Laboratory Services

Inverts in vials

The IECS purpose built and extensive laboratory facilities, including microscopy suite, cold rooms, sample preparation and storage facilities, are specially equipped to undertake a range of laboratory analysis including:

Marine and estuarine benthic invertebrate taxonomy

IECS offer a complete infaunal (macrofauna & meiofauna) sample processing service including the sieving and fixing of benthic samples, removal and sorting of invertebrates, taxonomic identification and enumeration, biomass (wet weight and Ash Free Dry Weight), AQC and final data sheet production. All processes are undertaken in-house and follow ISO 16665 standards and the National Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control (NMBAQC) Scheme Guidelines.

Our experienced and highly qualified laboratory staff coupled with an extensive reference collection and literature, excellent quality control procedures and bespoke sample management system ensure the timely delivery of high quality data to meet client needs.

Fish and epifaunal invertebrate identification and analysis

IECS process fish and epifaunal samples collected from estuarine and marine locations around the UK and Europe. Analysis available includes identification to species level and enumeration, length and weight measurements, sex determination, sexual maturity and spawning information, general condition monitoring and stomach analysis. We also provide a video analysis service, identifying fish and epifauna from underwater footage and still images collected using remote sensing techniques.

Sediment analysis

We are fully equipped with a sediment analysis suite and routinely undertake Particle Size Analysis (PSA) using a combination of the Malvern Mastersizer 2000 laser diffraction system and dry sieving techniques. Data derived from these two methods is merged using bespoke spreadsheets and the output delivered in a variety of formats depending on client requirements e.g. GRADISTAT. IECS follows the NMBAQC Scheme Best Practice Guidance: Particle Size Analysis (PSA) for Supporting Biological Analysis (2011).

Bespoke analysis

IECS laboratory facilities, including temperature controlled rooms, and research expertise enables the provision of a bespoke sample analysis service. Please contact the Laboratory Manager for further details.

Quality standards

IECS is a member of the NMBAQC Scheme, participating and achieving excellent results in the Invertebrate, Fish and Particle Size Analysis components.  

For more information please contact:

Ann Leighton (Laboratory and Benthic Survey Manager)

Will Musk (Senior Marine Taxonomist)

Oliver Dawes (Marine Taxonomist)


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