Ecology and Biosphere Engineering Facility (EBEF)
About the Ecology and Biosphere Engineering Facility (EBEF)
The Ecology and Biosphere Engineering Facility (EBEF) supports the study of life across spatial scales. We work closely with collaborators to integrate emerging technologies for sustainability research. The EBEF is a flexible space that can be tailored to individual needs, and so we encourage prospective collaborators to contact us early to discuss their research.
The permanent EBEF is under construction in the new Resnick Sustainability Center. It will feature dedicated space for microbiology and microscopy in the basement, with additional flex space for plant cultivation on the first floor. The laboratory spaces are designed for BSL2+ containment, enabling studies of transgenic plants, microbes, and soils from around the world. The EBEF is temporarily located in Church 258 with a focus on microbiology and the rhizosphere.
Leadership + Location
Dr. Nate Glasser is the director of the EBEF. The main EBEF lab is temporarily located in Church 258. Please reach out to Dr. Glasser if you are interested in using the facility. View Map.
We welcome projects in all areas. Some of our specific interests include:
We can assist with the cultivation and isolation of microbes that require unusual growth conditions, such as fungi, phototrophs, autotrophs, anaerobes, and obligate symbiotes. We accommodate organisms with long generation times for long-term study. The permanent EBEF will include chemostats and bioreactors, growth chambers, anaerobic chambers with flexible atmospheres, and other environmental control systems developed according to user needs. For chemical analyses of microbial cultures, we encourage users to contact the Water and Environment Lab.
Microbial Synthetic Biology
We support the development of genetic methods for synthetic biology in non-model microbes, and we can assist with cloning and transformation in difficult microbial systems. Over time, we aim to create a parts repository for synthetic biology in environmental microbes.
Microscopy and Spatial Transcriptomics
We provide microscopes for hands-on customization, automated microfluidics, and multi-day timelapse imaging. For shorter imaging times or specialized optical methods, we recommend users contact the Biological Imaging Facility.
We are building a par-seqFISH platform for single-cell bacterial transcriptomics. The EBEF will offer seqFISH and par-seqFISH as a core facility service in early 2023. We will provide hands-on troubleshooting and method development, including probe design, sample preparation, imaging, and data analysis. We will work closely with users to provide custom support for mixed microbial communities in complex samples.
Plants and the Rhizosphere
The permanent EBEF will host plant growth chambers for the study of plant biology and the rhizosphere. The plant room is additionally designed as flex space for model ecosystems, and it can accommodate custom systems as needed. Please contact us to discuss specific requirements.
The EBEF is still under construction, and we are open to equipment suggestions, particularly those that would support an RSI-funded project. Please let us know if you have special requests!
- ProFlex 3x32 PCR system
- Azure 300 gel imager
- Assorted gel boxes for DNA electrophoresis
- 1x Eppendorf S44i shaking incubator (heating only) + 1x S44i shaking incubator (refrigerated option with photosynthetic LED lights)
- 2x non-shaking incubators
- Eppendorf 5425R and 5920R centrifuges
- Biosafety cabinet
- Coy vinyl anaerobic chamber with an N2/CO2/H2 atmosphere and incubator
- Dragonfly confocal microscope for spatial transcriptomics and other long-term imaging experiments
- Assorted bioreactors and chemostats
- Microelectrode system for profiling chemical gradients
- Plate readers
- Additional incubators
- Additional anaerobic and hypoxic chambers
- Expanded microscopy suite
- Plant incubators