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New sediment and ecology research laboratory facilities at ASE
The construction of brand new state of the art laboratory facilities at the ASE was recently completed; The Sediment and Ecology Laboratories. The lab complex is composed of 10 laboratories covering different fields such as Quaternary Geology, Paleoecology, and Terrestrial Ecology. The facilities include Growth Chambers, Cold Rooms, Process and Utility Room, Microscope room, Pantry, chemical storage, and gas storage. Located at N2-B4c-06, and together occupying an area of 890sqm, the new laboratories attend seven ASE professors, multiple Research Fellows, Ph.D. students, and research assistants. Activity in both labs is now starting to pick up, marking the start of new research fields at ASE and NTU as well as improved facilities for already existing research.
The Sediment Laboratory
The sediment section of the lab complex is composed of five laboratories: Sediment Main Lab; Sediment Preparation Lab; Sediment Lab 1; Sediment Lab 2; Sediment Lab 3, and a cold chamber (dimension: 390sqm). The research integrates sedimentology, Quaternary geology, and environmental research. The main activities are sediment analyses (textural, mineralogical, and geochemical studies, processing of shallow sediment cores, micropaleontology, sample preparation for U-Pb dating of detrital zircons, Carbon-Nitrogen isotopic analyses, water physical-chemical parameters, 210Pb dating. The state of the art technology includes X-Ray diffraction (Bruker), X-ray Fluorescence (Bruker), Germanium detectors (Canberra gamma spectrometer), moderns microscopes, laser grain sizers (Malvern), magnetic separators, etc.
The Ecology Laboratory
The ecology of the lab complex is composed of five laboratories: Forest Ecology Soil Lab; Forest Ecology Lab; Main Forest Ecology Wet Lab; Invertebrate Lab; Culture and Isolation Lab and Processing and Utility Room (dimension: 500sqm) and four advanced growth chambers for experimental studies. A new glasshouse has also been built to complement the ecology labs. The research in these Ecology labs integrates below and aboveground ecology, aiming to understand community and ecosystem functioning in terrestrial ecosystems. The main activities are handling and processing plant and soil materials, studies on plant and soil invertebrates, and measurement of soil nutrients to study their fluxes and cycling in terrestrial ecosystems.
Text by Samia Samia Aquino da Silva, edited by Anna Lagerstroem