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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science


Geography and Environmental Science Laboratory Suite:

We welcome enquiries to use our facilities from all areas of our University, external collaborators and businesses. To find out more, please contact the Laboratory Manager (Email: and see our ‘Enterprise’ page.

Teaching laboratory

Teaching Laboratory

This teaching space can accommodate 35 students. It is equipped with microscopes, display equipment and a smart board. This is used for undergraduate practical classes for all year 1 Geography students and for modules in the 2nd and 3rd year. 3rd year dissertation projects students use this space for their studies.

Student feedback: "The practical labwork was varied and interesting, really fun stuff, practical Geography at its best!"

To enquire about using this space for your teaching, including colleagues from outside the School please contact the Laboratory Manager.

Student Experimental Area

This innovative teaching space facilitates hands-on student centered learning. Installed are experimental scale models to explore earth surface processes by physical experimentation on sand dune dynamics and coastal flood processes. 

Environmental Processes Laboratory

Palaeo-environmental  Laboratory
Environmental Processes Laboratory

Physical Geography laboratory for research and teaching of sedimentology and geochemistry. Methods include:

Microscopy Laboratory

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Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

Laboratory for Palaeoenvironmental and Environmental Science research, with stereo, petrological and biological research level microscopes, with the capacity for photomicroscopy on many.

In Physical Geography material studied to reconstruct past environments include pollen, plant macrofossils, diatoms, tephra, testates and chironimids.

In Environmental Science studies include Entomology and microplastic pollution.

The Laboratory has a Scanning Electron Microscope for high magnification imaging and Electron Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) to quantify elemental composition.

Chemical Preparation Laboratory

Separate laboratory for the use of chemicals in extraction processes to isolate biological proxies and microplastics from sediment samples.

The lab has 3 fume cabinets, including 1 set up for work with Hydrofluoric (HF) acid. Equipment available in this lab includes centrifuge, water baths, a distilled water machine, wet and micro-mesh sieving apparatus, heater-stirrers, hot-plates and vortex mixers.

Tephra Laboratory

Specialist Laboratory for the extraction of tephra (volcanic ash) from sediment samples and its application in Tephrochronology.

aDNA laboratory

Geography laboratory
Ancient DNA Laboratory

Laboratory for the extraction of DNA genetic markers from ancient samples from sediment cores and permafrost soils. The DNA results are matched with a species database to reveal evidence of species that previously lived in an environment.

Remote Sensing Spectroscopy Facility

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The Field spectroscopy laboratory is a fully equipped dark room suitable for a variety of spectroradiometric experiments. The lab has, one ASD FieldSpec 3 spectroradiometer, two hand held ASD spectroradiometers and a variety of spectralon panels for calibration of these instruments.

Additionally the lab has two integrating spheres for measuring the diffuse reflectance of surfaces.

Multispectral satellite imagery requires ancillary information to perform atmospheric correction. The Field Spectroscopy Lab has sun-photometers to determine the atmospheric optical depth accounting for the scattering and absorption caused by the atmosphere.

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