The faculty members in the field of aquatic ecology support laboratory facilities and field equipment for a broad range of biological, physical and chemical analyses of aquatic environments. Important infrastructure includes boats (Rosborough 19' twin outboard research vessel, several Zodiac inflatable boats, etc.), profiling equipment to characterize conditions through water columns (Profiling transmissometer, CTD + Fluorometer, Underwater spectroradiometer), equipment for routine chemical analyses (Oxygen titration system, spectrophotometer), and equipment for biological analyses (Coulter electronic particle counter, Scintillations counter, Epifluorescence and light compound microscopes, inverted microscopes).
Recently acquired infrastructure (Seacat profiling system, underwater fluorometer, field spectrophotometer and fluorometer, Hydrolab Multiprobe, thermistor chains, multiple-depth water sampler, gas chromatograph, CHN analyzer, Hydroacoustic profiling system, sediment corers, gamma spectrometer, freeze dryer, compound light microscope and digital imaging system, Sun workstations) will continue to advance the university's capacity to assess and model complex aquatic ecosystems. The new laboratory provides the capacity to acquire information on watersheds, coastal zones and the deep offshore waters and to integrate the information into a complete assessment of present conditions. The capacity for modeling aquatic ecosystems, not only gives current conditions, but also allows trends in time to be hindcast and forecast based on changing watershed, climate and biological conditions. A unique aspect of the laboratory is the capacity to study the recent and deeper history of the biogenic components (by analysis of organic constituents and microfossils) of the sediments.
As a result of collaborations between Biology faculty and scientists at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters (CCIW), Burlington, Ontario, the Freshwater Institute, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the Ontario Ministry of Environment's Dorset Environmental Research Centre, Dorset, Ontario, graduate students who are jointly supervised have access to equipment and facilities at these institutions.