Ecological and Environmental Change Research Group

Palaeoecological Lab AVIT

Research infrastructure for high-precision palaeoecological analyses

The automated pollen locator and counter, Classifynder, with part of a computer screen showing the output
The automated pollen locator and counter, Classifynder
Arild Breistøl

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The Advanced Scientific Equipment (AVIT) programme from the Norwegian Research Council (NFR) awarded the Palaeoecology Laboratory* a 10.3 million kroner grant to purchase equipment to bring palaeoecological research in Norway into the 21st century.

The equipment includes:

  1. Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope – enhancing the taxonomic precision of palaeo data
  2. Classifynder developed at Massey University, New Zealand that automatically locates, classifies, and counts pollen – improving the temporal and quantitative precision of palaeo data and allowing much more pollen-stratigraphical data to be produced
  3. Centrifuge to extract and isolate fossil pollen for AMS radiocarbon dating - improving chronological precision
  4. Micromanipulator & pipette puller that can extract tiny amounts of fossil biological material for DNA analysis, stable-isotope analyses, and UV-B analysis – allowing new research directions to be followed
  5. eInfrastructure for storing images of fossils needed for Classifynder and ESEM – improving taxonomic and quantitative precision of palaeo data
  6. A number of high-quality stereo and binocular microscropes, some with attached cameras
  7. Pyrolysis equipment for coumaric acid assays of pine pollen

We have an open-lab policy and if you wish to visit EECRG and work with one of our members in the lab, please get in touch with the person you wish to collaborate with. There is a bench fee system operating.


* The Palaeoecology Laboratory is part of the Biodiversity Laboratories in the Department of Biology at the University of Bergen and includes researchers from the Natural History Collections at Bergen Museum and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research