MEEB is housed in the purpose-built research suite embedded within the Environment Centre for Wales (ECW) Building. The entire third floor facility, opened by the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown in February 2008, provides open-plan office space for up to 28 postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, alongside dedicated PCR, qPCR, sequencing, bioinformatic and main laboratory facilities overseen by a full time laboratory manager. The main laboratory is also complemented with a two-tiered environmental DNA analysis suite, featuring clean and intermediate rooms. The eDNA suite enables the analysis of genetic material from environmental DNA sources from aquatic, microbiome, gut contents and aerial sources, adhering to trace DNA analysis clean standards.
MEEB has access to host of resources that can be utilized to address a range of evolutionary and ecological questions relating to the assessment of genetic variation in wild and managed populations at the individual, population and community level using DNA from a variety of sources, including , genomic, environmental and communities. Our suites of genomic tools are housed throughout the Environmental Genomics facilities in the Environment Centre for Wales and extending into the School of Natural Sciences.
Genetic and genomic analytical resources
Our genomic tools facilitate the high-throughput (1152 PCR block capacity) generation of DNA data (sequences, qPCR, fragment analysis, SNPs, metabarcoding libraries, genomic and metagenomics library preparation), including bench top liquid handling capability for high throughput studies. Prior to sequencing, we use NanoDrop, Qubit, Bioanalysers and the Pippin Prep to clean and quantify molecular targets. High throughput sequencing (Illumina, PacBio) is performed via close links with the nearby Liverpool University’s Centre for Genome Research and the Birmingham Joint Genome Centre/Beijing Genome Institute and other providers. We also benefit from links to the newly established School of Natural Sciences, Centre for Environmental Biotechnology, hosting Illumina MiSeq capability and an extensive range of cutting edge proteomic and metabolomic analytical capabilities. Downstream bioinformatic analyses are deployed from a centrally supported dedicated Linux suite, local cluster, with HPC capability provided by Supercomputing Wales and a distributed architecture of thousands of CPUs facilitating the analysis of small, medium and large-scale genomic datasets.
The ECW building houses containment level 1 and 2 microbiology laboratories, with facilities for anaerobic microbial cultivation and dedicated laboratories for bacterial and fungal culture.
Extensive aquarium facilities
The Brambell building's aquarium facilities entire lower floor area is a dedicated aquarium facility, incorporating constant temperature environmental rooms with the capacity to accommodate both marine and freshwater ecosystem research.
The Brambell Building is also home to a suite of dedicated temperature-controlled rooms housing reptiles used in research and teaching, including a room adapted for the keeping of venomous species.