The Department of Biological Sciences has a number of specialized facilities that our graduate students and faculty use for research. These facilities include:
Molecular Applied Biotechnology Lab
The Molecular Applied Biotechnology Lab gives our graduate students hands-on experience with up-to-date techniques and technology to meet the needs of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Graduate students can perform techniques such as: ELISA, protein and DNA electrophoresis, Western Blot, PCR, lymphocytotoxic and lymphocyte proliferation assays, culturing bacteria and viruses, identifying pathogens using PCR and molecular techniques, fermentation, antibiotic sensitivity testing and other techniques.
Cell Culture Room
The Biology Department features a cell culture room that includes six steri-culture hoods, a state-of-the-art incubator, and an inverted, phase-contrast microscope. This facility is used for both research and teaching. Students in the Cell Culture Techniques course use this facility to learn the basics of cell culture, including cell passaging, plant callus formation, cytotoxicity assays with human cancer cells, and transfection procedures using the GFP protein gene in animal and plant cells.
The department hosts two research grade Nikon H600 L fluorescence compound scopes with phase and digitizing analysis software as well as a Nikon Eclipse confocal microscope. There is also an AMRAY 1820 scanning electron microscope with sputter coater and critical point dryer. Numerous compound and dissecting scopes are available in different laboratories in the department.
Freshwater Aquatics Laboratory
The freshwater aquatics laboratory includes bench space and a laminar flow hood. In addition, equipment is available for both field and laboratory study of freshwater organisms and environments. Equipment includes portable and bench-top colorimeters and meters for measuring Oxygen, pH, Conductivity, Light and Flow. There are also nets, traps, and samplers for collecting plankton, invertebrates, fishes and amphibians.
Schisler Museum of Wildlife & Natural History
The Schisler Museum features an exceptional collection of animals from around the world, with specimens arranged in beautiful dioramas of different biome types, including boreal forest, temperate forest, southwestern canyons, and African woodlands. There are also impressive collections of North American ducks and deer. The museum is used by ESU classes, including Ornithology and Mammalogy, and is also open to local school groups and the general public.
Natural History Collections
The department has extensive natural history collections that are used for both teaching and research in organismal biology, systematics, and conservation. Our collections are particularly strong for insects and vertebrates, and the insect collection includes several thousand pinned and identified specimens in the family Membracidae (treehoppers). The collections also serve as a repository and reference for research on Pocono biodiversity, and are a valuable teaching tool for our classes in organismal biology.
El Zota Biological Station
Estacion Biologica El Zota is a biological field station in northeastern Costa Rica that serves as a base for tropical research by ESU students and faculty. A former working farm, the station has been devoted to education and research for the past 15 years. It consists of 1,000 ha (2,400 acres) of which half remains as primary lowland/swamp forest. There is a well-marked and maintained trail system and facilities that include a cafeteria, student cabins, classrooms and laboratory with field equipment and a small library.