Ecohydrology Research Group

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario
Area(s) of Expertise

The Ecohydrology Laboratories provide advanced instrumentation and experimental systems to determine the size, morphology, mineralogy and chemistry of soils, sediments, colloids, and aerosols,  the chemical composition of aqueous samples (major and minor elements, nutrients, metalloids, redox, speciation), rates of biogeochemical processes under controlled environmental conditions, and  the structure and abundance of microbial communities. In addition, cultures of model organisms (algae, bacteria) and specialized field equipment (samplers, sensors) are available.

What the facility does

Biogeochemistry, environmental chemistry, and geomicrobiology

Research Services

Fee-based analytical services

Sectors of Application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Education
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Management and business related services
  • Policy and governance
  • Professional and technical services (including legal services, architecture, engineering)

Name of specialized lab

Name of equipment

Description of function

Environmental Particle Analysis Laboratory

Micro-X-ray fluorescence analytical microscope (µ-XRF)

CFI funded facility

  • HORIBA XGT-7000V
  • Provides elemental mapping and quantification of solid (and sometimes liquid) samples
  • Detection range: sodium (Na) to uranium (U)

 

X-ray diffractometer (XRD)

CFI funded facility

  • PANalytical Empyrean Series 2
  • Determines crystal structure and phases
  • Reflection and transmission analysis
  • Able to handle specialty samples (flat, thin-layer slurry, flow-through, air-sensitive)

 

Table-top electron microscope with EDS system

Shared facility

  • Hitachi TableTop SEM (scanning electron microscope) TM3000
  • Bruker QUANTAX 70 Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (EDS) provides qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis of all solid materials
  • Magnification: 15-30,000 x
  • Detection range: boron (5) to americium (95)

Aqueous Analysis Laboratory

ICP-OES: Inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry

  • Thermo Scientific  iCAP 6300 with auto sampler
  • Analysis and quantification of major and minor cations and trace elements
  • Analyzes up to 66 different elements with sub-ppb detection limits

 

Capillary ion chromatograph system

  • Dionex ICS-5000 with auto sampler
  • State-of-the-art 4-µm capillary column with high pressure capability
  • Analysis of anions and organic acids (proteins, nucleotides, and amino acids)

 

Flow injection analysis (FIA) spectrophotometer

  • Lachat QuikChem 8500 with auto sampler
  • Automated spectrophotometric, colorimetric assays for alkalinity, soluble silicate, soluble Fe, total P, ortho P, total Kjeldhal N, sulfide, and amino acids

 

HPLC coupled to atomic fluorescence (HPLC-UV-HG-AFS)

  • Agilent HPLC used in conjunction with the Millennium Excalibur
  • Provides speciation information in addition to total analysis
  • Selenium species: selenocystine, selenomethionine, selenite and selenite

 

Organic C, Total N Analyzer

  • Shimadzu TOC-LCPH/CPN with auto injector
  • Measures organic C (TOC), TC, IC, and total N with concentrations from 4 µg/L to 30,000 mg/L
  • State-of-the-art 680°C combustion catalytic oxidation method
  • Analysis of samples ranging from ultra-pure water to sea water or highly contaminated samples

Biogeochemical Kinetics Laboratory

Batch reactors, flow-through reactors, chemostats, and soil column systems

Custom-built experimental systems designed to measure rates of biogeochemical reactions, fluxes and pathways.

 

Soil CO2 flux analyzer

LI-8100 Automated Soil Flux System

interfaced with the LI-8150 Multiplexer, allowing users to monitor up to 16 chambers simultaneously.

 

Micro-respiration system

MicroResp™ is a microplate-based respiration system that enables the user to analyze up to 96 soil, sediment or water samples on a single, compact plate.

 

Micro- and mini-electrodes

 

Geomicrobiology

Algae culturing

 

 

Aerobic/Anaerobic bacterial culturing

 

 

Molecular testing (PCR, electrophoresis, DGGE, gel imaging)

 

 

Bright field epifluorescence microscopy

 

Additional

A variety of environmentally controlled chambers, including a walk-in unit

 

Title

URL

Ecohydrology at Western University

www.ecohydrology.ca