The lab is well equipped for research in paleoecology and paleoclimatology, with special emphasis on analyses of lake and wetland sediments using pollen/palynology and diatoms (siliceous microfossils). For contract or collaborative palynological or diatom analyses, please contact Dr Sarah Finkelstein.
Lab infrastructure and equipment were funded in part through a Leaders Opportunity Fund grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. The infrastructure includes a large capacity walk-in cold room for sediment cores and samples, acid fume hoods for chemical processing and analyses, a networked research space with computer workstations, scanners, laser and colour/photo printers. Microscopy is a major component of our work. Our lab includes Zeiss compound microscopes equipped for phase contrast, DIC and brightfield optics, with digital imaging and analysis capability, and several stereomicroscopes.
Other lab equipment and instrumentation include a large-capacity bench-top centrifuge, analytical balances, UV-visible spectrophotometer, magnetic susceptibility meter, heating/shaking water bath, a stocked lab working area for paleoecological analyses, and a tree-ring increment measuring systems including the WinDENDRO package. Field equipment includes gravity and piston corers for lake sediments, Russian peat corers, increment borers, YSI hand-held multi-meter. Specialized software packages we use for paleoecological, ecological and biogeographical analyses include: ArcGIS, CANOCO, Corel Graphics Suite, C2, EndNote, PC-ORD, S+/R, Tilia, Sigma-Plot, and Zeiss AxioVision.
Other facilities available in the Departments of Earth Science and Geography include laboratories and equipment for core sedimentology and limnology (laser-particle sizer, percussion coring, ground-penetrating radar, HydroLab) and extensive computing resources for remote sensing, GIS, climate-vegetation modelling and spatial analysis. UofT analytical facilities (Analytical Lab for Environmental Science Research and Training “ANALEST” lab and Teaching and Research in Analytical Chemical and Enviromental Science “TRACES” lab are also available for collaborative usage.