Take a virtual tour of the facility -
The state-of-the-art Wolfson Advanced Glasshouses allow advancements in food security and forest science research addressing both the threat of climate change and that of food crop and tree pathogens. Collectively the Glasshouses, ECOLAB and The Birmingham Observatory Super-Site (BOSS) create The Birmingham Environmental Research Suite, a globally unique group of facilities offering exceptional research opportunities and directions addressing global challenges in environmental science.
Research in the Wolfson Advanced Glasshouses focuses on topics such as biotic and abiotic stress, plant development and evolution. Many different species are routinely grown for these studies, ranging from the model plants Arabidopsis, tobacco, selaginella and physcomitrella, through to crop species such as barley, wheat, brassica, tomato, strawberry, soy bean as well as oak, ash and chestnut.
The facility consists of seven environmentally controlled compartments, constructed to class 1 & 2 GM plant growth containment regulations. They have fully automated lighting, temperature control and irrigation with shading and supplementary specialised lighting options and are capable of CO2 enrichment and class II plant pathogen exposure experiments on plant systems. In addition one of the growth chambers can be used for public engagement activities. Along with two laboratory areas, a waste processing area and ancillary soil and lab stores.
Also at the site is a Grade II listed cottage. This facility supports a range of outreach and public engagement activity, with meeting space for small groups and an on-campus showcase of research including live data and visual feeds from the BIFoR FACE experiment in real time. The cottage also links to activities in Birmingham’s Green Heart and Winterbourne House and Gardens. The cottage has been redeveloped as an outreach facility thanks to a generous gift made by alumni John Powell (BSc Biosciences and Geography, 1977) and Lorna Powell (BSc Psychology, 1977).
The facility is managed by Jude Williams and supported daily by technician Stephen Hill.
The Advanced Glasshouses have been developed thanks to support from the Wolfson Foundation.