Irena CreedFaculty of Science

Catchment Research Facility

Analytical Laboratory | Modelling Laboratory | Mobile Laboratory

The Catchment Research Facility is an advanced monitoring, analytical and modeling facility established for the analysis of catchment processes. The research conducted at the Catchment Research Facility is dedicated to the understanding of the fundamental processes linking atmosphere, land and water and their sources of natural variation, as well as the impacts of natural and anthropogenic disturbance and climate change on natural systems. The research at the Catchment Research Facility will provide a reference against which to measure the consequences of human activity upon the landscape and will help industry, government and environmental agencies to assess and predict these impacts.

Analytical Laboratory
Our wet laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation providing the ability to collect high quality environmental biomonitoring data.  Two gas chromatographs are used to measure greenhouse gas flux (CO2, CH4 and N2O) from terrestrial and wetland ecosystems.  Oxidative combustion and in-line flow nutrient analyzers are used to determine total and dissolved nutrient concentrations (TOC, DOC, TN, NO3-/NO2-/NH4+, TP and SRP) in stream and lake ecosystems as well as potential nutrient sources using a liquid water isotope analyzer.  Algal and cyanobacterial communities in lake ecosystems are monitored using two flow cytometers, portable FlowCAM, field fluorometer, UV-Vis spectrophotometer and a scanning fluorometer.

Modelling Laboratory
Our computer laboratory is outfit with several high-powered workstations running remote sensing, digital terrain analysis, geographic information systems, and modelling software, including ANUSPLINS, ArcGIS, eCognition, ENVI, Idrisi, MARXAN, MatLAB, PCI Geomatica and Surfer, as well as Terrain Analysis System and Whitebox GAT (both written by former student John Lindsay and available for download here). For data analysis, we use Systat, SPSS, AABLE and Microsoft Excel, and for manuscipript and slide preparation, we have Microsoft Office, Sigmaplot, CorelDraw and Adobe Creative Suite.

Mobile Laboratory
Our mobile field laboratory contains all infrastructure, equipment and instrumentation to successfully conduct ecosystem biomonitoring field work in natural environments.  Laboratory space is fully equipped with bench space, refrigerators and freezers for sample filtering, preparation and storage. Research vehicles including an SUV, pickup truck, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobile and boats enable sample access to remote environments where access to research would otherwise not be possible.  Field instrumentation such as in situ multi-parameter and theta probes enable real time water chemistry and soil measurements.