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Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Facilities & Equipment

The Zooplankton Ecology laboratory is located at the heart of the VIMS campus in Chesapeake Bay Hall (Room S219) overlooking the York River. It includes a variety of equipment for zooplankton research:

  • Dissecting microscopes with light/dark field viewing capabilities that are connected to a digital camera
  • Shared compound and inverted epifluorescent microscopes
  • A shared FlowCAM imaging flow cytometer for automated counting, sizing, and imaging of plankton and particles
  • Water baths and a large temperature/light control incubator for temperature control experiments
  • Plankton nets (0.5 and 1-meter diameter) with a number of mesh sizes along with flow meters and temperature-depth recorders
  • Processing equipment that includes plankton splitters and counting wheels, a digital tap counter, and a variety of micro-dissection tools
  • A variety of filtration apparati and pumps, a convection oven for drying samples, and balances.
  • A Turner fluorometer for measurement of chlorophyll

The lab is equipped with a fume hood and separate fume vacuum hoses for use with dissecting microscopes. We also have assorted dive gear and equipment for blue-water SCUBA diving.

Equipment from the Department of Biological Sciences is also available. Logistics for field work in Chesapeake Bay are greatly simplified by using boats from the VIMS Vessel Center. The VIMS Office of Information Technology and Networking Services (ITNS) ensures that our computers hum happily along and provides a large selection of software. They also maintain a large, student computer room. The Hargis Library at VIMS  is one of the best of its kind in marine science, housing thousands of books and hundreds of journals, with access to a vast array of online resources.