Facilities & Equipment

Each research program in the Department of Fisheries Science has a fully equipped laboratory, cutting-edge collection and sampling equipment, and extensive computer capabilities.

  • The Fisheries Science Laboratory has available an Optimas image analysis system, computerized scale projectors and a Biosonics digitizing system to provide automated morphometric measurements, rapid analysis of hard structures for age determination, and automated counting procedures. Automated fish measuring boards and a variety of collections are also available.
  • The Crustacean Ecology Program maintains the GEM Lab with two large (1,800 gallon) benthic mesocosm tanks monitored by IR-sensitive, computer-controlled cameras with time-lapse image recorders.
  • The Bivalve Ecology Program’s laboratory is well equipped for physiological and ecological studies with a UV-VIS spectrophotometer, centrifuges, a fluorescence microscope, compound and dissecting microscopes, and an image-analysis system.
  • The Fisheries Genetics Program maintains a large laboratory with walk-in cold rooms, and is equipped to perform a variety of genetic analyses. Major equipment includes an automated DNA sequencer, five thermal cyclers, refrigerated centrifuges, ultracentrifuges, a vacuum concentrator, an automated x-ray developer, and several ultracold freezers.
  • Nunnally Hall contains a fish collection with more than 100,000 species representing 247 families. This research and teaching collection incorporates extensive holdings from the Chesapeake Bay, the Middle Atlantic Bight, Appalachian freshwater habitats, as well as an internationally recognized collection of deep-sea fishes.
  • The Larval Fish Laboratory houses a reference collection containing early life history stages of more than 120 families of marine, estuarine, and freshwater fishes. In addition, the program has considerable plankton collection equipment, an in situ silhouette plankton camera, and 1.5 m-diameter mesocosms for in vivo studies of the trophic dynamics and mortality of larval fish.
  • Two wet lab facilities are available to department faculty and students. The general wet lab contains a flow-through system with several wet tables and tanks. In addition, a special greenhouse/wet lab houses sea turtle holding tanks, which are supplied with re-circulated filtered sea water. Adjacent to the sea turtle greenhouse is a 7,560-gallon tank used for research.
  • Monthly surveys of juvenile fishes and crabs are conducted throughout the Bay and on three major rivers. Plankton studies, larval fish research, and reproductive studies of recreational fishes are conducted in the Bay as well as offshore. Trailerable vessels are used to conduct fieldwork within the Bay’s tributaries.