AL: Dauphin Island Sea Lab Expands Research Facility | Trade and Industry Development

AL: Dauphin Island Sea Lab Expands Research Facility

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Jan 20, 2023
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) is proud to announce the recent completion of its newest research facility—a multi-stressor wet lab.

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) is proud to announce the recent completion of its newest research facility—a multi-stressor wet lab. This water-based research facility on Dauphin Island, Ala., is at the forefront of research facilities in the United States. It will expand the research opportunities for students, faculty, and visiting researchers at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

A ribbon-cutting will be held Monday, January 23, at 9 a.m. in the new multi-stressor wet lab. Joining the ribbon-cutting will be a representative from the U.S. Treasury Department, Alabama State Representative Chip Brown (R-Mobile), Alabama State Senator David Sessions (R-Grand Bay), and Dr. Amy Hunter with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR).

In this new facility, researchers will be able to examine how marine organisms respond to multiple changes in environmental conditions at the same time. These conditions include oxygen pH, salinity, and temperature. In comparison, most research wet labs only allow a researcher to examine the impact of one stressor at a time and establish a threshold for a single environmental change. However, the new multi-stressor lab will allow researchers to examine how one environmental change could be impacted by another.

“This could be called a time machine, because we will be able to expose marine organisms to future conditions of varying levels,” DISL Senior Marine Scientist Dr. John Lehrter explains. “When you start to expose animals to multiple stresses, the threshold identified for one stress may change based on the combination of stresses exposed at one time.”

The DISL campus was built from a repurposed U.S. Air Force base, and the wet lab has given new life to the facility’s original generator building.

“Giving a nod to the fiscal stewardship of DISL, we were able to take an existing campus asset, and with support from the Alabama Legislature, transform it into a state-of-the-art research facility that will provide students, faculty, and researchers from the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium with opportunities not found anywhere else,” says John Valentine, DISL Executive Director.

Additional funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury/Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Centers of Excellence Program under the Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf States Act, also known as the RESTORE ACT, signed on July 6, 2012. Initially, the new wet lab will be instrumental for research projects funded through the Alabama Center of Excellence but will be available to researchers throughout the 22 Colleges and Universities that comprise the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium in the near future.

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