Paleoenvironmental Laboratory

About the Paleoenvironmental Laboratory

This facility has a Laboratory Suite supporting research and teaching in physical geography specialising in the study of environmental change over recent geological time (the last 2.5 million years). This includes specialist labs for the extraction of fossil material including pollen, diatoms, chironomids and tephra from sediments and their study using microscopes.

A new frontier in this work is ancient DNA which can be extracted in the Ancient DNA laboratory.

We welcome enquiries for the following services:

  • use of microscopy facilities
  • extraction and slide production for paleoenviornmnetal proxies (pollen, diatoms, chironomids, tephra)
  • ancient/environmental DNA extraction
  • organic matter determination by loss on ignition
  • particle size analysis by sieving and/or laser granulometry
  • x-ray fluoresce analysis

Our facilities

  • Keith Barber Microscopy Laboratory: Microscope laboratory including a range of different microscopes for observing, studying and photographing specimens
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
  • Ancient DNA laboratory: Extraction lab for SedaDNA. DNA fragments recovered from sediments can give insights into past environments.
  • Tephra Laboratory: Extraction lab for volcanic ash. Past volcanic eruptions provide marker horizons for dating sedimentary sequences.
  • Chemical Preparation Laboratory: Extraction laboratory with fume cabinets for working with chemicals in extracting  fossil material (pollen, diatoms, chironomids) from sediments

Technical specification

JEOL Neoscope 6000 benchtop Scanning Electron Microscope with Electron Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS).

Contact us

Contact us

For more information, get in touch.
Paleoenvironmental Laboratory, Shackleton Building (Building 44), Highfield campus, University of Southampton, SO167 1BJ