Oxford Long-Term Ecology Lab

Long-Term Ecology, Biodiversity Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship Technologies

The Oxford Long-term Ecology Lab. boasts state of the art facilities for conducting a wide range of analyses across terrestrial ecosystems. The analysis of physical, chemical and biological proxies specifically collected from: lake sediments; bogs; tree-rings; bees; flowers; and soils enables us to compile encompassing reconstructions of climate, vegetation and environment across space and through time. A focus on contemporary as well as historic archives enables an holistic approach to understanding our dynamic and evolving planet with the objective of using: past and present proxy data; measurements; observations; and remote sensing to model our planetary systems.

Palynological Laboratory

This dedicated space is for the processing and analysis of modern and fossil pollen extracted from a variety of terrestrial archives. Comprised of two laboratories: a clean lab.; and a microscope room the palynological suite is suited in the Zoology Department within the Tinbergen Building. Facilities are of a standard situated to graduate, post-doctoral and professional research.

Dendrochronology Room

The dendrochronology room houses the latest equipment for tree-ring research, including a RinnTech sliding ring-couter stage, PC with high resolution scanner, and sledge microtome. We also have a macroscope for precision cutting and analysis of wood slices. For stable isotope analysis, we have a solid marble top with microbalance for weighing.

Dendrochronology Room

Dendrochronology Room

Clean Laboratory

The clean lab. is equipped for subsampling and pre-treatment of samples for pollen analysis following the Oxford Long-Term Ecology “Pollen Preparation Procedure” as well as: Charcoal (micro/macro); Macro fossils; Diatoms; Phytoliths; Chironomids; and Magnetic susceptibility. This lab. is fitted with deep sinks for sieving; a furnace; centrifuge; a Millipore Elixio water purification system; several fume cupboards; and ample bench space. A partitioned room with its own fume cupboard has been set aside for the exclusive use of Hydrofluoric Acid (HF).

Microscope Room

The microscopy lab. is well equipped with a number of binocular microscopes (with phase contrasts) capable of up to 1000x magnification along with several dissection microscopes (20x magnification). Suitable for a wide variety of applications, these microscopes are most commonly used for the counting and identification of pollen grains. This room is also fitted with a deep sink and fume cupboard for preparing slides and conducting light chemical work and/or cleaning.

Cold Storage

Recently refurbished (2016), our large walk in cold store is used for storing cores, subsamples and macrofossils (amongst other materials). This facility is maintained at a temperature of 4°C and is APHA certified to hold soil and sediment material from all countries.

Field Equipment

  • Garmin GPS devices
  • Livingstone Corer
  • Russian Corer
  • Increment borers (several threads and diameters for use on both and hard- and softwoods).
  • 5′ Baltik Inflatable Dinghy Boat
  • Nitrite HR Checker 0-150ppm (HI-708)
  • Phosphate HR Checker 0.0 to 30.0 ppm (HI-717)
  • Pocket EC/TDS and pH Tester (HI-98130)
  • Dissolved Oxygen test kit (HI-3810)

Reference Collections

The pollen reference collections are currently being digitised into the Global Pollen Project.