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Marine Ecology Laboratory

The activities conducted in this laboratory are focused on ecological, biological, and genetic studies of different populations of marine species that inhabit both the open sea and intertidal zones of the Galapagos.

The range of projects developed in this laboratory vary in objectives and scope, from efforts to understand the basis of the food chain and how it fluctuates with oceanographic changes to conserving migratory species like sharks, sea turtles, and cetaceans by better understanding and solving the global problem of plastics pollution.

The GSC Marine Ecology Lab is equipped with the following:

  • CastAway CTD
  • Centrifuge PCL series
  • Analytical balance OAHUS
  • Stereomicroscope Olympus and Euromex
  • MCMURDO Smartfind S20
  • IsatPhone – satellite phone
  • Generator YAMAHA ef2600
  • Portable freezer DOMETIC
  • Saltwater pump
  • Nautilus
  • Muffle oven
  • Diving tanks
  • Laboratory oven sterilizer Memmert snb – 400

Interior of the GSC Marine Ecology Lab with seven researchers at work.


Terrestrial Ecology Laboratory

This laboratory supports fundamental and groundbreaking ecological research that is essential to conservation efforts and improving quality of life in the archipelago and beyond.

Also, it aims to facilitate research in the terrestrial environments of Galapagos in eco-physiology, population ecology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, behavioral ecology, ecology and evolution, and landscape ecology.

The GSC Terrestrial Ecology Lab is equipped with the following:

  • Universal oven QuincyLab 10gc
  • Digital analytical balance – Ohaus Pioneer
  • Stereomicroscope Euromex
  • Compound microscope
  • Fume hood
  • Autoclave
  • Precision Isomet saw
  • Water Distiller
  • Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer -80 °C.

A GSC researcher speaks to a crowd of visitors inside the GSC Terrestrial Ecology Lab.

Microbiology & Biomolecular Laboratory

This laboratory provides the equipment that researchers need to work with different biological samples for clinical, microbiological, and genetic studies. Researchers can isolate microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria; process blood, feces and urine samples; and extract DNA or RNA from samples – whatever is needed for research or health purposes.

In addition, it supports the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) by conducting health assessments of giant tortoises to help safely release this iconic species back into the wild and save them from the brink of extinction.

The GSC Microbiology and Biomolecular Lab is equipped with the following:

  • Incubator (20 to 50 °C.)
  • Quantity tray sealer
  • Analytical balance
  • Microwave
  • Sand bath (regulates incubation of samples up to 40 °C.)
  • Micropipettes
  • Electrophoresis chamber and power supply
  • Vacuum pump
  • Gel documentation system BIO-RAD
  • NanoDrop 2000
  • Qubit Fluorimeter
  • Microplate reader ELX808
  • Centrifuge
  • Mini bead beater
  • DNA carry over blocking cabinet
  • Biological safety cabinet IIAZ
  • Thermal Cycler Biometra
  • Tissue homogenizer
  • Compound microscope
  • Fume hood
  • Vet Test 8008 IDEXX
  • Block heater (incubates samples for DNA & RNA extraction from 5 to 130 °C.)

Two GSC researchers inside the GSC Microbiology Biomolecular Lab

Data Science and Visualization Laboratory

The Geographic information systems (GIS), scientific data visualization, mapping and GPS representation, as well as spatial and statistical modeling are all emphasized in the Data Science and Visualization Laboratory.

Computers, plotters, scanners, and specialized software platforms are available for scientists, students, and course instructors as well as the local community involved in our outreach programs. This laboratory is the backbone of the research conducted in the GSC.

The GSC Data Science and Visualization Lab is equipped with the following:

  • Two-Way Radios Uniden GMR5089-2CKHS
  • Marine VHF Radios Icom-ICM73
  • Two-Way Radios Midland GXT795VP4 with charger
  • GPS Garmin GPSMAP 62sc
  • GPS Garmin eTrex Venture HC
  • GPS Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx
  • GPS Garmin GPSMAP 64sx
  • GPS Garmin RINO700 Handheld with two-way radio
  • Satellite Phone Inmarsat IsatPhone2
  • Hypsometers

A researcher at their computer in the GSC Data Visualization Lab, several other researchers at work in the background.