Facilities

The ESL is well equipped for both for the analysis of chemical species from environmental samples and palaeoenvironmental research.

Environmental Analysis of soil, water & tissues

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The ESL includes a comprehensive suite of analytical equipment for processing water, soil and plant samples. These include:

  • A Varian inductively coupled plasma optical emission system to determine metals, phosphorus, potassium, and trace elements in soil and plant samples;
  • An Astoria 2 segmented flow auto-analysis system to determine nitrate, ammonium, and other ionic species in fluid samples;
  • Leco Truspec CN furnace to determine total carbon and nitrogen in solid soil and plant samples;
  • Shimadzu TOC-TN system to determine total organic carbon and total nitrogen in fluid samples and availability of these elements to microorganisms in solution samples;
  • Ultraspec 3100 pro spectrophotometer with sipper.

In addition, the ESL is equipped with 2 Conviron™ PGV36 controlled environment walk-in growth chambers with CO2(ambient to 2990ppm), temperature (4 – 45ºC) and light control (timed diurnal on/off and irradiance up to 1400µmoles), with 3.3m of growing area (2m height).

For more information about this service contact mcgonigleT@brandonu.ca

Palaeoenvironmental Research

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The ESL includes an Olympus fluorescence microscopy suite, including a BX51 microscope with DIC and digital imaging camera and software, and an Olympus MVX10 microscope with digital imaging camera and software. An additional BX41 and BX43 microscope with digital imaging, and a stereo-microscope are available for student research. This microscopy suite was extensively upgraded in May 2014 by Olympus Canada through a CFI grant.

We are also equipped for chemical maceration of paleobotanical samples for microscopic examination, and maintain a small research collection of Eocene plant fossils from British Columbia in Lane™ archival steel cabinets.

Specific tasks using these facilities include:

  • Palynology—identification and counting of fossil spores and pollen from Cenozoic age sediments;
  • Macrofossil palaeobotany;
  • Identification and photography of plant fragments from archaeological samples;
  • Leaf physiognomic measurement of Cenozoic floras;
  • Identification and photography of fossil leaf cuticle;
  • Counting leaf stomata as a proxy for atmospheric CO 2

For more information about this service contact greenwoodD[at]brandonu.ca