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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Biology Research Resources

  • Imaging Resources:
    • Blatt Image Center
    • Electron Microscopy
  • Plant Resources:
    • Greenhouse and Growth-Chamber Facilities
    • Plant Tissue Culture
  • Ecology and Evolution Resources:
    • Educational Climate Change Garden
    • Center for Reproductive Evolution
    • Starmer Ecology Field Research Site
  • Animal and Tissue Resources:
  • Drospophilia Kitchen
  • Mammalian Tissue Culture
  • Fieldwork
  • Research Computing
  • Syracuse University Library Resources
  • Additional Resources:

Blatt Image Center

The Blatt Image Center houses a state of the art Zeiss LSM 710 Confocal Microscope equipped with multiple laser lines including 405 nm (DAPI), 458/488/514 nm (Argon laser) and 543/633 nm (HeNe lasers) permitting scanning at a wide range of wavelengths. Software and filters permit time-lapse, multi-channel recording of reflection, fluorescence and transmission images. Objectives include 10x, 20x, 40x and 63x to permit imaging over a wide range of magnifications. The center also has a Zeiss LSM 5 Pascal confocal microscope. Inquiries regarding use of the facility should be directed to Dr. Melissa Pepling ( or 315.443.4541).

Electron Microscopy

The N.C. Brown Center for Ultrastructure Studies, located on the second floor of Baker Laboratory (across from Sadler Dorm) on the adjacent SUNY-Environmental Science and Forestry campus, is a teaching, research, and service facility. It is equipped to provide students, faculty, research staff, and industry with virtually every type of microscopy tool, including light, video/digital, scanning electron, and transmission electron microscopy. Although this center is a SUNY facility, all resources are available for use by Syracuse University Biology Department faculty and students.

Among the major items of equipment in the Center are the following:

  • a JEOL 2000EX 80-200 KV transmission electron microscope (TEM) with goniometer, bright-field, darkfield and diffraction modes, reaching 2 nm spatial resolution;
  • a JEOL 5800LV scanning electron microscope (70 nm resolution) with energy dispersive x-ray analyzer, microstages for mechanical testing of specimens within the scanning microscope chamber;
  • a carbon and metal high vacuum evaporator,sputter coater, sliding microtomes, 2 plastic and one cryo/plastic ultramicrotomes with glass knife maker, and diamond knives;
  • an array of specialized light microscopes and Spot Digital Cameras: DIC, phase, polarized, bright-field and fluorescence.

Ancillary TEM equipment include:  Balzers 400T freeze-fracture, rotary shadow machine, freeze-substitution device, grid stainer and liquid nitrogen plunge-freeze system.

Resources include:  specimen preparation rooms, photographic darkroom with digital film scanner, electron microscope preparation laboratories, and other supporting facilities.

The Center is staffed with individuals who have more than 70 years of combined experience in sample preparation (including fluorescence and immuno-gold labeling), equipment use and sample interpretation including paper, wood, nanoparticles, vaccines, viruses, bacteria (see publication list on web site). Instruction of graduate and undergraduate students is available through formal coursework in TEM, SEM, Fundamentals of Microscopy, and Medical and Industrial Applications (Prefix MCR). The SALTS laboratory within the NC Brown Center provides commercial, certified (NYSDOH) asbestos fiber testing by Phase Contrast Microscopy for outside clients.

Restore Center Greenhouse and Growth-Chamber Facilities

The Syracuse University Biology Department has separate greenhouse and growth-chamber facilities located in the new Life Sciences Complex. The state of the art greenhouse has ten independently controlled rooms including two rooms equipped for studying insects on plants, in addition to a potting shed and seed sorting facility. The rooms are temperature and humidity controlled, and they have automated supplemental lighting and watering systems. The growth-chamber facility has eight controlled-environment chambers of various sizes, including four late-model Conviron E-15 chambers. Policies and procedures for the use of the greenhouses or growth-chamber facilities are explained in the Biology Department Greenhouse Policies and Procedures Guide.

Geographic Information Systems

The Syracuse University Libraries have a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) lab that is available for use by all Syracuse University faculty and students. The facility features ESRI software (ARC VIEW and ARC GIS) as well as other compatible software for spatial analysis and imaging, digitizers, scanners, and large plotters. ESRI software is also available for use by Biology faculty and students on PC. For more information, contact John Olson, the Maps & GIS librarian (, 315.443.4818, 358 Bird Library).


There are numerous opportunities to conduct fieldwork off campus, both in Central New York and in remote locations. For example, graduate students currently conduct research in Idaho, Wyoming, Florida, the United Kingdom, Panama, India, Kenya, and Tanzania.

Syracuse University Library Resources

In addition to the GIS lab, the Syracuse University Libraries have a number of resources offered exclusively to Syracuse University students and faculty. The library maintains a list of available resources for biology and the life sciences. For more information about resources available through the Syracuse University Libraries, contact the Biology librarian.