The Geoffrey Pope building
Aquatic Resources Centre
£9million has been invested in the new Aquatic Resources Centre.
Teaching labs in Geoffrey Pope
£25milllion refurbishment of Geoffrey Pope includes state-of-the-art teaching labs.
The new facilities at Geoffrey Pope will boost Exeter’s reputation for world-class science research and teaching.

Facilities in Geoffrey Pope

The Geoffrey Pope building is the central hub of Biosciences in Exeter, and being one of the tallest buildings on Streatham Campus it has magnificent views over the campus and the Exe Valley.

The recent £25m Geoffrey Pope refurbishment has provided state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities including:

  • 4,817 m2 of lab space, much of which is configured as BSL2/GM2 laboratories
  • Four controlled environment growth rooms
  • Three more high-quality research facilities and four specialist laboratories
  • An extended teaching lab and improved support facilities
  • a state-of-the-art aquaria complex
  • flexible school seminar space and integrated student support office

The Geoffrey Pope building also houses our state-of-the-art Millhayes teaching laboratory as well as many research laboratories (see a virtual tour of the Biosciences laboratories), plus the Bioinformatics computer suite, facilitating the rapid growth in computer use in biological sciences.

Specific facilities within the Geoffrey Pope building:

The Aquatic Resources Centre

Around £9million has been invested to provide state-of-the-art aquarium facilities. This world-class teaching and research complex feature a 14 aquaria rooms housing 600 experimental tanks and seven preparative and analytical labs, to maintain and observe a wide range of aquatic organisms, principally fish.

These are supported by seven preparation and laboratory rooms that contain specialist microscopes, cameras, and video and imaging equipment that help analyse development, physiology and behaviour.

A new reception area has also been established, serving not only as a small seminar room but also housing units to control the type and temperature of water and air-flow to the various tanks. These systems ensure temperature control to within 1ºC and 2ºC for the water and air, respectively. The water is treated via reverse osmosis to remove all salts and possible contaminants.

These enhanced, modern facilities encourage a wide range of research spanning basic biology, how chemicals effect aquatic organisms and ocean acidification.

The new aquarium also houses a Wolfson Foundation funded imaging unit, used principally for studies on embryogenesis.

Our fantastic new facilities means we can observe how aquatic organisms live, grow and adapt in any environment in the world. We can look at life forms at a cellular level and sequence DNA. We can move a step closer to finding cures to some of the world’s most significant diseases, by understanding how pathogens operate. Together, these new facilities will teach us much about life on Earth and how we and other species are being affected by disease, pollution and climate change.

Charles Tyler, Professor in Environmental Biology

Bioimaging suite

The bioimaging suite combines state-of-the-art equipment with experienced and outstanding staff to assist researchers and students to obtain high quality microscopy. This refurbished suite provides optical, laser and electron microscopes and image analysis software meet to investigate  cellular processes such as growth, division, pathogenesis and cell-cell communication. See the Bioimaging webpage for further information on the service.

Mass spectroscopy

Biosciences has an Agilent 6520 accurate mass QToF MS and an Agilent 6410 triple quadrupole MS (with sensitivity upgrade). These instruments are interfaced to liquid chromatography columns via ESI or APCI sources. The LC systems comprise Agilent 1200 SL binary pumps capable of rapid high resolution chromatography, photodiode array and fluorescence detectors and a novel microfluidic columns (“HPLC chip”) that can be interfaced with either mass spectrometer. See our Mass Spectroscopy webpages for full information.

'Next-generation' sequencing

Biosciences has installed an Illumina high-throughput Genome Analyzer sequencing system. The GA2 uses a massively parallel sequencing-by-synthesis approach to generate billions of bases of high-quality DNA sequence per run. Current projects involve genome resequencing, small RNA profiling and mRNA-seq. See our Sequencing webpages for further information on the service.