Our Labs

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Our group work and maintain several laboratories and aquaria within Ocean Sciences.

Warning Warning: Any new group members need full risk assessment and COSHH forms completed and signed by Andy BEFORE starting work.


Contents

[edit] General lab, 101 CM

General lab CM.jpg
Our general lab is the hub of our every day activities. We have a decent amount of space to hold our equipment and inventions at SOS, but as ever, there are always difficulties when several people are working at the same time! In this lab, we generally do our sensor set-up, testing and construction. There’s always someone working there, if not, then our students are not busy enough! I am sure we can find something for them to do!

[edit] Chemical ecology lab, 317 WM

Chemical ecology lab.jpg
Our chemical ecology lab is chock full of equipment for our phlorotannin and ocean acidification research. We’re lucky to have a decent rotary evaporator, fume hood, analytical balances, tCO2 machines and spectrophotometers, amongst an array of other equipment. Currently, Martyn works in here mostly, extracting tannins from seaweeds.

[edit] Ocean acidification aquaria, CM

Ocean Acidification Aquaria.jpg
Our ocean acidification aquaria were developed several years ago as part of Coleen’s PhD. We came up with the decanting system with a bottle of coke and a straw. The small diameter outlet allows for fine control of the flow rate to individual mesocosms. The conditions between the sump and an individual mesocosm doesn’t vary, as there is no air-space for gas exchange. Our current systems run on Aquamedic pH computers, but that will change in future as we continue to develop our approaches to follow the state of the art. Each system has its own data-logger that updates into a database online which is then queried by a PHP page, providing useful statistics for individual users. In case of an emergency, the system will send a message alert via Twitter to our aquarium user team who will then coordinate a response.

[edit] Resuspending aquaria, CM

Resuspending aquaria.jpg
Not too long ago we co-developed the Vortex Resuspension Tank System with Kim Last at SAMS. These were extremely large and have been a huge success with conducting research on the tolerances of species to burial and suspended sediment. So, when we moved to Bangor, we developed our own, smaller VoRT system based around smaller conical tanks. In total, we have 6 systems, controlled from a central control panel. So far, we’ve investigated the tolerance of Sabellaria to burial, measured their growth rate and investigated how suspended sediment affects the gape activity of queenie scallops.

See: Davies, A.J., Last, K.S., Attard, K. & Hendrick, V.J. (2009) “Maintaining turbidity and current flow in laboratory aquarium studies, a case study using Sabellaria spinulosa” Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 370, 35-40.

[edit] Temperature controlled aquaria, CM

As well as CO2, we also investigate the effects of temperature. The very nature of our experiments, with multiple replicates means we have to use flow through systems with no water recycling as this would violate the independence of the experiments. As such, we generally use high powered direct water heaters for mesocosm experiments, and lower powered tube style heaters for static mesocosm work for smaller organisms. However, during the summer the incoming seawater can generally be around 15 degrees, or even as high as 18. So we also utilise large chillers and constant temperature rooms to achieve our target temperatures. Most important piece of equipment though is a reliable temperature gauge! Our next batch of experiments in these systems are currently in the planning phase with our new PhD student Tom Potter.

[edit] Outside aquaria, Fish Lab

Sometimes, we just do not have enough space inside for the number of replicates we need, so we move outside! This gives us the benefit of natural daylight as well, another factor that would need to be controlled otherwise! Our outdoor mesocosms are currently under construction as part of Martyn Kurr’s PhD project investigating the chemical ecology of Ascophyllum and Sargassum.

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