Facility Capabilities

The University of Birmingham is at the forefront of experimental environmental change research in water and terrestrial ecosystems.

The EcoLaboratory provides a world-class venue to integrate research across the physical, chemical and biological components of water and terrestrial environmental science. Our large-scale facility consists of model environments (replicate artificial ponds, streams, soil systems; aka ‘mesocosms’) in a secure location on the University campus. As well as the mesocosm array, the facility consists of control and monitor systems to regulate environmental conditions.

The new facility allows us to manipulate and standardise light, heat, physical structure and water chemistry in ways that are simply not possible other facilities in the UK. Our state-of-the-art environmental sensor network is Ethernet connected, enabling remote access to data for users. The site contains a modular laboratory to process environmental samples and conduct experiments.

The EcoLaboratory also has:

  • A distributed sensor network for monitoring a range of water quality parameters (inc. dissolved oxygen, pH, electrical conductivity and temperature to name a few) can be used to create feedback control loops for manipulating the physical and chemical properties of these model systems
  • Water supply - Bore hole and pump, groundwater distribution to multiple nodes across the facility
  • A range of pumps for flow control across multiple scales
  • Fully networked across the site with potential to connect all sensors to IOT