Students and faculty in the Biology Department have access to world-class facilities, providing the opportunity for both laboratory and field-based research.
DNA Profiling and Forensic Centre
The Natural Resources DNA Profiling & Forensic Centre (NRDPFC), located in the DNA Building, is a partnership between Trent University and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The NRDPFC is a non-profit organization established for the benefit of wildlife management. The Centre is equipped with instrumentation for robotic, high throughput, long-term genetic monitoring of natural populations. The NRDPFC is currently involved in collaborations to produce DNA profiling data bases on a number of Ontario species, including caribou, moose, white-tailed deer, wolves, black bears and elk.
The Aurora Research Greenhouse was purchased as part of a multi-million dollar investment from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Ontario Government and Trent University. Located in the DNA building, the greenhouse is designed specifically for research applications, and it provides unparalleled environmental performance in the control of temperature, humidity, air velocity, and light intensity. The Aurora offers expanded research flexibility, year-round functionality and exact replication of experiments.
Confocal Microscopy Suite
Housed in the DNA Building is a Leica confocal microscope. Using focused laser light to illuminate the specimen, the microscope allows only a tiny point to be illuminated at one time. In addition, the microscope excludes out of focus fluorescent light by use of a pinhole, thus allowing the image to be built up from a very thin section or sample. Together these two techniques mean that the confocal microscope has better resolution, both horizontally (from the focused laser light) and vertically (from the pinhole) than a conventional light microscope.
James McLean Oliver Ecological Centre
The James McLean Oliver Ecological Centre is a field station located near Bobcaygeon on Pigeon Lake. The waterfront property consists of 110 ha (270 acres), and provides a location for study of various habitats on the property and in the area. Several Trent University graduate and undergraduate students have conducted research on site, and undergraduate courses are held there annually.
Trent University Nature Areas
Trent University has a large, attractive and ecologically diverse campus. It has designated Nature Areas, covering approximately 300 ha (740 acres), which are used for teaching, scientific research, and nature interpretation. These areas also provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and enhance the campus aesthetically.
The Biology Department has a minivan available for rental on-site. Prices are competitive with local rental agencies for shorter trips under about 50km, but it has the advantage of being on-site for pick up and drop off, having no lower age limit restrictions for drivers (as long as they have a G2 license), and no credit card is necessary to book it. Please read the Biology Van Use document to decide if you would like to use the van, and for information on how to book it.