Facilities at the Faculty of Natural Sciences

Woman in white coat using aquaculture laboratory equipment

Investing in our facilities for our work

We invest in modern facilities to ensure that our staff, researchers and students have the best technological support and environment for their studies.

Our facilities are available across the divisions to support and encourage collaboration and innovation across our research programmes.

Our facilities (by division)


The Institute has world class aquaculture facilities covering the complete range of its research activities. This includes:

  • Extensive tropical and temperate aquaria
  • Extensive marine research laboratories at Machrihanish
  • State of the art teaching laboratories
  • Photomicrography and photography facilities
  • Engineering and electronics workshops
  • Nutrition laboratories
  • GIS laboratories
  • Environment laboratories
  • Ecotoxicology suite
  • Disease laboratories
  • Transmission and scanning electron microscopy, confocal microscopy
  • Genetics laboratories
  • Reproduction laboratories

Biological and Environmental Sciences

We have excellent experimental facilities, workshops and field equipment looked after by our dedicated technicians.

Laboratories: several laboratory technicians managing 11 specialist laboratories supporting a wide range of research interests from ecology to analytical chemistry to thin section and micromorphology.

Fieldwork: a dedicated field technician offering advice, training and assistance in the use of a variety of field equipment including acquisition and processing of survey data.

IT: a dedicated IT technician supporting all hardware and software within Biological and Environmental Sciences. Managing the Biological and Environmental Sciences website and associated research websites and offering advice, training and assistance in all web related areas.

GIS/Remote sensing: a dedicated GIS/Remote sensing technician managing a computer laboratory solely devoted to ESRI Arc GIS and ENVI software and offering advice, training and assistance in the use of GIS and remote sensing software.

Stirling Controlled Environment Facility: a world class experimental facility for conducting experimental research investigating the impacts of climate and climate change

Workshop: a mechanical engineering workshop where design and development of specialist scientific equipment is undertaken.

Electronics: an electronics workshop providing a test, repair and maintenance service for a wide range of equipment, design and build of new equipment and advice on electrical safety.

Computing Science and Mathematics

We operate our own computing service with two computing staff and one non-computing technician, to give all researchers strong technical support.

Two computer clusters are used purely for research, providing a total of 104 cores. In addition, we use any idle teaching laboratories to offer a total of 350 cores. Further capability is provided through access to the ArchieWest system (Strathclyde).

We have three special-purpose laboratories specifically for research projects. The first houses an audio lab, with robotics equipment and includes a communications systems lab. The second provides a realistic small residential environment for Home Care and Healthcare projects. The CHORDS laboratory provides high performance equipment for pursuing computationally intensive heuristics research.

Library and IT support include a dedicated science-librarian on information-seeking tools.


Psychology is well resourced with a vibrant and active research focus.

We have outstanding laboratory space fitted with high-quality equipment. The laboratory has excellent computing infrastructure, and both research and teaching activities are supported by in-house technical staff, including dedicated computing, programming, electronic and audio-video expertise.

We have invested heavily in research infrastructure, including our own Pre-School Playgroup, which provides an outstanding facility for developmental research and teaching. Purpose built laboratory space has also been created to support human electrophysiology research (EEG/ERPs), health research (including GSR and heart rate monitoring), face research (including eye-tracking) and vision research (including stereoscopic displays). Coupled with the wider Faculties expertise (e.g., in Computing Science and Biology) we provide an excellent environment for developing innovative and cross-cutting research programmes.

Behaviour and Evolution research group facilities: on site and overseas labs, field sites, industrial partners, and Living Links to Human Evolution Research Centre at Edinburgh Zoo.

Centre for Health and Behaviour Change facilities: purpose-built Health Laboratory, Close collaborative links with NHS partners, including Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Western General Hospital in Edinburgh and Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.

Cognition in complex environments facilities:

  • Divisional Playgroup
  • ERP Lab
  • Faces Lab with eye-tracking and 3D face image processing
  • Vision Lab with stereoscopic viewing system
  • Perception suite