Lab Facility Overview

Rhizobox Experimental Setup

A rhizobox based imaging system allows the development of roots to be non-destructively monitored over time in a natural soil environment. The setup consists of 60 custom deep rhizoboxes (1.5’x4’x2″) which are housed in a stainless steel support structure equipped with 10 research grade grow lights with customizable color channels to adjust lighting intensity and spectrum. Rhizoboxes have one clear plastic side that allows the boxes to be scanned using an Epson 12000XL large format scanner that provides up to 2400×4800 dpi resolution color imagery. The boxes are irrigated individually using porous water lines and soil moisture monitored using Pasco soil moisture sensors. 

Microbial Respiration

The MicroRESP system was designed as a small scale bioreactor to study the activity of the soil microbial community in terms of the amount of CO2 respired per time, which is quantified by pH sensitive dyes in 96 well microplates using a Biotek Epoch 2 microplate reader. Each microplate can have a variety of naturally occurring substrates added to investigate the physiology of the soil microbial community, or deleterious substances. 

iButton Temperature Data Loggers

Temperature is one of the environmental parameters most likely to shift due to climate change. The Thermocron data loggers are a simply logging device that can be embedded in the field for creating long-term temperature and humidity records. 


– Ultrasonic water bath

– Hot plate

– Glassware

– Type 1 Water System

– Various pipettors

– Vacuum filtration apparatus

– Plant growth shed

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