– Our Facility –

Ocean Acidification Lab

Downeast Institute’s Ocean Acidification (OA) Lab is designed to study impacts of global environmental changes on marine organisms, with a focus on full factorial ocean acidification and warming experiments. The experimental system is fully modular and expandable to accommodate diverse experimental designs and taxa, highly automated to help alleviate researcher workload, and designed to solve problems commonly encountered in ocean acidification literature (including pseudoreplication and substandard seawater carbonate chemistry analysis).


Scientist in the Ocean Acidification Lab

Dr. Robert Holmberg in the Ocean Acidification Laboratory.

  • Currently configured for up to 30 replicate 3-gallon conical tanks (ideal for larvae of many taxa; other styles and sizes of tanks can be accommodated).
  • Any tank can be configured for any pH and temperature set points, precise up to 0.01 units.
  • Proportional pH and temperature control for stability of treatments.
  • Treatment set points can be ramped up and down over time, e.g. for simulating diel fluctuations in seawater parameters.
  • Refillable double junction pH electrodes for rapid and accurate measurements.
  • pH electrodes can be calibrated to any buffer values, allowing for tris and aminopyridine standards ideal for seawater analysis (Dickson et al. 2007).
  • Temperature can be controlled either with internal heaters or external heat jackets.
  • pH and temperature data in every tank logged as frequently as every second.
  • pH and temperature alarms for every tank.
  • All replicate tanks are fully statistically independent (Cornwall & Hurd 2016).
  • Entire system is controllable remotely and/or with voice commands (optional).
  • Dosers automatically control incoming reservoir seawater salinity, alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium to your standards.
  • Desiccant dehumidifier capable of keeping lab down to 30% relative humidity even below freezing temperatures.
  • All electronics waterproofed to IP68 standards.
  • Should any component fail, it can be swapped out within minutes without interrupting the experiment.

Contact Dianne Tilton (207-259-5039) for  information about pricing. Contact OA Lab Manager Abby Tripler for information about OA lab features.

Cornwall, C. E. and C. Hurd. 2016. Experimental design in ocean acidification research: problems and solutions. ICES Journal of Marine Science, Volume 73, Issue 3, February/March, pp 572–581, https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsv118.
Dickson, A.G., Sabine, C.L. and Christian, J.R. (Eds.) 2007. Guide to Best Practices for Ocean CO2 Measurements. PICES Special Publication 3, IOCCP Special Report No. 8, 191 pp.

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