Advanced Facility for Avian Research (AFAR)

Western University (The University of Western Ontario), London, Ontario
What the facility does

Integrative biology of birds: avian physiology, neurobiology and behaviour.

Areas of expertise

The Advanced Facility for Avian Research (AFAR) houses the world’s first hypobaric climatic wind tunnel for bird flight, allowing research into the physiology and aerodynamics of avian flight under high-altitude conditions. In addition, a combination of purpose-built indoor and outdoor holding areas, as well as specialized experimental and analytical facilities, position AFAR as a leading centre for the study of avian neurobiology, physiology and behaviour.  AFAR is also a major developer and user of the Motus Wildlife Tracking System and also operates a stable isotope facility dedicated to tracking bird movements and migrations.

Research services

Hypobaric wind tunnel, body composition scanning, stable isotope analysis.

Sectors of application
  • Energy
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment

Specialized lab




Hypobaric climatic wind tunnel

Wind tunnel designed for avian flight with full control of temperature, humidity and pressure


QMR body composition scanner

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance-based technology for determination of lean mass, fat and water composition of a live organism

LSIS-AFAR Stable Isotope Facility

Mass spectrometers

Compound specific and bulk mass spectrometers for C, N, H, S, and O