Revamped Aquatics Research Lab

The new Aquatics Research Labs at the University of Waterloo designed by Parkin Architects has been completed. With fish species under threat from global warming, the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, has opened the new research facility to study the effects of climate change on fish stress. The Waterloo Aquatic Threats in Environmental Research (WATER) facility aims to “simulate and research aquatic stressors and threats” to better prepare to address and prevent current and future problems. A two-year, CAD $5.2 million (U.S. $4.2 million) project undertaken by the Faculty of Science, the facility is now ready to undertake research.

According to the Global Seafood Alliance, the facility, one of the largest aquatic test facilities in Ontario, is able to study a wide range of aquatic organisms, from Canadian cold-water fish to tropical fish, and amphibians. The facility is also equipped to trace the multi-generational effects that different environmental stresses could have on aquatic life over multiple lifespans.

New technologies, including a pathogen challenge area, will allow researchers to: study the impact of disease agents and contaminants of concern on aquaculture; expose populations to controlled climate-related stressors like water temperature, and oxygen saturation levels; and measure the effects of human-centric pollution, such as wastewater, on aquatic ecosystems.

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