Facilities for bryological research

We have access to all the necessary equipment and facilities to conduct a broad range of bryological research at Duke. These include complete laboratory facilities for molecular work, growth facilities including controlled environment chambers, greenhouses, and experimental gardens, scanning and transmission electron microscopes, and of course the bryophyte herbarium and library. Some of the major facilities are briefly described below.

Duke Herbarium
The herbarium holdings at Duke include about 400,000 vascular plant specimens, including pteridophytes, and about 230,000 bryophytes. Herbarium assistance as well as bench and cabinet space are available for working on and managing loans from other herbaria. J. Shaw is the Curator of Bryophyte collection. The herbarium has an extensive collection of bryological books and a journal and reprint collection. For additional information, see Duke Bryophyte Collection.

Shaw Lab microscopes:
Equipment include an Olympus BX41 light microscope and SZ dissecting microscope. An Olympus DP25 digital camera is easily moved between the two microscopes, and the whole system is connected to a PC equipped with Olympus Cellsens software for capturing and editing images, and for making morphological measurements.

Molecular Laboratories
All equipment necessary to perform molecular work aimed at systematic and evolutionary studies is available in the Shaw laboratory. This equipment includes: multiple thermal cyclers, microcentrifuges, -70C freezer, -20C freezers, and 4C refrigerators.

The Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology
This is a state-of-the-art laboratory for collecting genetic data.

Duke Biology Plant Growth Facility (BPGF)
This facility supports the educational and research needs for Duke University faculty, affiliated researchers, and students. The facility spans 8,400 square feet that is equally divided between research and teaching. Several types of controlled growth (temperature, light and humidity) chambers are provided at a modest cost.

Computing Facilities
The Shaw Lab has access to all of the software and hardware necessary for rigorous statistical analysis. The Duke Compute Cluster allows us to run analyses with priority suing the lab node. The DCC is based on a sharing system where interested researches may purchase machines and add them to the existing cluster. Custom scripts and simulations written in Python or R can be run quickly and easily on the computer cluster. All computationally demanding jobs are submitted and run through the Slurm queueing system.

Transmission electron microscope
We also have free access to the Biology Dept. Zeiss 10A transmission electron microscope, with attached camera that utilizes Zeiss 70mm roll film. Access to two AO/Reichert Ultracut E43 microtomes is also readily available.

Scanning electron microscope
We have free access to the Biology Dept. Philips 501 scanning electron microscope, a Ladd critical point drier and a sputter coater (Hummer V). The SEM has an attached camera body that utilizes 4 x 5 Polaroid 55 P/N film and a digital frame grabber. The Biology Dept., with generous NSF support, acquired a Philips ESEM with a cryo stage.

Morphometrics Lab
The Duke University Morphometrics Lab was set up during 1990/1991 from an NSF instrument grant awarded to H. Fred Nijhout. This laboratory is equipped with cameras (CCD color video camera, gray scale video camera, photometric tube security style video camera), 2-D Digitizers (6 SummaSketch pads), 3-D Digitizers (Polhemus 3Space digitizer, Reflex microscope), Image Analysis Software (Image-1, SigmaScan Pro, NIH image, ImagePro Plus), several light microscopes (2 Wild M5A steromicroscopes with camera lucida attachments, 1 Wild M420 Macroscope with C mount video camera attachment, 1 Zeiss Axioscop compound microscope with C mount video camero attachment), Sony TV Monitors, morphometrics related software (statistical software: NTSYSpc, SAS, and SYSTAT; morphometric software: Thin plate spline, Elliptic Fourier analysis, Procrustes, etc.), and Hewlett-Packard flatbed scanner.

Culture facilities
We have multiple laminar flow hoods available for culture work as well as a growth room with lighted (and unlighted) racks for growing bryophytes.