The Ƶ of Worcester has invested significantly over the last decade to enhance the research and teaching facilities available to staff and students within the School. In turn, this underpins our excellence in teaching and research.

All of our benefit from research informed teaching and we pride ourselves on ensuring students gain experience in the approaches and techniques used in a professional context, preparing them for the workplace.

Investment in teaching equipment and facilities has therefore focused on providing state-of-the-art analytical laboratories, specialised equipment for fieldwork, a dedicated GIS suite for mapping, and cutting-edge monitoring equipment.

Analytical Laboratories

Staff and student researchers have access to a range of different laboratories, a large Climate Controlled Chamber, and a plant growth room. The research laboratories within the School are dedicated to:

Leukaemia research

Our researchers work with immortalised cell lines and are concerned with the molecular aspects that mediate leukaemogenesis. Utilising various molecular techniques, including, lentiviral transduction and CRISPR, we are investigating the role of developmental and metabolic genes in the promotion and treatment of leukaemia.

To conduct this research, we have a Biosafety level 2 cell human cell culture facility, which includes MACS® magnetic cell sorting (Miltenyi Biotec) and a Guavacyte multiparameter flow cytometer (Merk-Millipore). We also have several fluorescence microscopes used for cell imaging.

Molecular plant and Microbial biology

We are well equipped to study plant-microbe interactions. We have the capabilities to: 1) generate molecular markers for accelerated plant breeding, 2) investigate the role of microbial biological control agents to protect plants from fungal and oomycete diseases, and 3) explore small RNAs for plant protection.  We are also able to perform DNA/RNA quality analysis and small-scale sequencing (MinION).

To carry out this research we have high performance computing facilities, growth cabinets, and state of the art equipment such as the , and high spec microscopes for image analysis, all within our fully equipped molecular laboratories.

Lipidomics (study of lipids)

Diseases with a metabolic background are known to interfere with the composition and function of lipids. Our tools are used to detect molecular manifestations of diseases, predicting disease progression and possible outcomes, and also adherence to and effectiveness of treatments.

The lipidomics lab is equipped with a Shimadzu HPLC-MS and a GC-FID, alongside sample concentrators and extensive chromatographic equipment. Samples collected from our cell culture, as well as human samples and food samples, can be analysed for their phospholipid and neutral lipid composition.

Monoclonal antibody production

We currently lead several immunodiagnostic research projects, centred primarily on the development of rapid point-of-care tests for diagnosing infection diseases of the eye and lung.

We have a separate Biosafety level 2 facility, dedicated to the culture of hybridoma cells for the production of monoclonal antibodies.  We have the equipment required to perform ELISA, and the small batch production of lateral flow devices (LFD), similar to those used for COVID-19 testing.


The Biochemistry lab is equipped with refrigerated orbital incubators for large-scale protein expression, sonicator, AKTAPure chromatography system, SDS-PAGE and Western-blotting equipment, a Pxi system for visible, chemiluminescent and fluorescent imaging and vibration-free cooled incubator for protein crystal growth.

Environmental analysis

The School is superbly equipped to perform investigations into a range of environmental variables: The detection of heavy-metal contamination and the analysis of soil micro-nutrients using Microwave Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometers (MP-AES); determining the composition of microplastics in food and sediment samples using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR); the analysis of samples for pesticide residuals using Gas Chromatography With Flame Ionization Detection (GCFID); and measuring pollutants such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) using Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS). 

Teaching Laboratories

We have seven teaching laboratories within the School, the largest being the Charles Darwin building, seating 72 students. All labs are equipped with audio-visual equipment to enhance the student experience. Two laboratories are dedicated for use by undergraduate students working on their dissertation projects. At the Ƶ of Worcester, our state-of-the-art equipment means students get to use the equipment they are likely to use in the workplace.

Our teaching laboratories are equipped with a range of kit equipment from microscopes (including photographic and fluorescence microscopes), weighing balances, water baths, growth cabinets, autoclaves, centrifuges, spectrophotometers, pipettors, vortex mixers, ovens, and fume cupboards, to the more specialised equipment including that required for gel electrophoresis, Kjeldahl apparatus, CEM microwave digester, a bomb calorimeter, stomachers, shaking incubators, sonicators, sample concentrators, microtomes, and an environmental DNA sampler.

We also have specialist equipment for analysing a range of sample types: spectrophotometers (UV and IR), flame photometers, Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC‐MS), Gas Chromatograph-Flame Ionization Detector (GC‐FID), High Performance Liquid Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (HPLC-MS), and Microwave Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometer (MP-AES).

Field Surveying

In addition to the standard field kit (ranging poles, compasses, tape measures, etc.), the School has invested in equipment to enable highly detailed land and habitat surveys to be conducted. This includes a Leica laser scanner, two Trimble survey grade GPS systems (Trimble R8 and 2 Trimble R10s) with Real Time kinematics (RTK), and a Noggin 500 DC/ST ground penetrating radar.

To support fieldwork activities, we also have specialised camera equipment, including GoPro’s, GoPRO Max’s, and an Insta PRO 2. To measure water quality, we have YSI Multiparameter Water Quality Sondes, AquaTec Turbidity probes and temperature loggers. River discharge is measured with Valeport 801 Electromagnetic Current Meters and a Teledyne StreamPro Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP). Data capture in the field by students and staff is also supported through use of Toughpads and iPad minis. 

For species surveys, in addition to frame and pin quadrats, the School has a collection of Browning SpecOps trail cameras which can take still images or video clips, hair tubes, hedgehog footprint tunnels, and Longworth small mammal live traps. We also have two Burkhard Vortis insect suction samplers, and a Robinson moth trap. All equipment is available for staff and students to book for their own research.

Mapping & Monitoring

 The School continues to maintain and invest in a fleet of both rotary and fixed wing Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (drones), enabling staff and students to map and monitor a range of environmental variables. This includes research by our river scientists for which UAVs are used for the remote sensing of river morphology, river discharge, monitoring soil erosion and sediment delivery to water courses.

Our fleet of rotary UAVs includes: a DJI Phantom 4 PRO, Inspire 1, Matrice 600 and three Phantom 4 UAVs with real time kinematics (RTK), complete with Survey Grade GPS base stations. The fixed wing fleet includes a C-Astral Bramor and three Bormatec UAVs.

We use a range of different payloads across the fleet of UAVs including RGB and video cameras, multispectral cameras, particle counters, and a Sniffer 4D (for mapping Aerial Pollutants including: Volatile Organic Compounds, CH4, NO2, O3, CO, SO2, PM1.0, PM2.5 and PM10).

To support the mapping of data, we have a dedicated GIS suite with high specification PCs running industry standard survey and photogrammetry software. High-Performance Computing (HPC) facilities are also available enabling researchers to process and analyse large data sets and perform complex computational tasks including modelling and next generation sequencing.

The School maintains two permanent river monitoring sites, supporting YSI multiparameter probes, and Sondes and ISCO water samplers. These are accessible remotely in real-time via telemetry with online database storage. Data are used in undergraduate teaching and research to assess the relationships between flow and water quality parameters and to assess the impact of sewage treatment works and agricultural runoff on instream nutrients such as nitrate and phosphate concentrations.

 The School maintains two permanent atmospheric monitoring sites, both equipped with research grade meteorological instruments (Campbell). They are also equipped with instrumentation to measure bioaerosols. This includes Hirst type impactors, single cyclones, multi-vial cyclones, passive samplers, microtiter traps, high volume samplers, mobile samplers, cascade samplers and a real-time airborne particle identifier.

The Ƶ of Worcester therefore has one of the most advanced atmospheric sampling stations in Europe to support staff and student research, enabling the detection of pollen, fungal spores, bacteria and other airborne microorganisms. The equipment is also used with our undergraduates as part of research-informed teaching. Furthermore, pollen data are used to create the Daily UK Pollen Forecast

Environmental Test Chamber

The School of Science and the Environment's test chamber is used for both commercial and research work. For example, previously it has been used by sport scientists testing athletic performance under different environmental conditions, and by aerobiologists investigating how real-time pollen collectors respond during prolonged heatwaves.

The chamber is available for hire by external clients for their own Research & Development, which includes support from a fully trained chamber operator.


  • The key feature of the facility is its size. The chamber has a floor size of approximately 4.8 x 4.8m and a height of 4m.
  • Controlled temperature environment from -20°C to +50°C
  • Relative humidity control from approximately 15% to 95%.
  • Computer control allowing multiple programmed set point changes and delayed start/finish.
  • Large double door access to the rear which leads out to the exterior of the building. Personnel access via an ‘airlock’ from the lab.
  • Multiple 240v plug sockets. Access ports into the adjoining labs for running power/data cables etc.
  • Compressed air supply.
  • Fully Calibrated.

Adjacent to the chamber, the Ƶ also operates a negative pressure room containing dedicated biosafety chambers suitable for use with airborne microorganisms such as allergenic pollen and harmful fungal spores.