Boreal Ecosystem Research Facility

This 500 square-metre facility provides high-level research resources to support federal, provincial, university and private sector research priorities in forestry, agriculture and the environmental sector. 

The development of this facility at Grenfell Campus is an essential element in a multi-faceted approach designed to build research capacity, create expertise in strategic sectors, attract highly qualified personnel to enhance Grenfell’s teaching and research reputation, develop new graduate programs in environmental sciences, and attract an increasing number of new students. In May 2013, Memorial University signed a collaborative research agreement with Natural Resources Canada, regarding sharing of expertise and resources in the forestry field – an important step in fostering research partnership at Grenfell Campus.

The facility, with its three interconnected research laboratories, builds capacity in analytical research with a particular focus on soils, plants, air and water. The Boreal Ecosystem Research Facility lab can provide various analyses on samples from soil, water, and environmental wastes (elements, ions, pollutants etc), as well as biology samples from plants, animals, and microbes (on nutrients such as amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants, lipids etc., and DNA/RNA extraction). It supports the multi-discipline teaching and research at the Grenfell Campus of Memorial University and the collaborators in the community.


Quick Facts

  • The new facility will provide access to world-class expertise to provincial and national forestry, agrifoods and environmental industries’ key research areas in their sectors.
  • Pre-process laboratory: Processing room for field samples and measurements in non-sterile conditions. This lab is isolated from the other lab areas to allow for preliminary processing and drying of raw samples that will be further extracted and analyzed in the other two labs.
  • Extraction and standard chemical analyses laboratory: Two functions: 1) to extract analytical samples from the pre-process materials and 2) to carry out standard wet chemistry analyses for nutrients and soil chemistry.
  • Molecular biology laboratory: Extracting and characterizing molecular compounds, DNA and RNA to allow genetic and metabolic analyses; culturing microorganisms, plant, and animal cells.
  • Analytical laboratory: High-end analytical facility housing the most sensitive analytical instruments.