Environmental Change laboratory

This is a very well equipped research facility, offering undergraduate and post-graduate students the opportunity to carry out high quality research projects.

Particular areas of research include the study of past environmental conditions, particularly during the Holocene, (including sea level change, temperature reconstructions, hydrological reconstructions and caves) as well as more recent impacts on the ecology and physico-chemistry of both aquatic (wetlands, rivers and coasts) and terrestrial environments (soils and sediments).

Field sampling

A suite of proxies are sampled for in the field. Specialist coring equipment is available for sampling both terrestrial and lacustrine environments. New ideas are always welcomed, in order to expand and improve our present capabilities, where appropriate.

Field samplingField samplingField sampling

Core collection in southern Spain investigating the presence of tsunami deposits, the Gordano Valley, North Somerset for PhD research into sea-level change and coring lake sediments in mid-Wales to look at temperature change since the last glaciation.

Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction

Biological indicators

Samples are collected in the field and returned to the Environmental Change laboratory for preparation and analysis. These analyses include, but are not limited to:

  • pollen
  • diatoms
  • testate amoebae
  • foraminifera
  • chironomids


Physical and Chemical indicators

Equipment is available are for the analyses of physical and chemical properties of soil and water. Equipment used includes a state of the art Optical Particle Sizer, a Malvern Mastersizer 2000, a Brann Leubbe Autoanalyser (for trace levels of nutrients), UV/VIS Spectrophotometers, a range of Microscopes, Ovens, Furnaces, and a hydrofluoric acid grade Fume Cupboard.

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