed by two fieldwork vehicles with full off-road 4x4 capability; two (7m & 3m) Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBS). Field sampling is facilitated by Van Veen grab samplers; diving PAMs; underwater video cameras; full face diving masks with communications equipment; GPS units; multiple remote sensing drones (e.g. Phantoms); field portable spectrophotometers; fish surveying equipment including fyke nets, passive traps, pelagic trawls, and backpack electrofishing gear (E-fish 500W); and a FluoroProbe profiler for the analysis of chlorophyll with algae class determination. Experimental work is support through a range of aquatic and terrestrial mesocosms, including: 62 large (>100L) temperature-controlled aquaria for simulating tropical or temperate and fresh or marine systems; replicated environmental outdoor mesocosms simulating tidal and terrestrial systems; a state-of-the-art tropical coral-reef research facility devoted to fully climate-controllable experiments; and multiple pH-stating systems to control CO2 concentration for ocean acidification experiments. Microbial culturing facilities support our experimental work and comprise dozens of constant-temperature (and light) growth rooms, and walk-in incubators, across a -12°C to +40°C gradient, used for culturing both Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes.
Analytical equipment: All field sampling and experimental work is underpinned by high-accuracy analytical measurements provided by: four gas chromotographs (GCs) with diverse detectors (MS, FID, FPD, ECD) for trace gases; hydrocarbon and polysaccharide analyses; purpose-built purge-and-trap systems for the cryogenic enrichment of trace gases (one for sulfur gases, one for non-methane hydrocarbons); a Fast Isoprene Sensor; Pfeiffer model QMG 422 mass spectrometer with membrane inlet for measuring dissolved gases; a uPLC; a new Nutrient Autoanalysis suite as well as sediment oxygen/nutrient flux systems; dionex anion and cation exchange chromatography; an HPLC; atomic absorption spectrophotometer; 2 X CTG FastTracka II Fast Repetition Rate Fluorometers with Fast Act Laboratory Systems; PAM fluorometers; bench top spectrofluorometers; LED Flash-Yield systems; Leica DMI600B inverted light Limnology microscope – auto XYZ image capture (inc, Dark Phase); Gilson liquid-handling robot for high-throughput microbial culturing in microtiter plates; and a multi-mode (fluorescence, optical density, luminescence) microtiter plate reader.
Molecular ecology: In the post-genomics era, we have invested heavily in high-throughput molecular ecology facilities, based around advances in 2nd and 3rd generation sequencing technologies, which we apply across taxonomic domains and level of biological organisation, these include: Hamilton Robotics liquid handling robot; DNA, RNA and protein extraction equipment; banks (dozens) of PCR thermal cyclers; a range of 96 and 384 well qPCR machines; Blue Pippin DNA size-selection system; Stable Isotope Probing equipment and a designated radio isotope laboratory; Agilent Bioanalyser; NanoDrop 3300 fluorospectrometer and a NanoDrop 1000 spectrometer; FLUOstar Omega Microplate Reader; and an Illumina MiSeq Benchtop Sequencing System.